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Golden growing trail to Chelsea

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: May 23, 2013

  • Claire Battren of Trewidden Garden.

  • Mike Mann of National Dahlia Collection, Long Rock.

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A FIELD of gold has grown in west Cornwall after three nurseries reached the top spot at a prestigious horticultural event.

Trewidden Garden, Kelnan Plants and the National Dahlia Collection all wowed the judges and scooped gold at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The win has highlighted the green-fingered know-how of Penwith's local growers and should prove to be a big boost to business for the threesome.

"I am feeling relieved and delighted," said Michael Mann, director of the National Dahlia Collection based at Long Rock.

"We made these plans for Chelsea nine months ago but with a difficult growing season there was a point in April when we thought 'what on earth have we done'."

Luckily the team persevered and their 'wall of colour' won them a coveted gold.

The local business decided to create a display showcasing 100 years of the dahlia and how it has fallen in and out of favour.

"Hopefully this will persuade people that dahlias could form part of their own gardening for the future," said Mr Mann.

Also celebrating is Chris Osborne, owner of Kelnan Plants based at Gulval near Penzance. He now has four golds and two silvers from the show under his belt.

"A Chelsea gold is always good to have, you can never have too many of them," he said.

Specialising in South African plants, which are difficult to grow in less temperate parts of the country, Mr Osborne added: "This is very prestigious. I have also met some interesting people and made some good contacts which I hope will really help my business."

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