A look at the canal inspired Welcome to Yorkshire garden at RHS Chelsea
PUBLISHED: 10:45 22 May 2019 | UPDATED: 12:09 22 May 2019
A poet and a paddle boarder have helped launch Welcome to Yorkshire's gold medal winning garden at the 2019 RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
The garden, which celebrates the county's canals and rich industrial heritage, is the tourist organisations 10th entry into the prestigious show - in the year which marks Welcome to Yorkshire's 10th anniversary.
Legendary Barnsley poet Ian McMillan, well known for his strong, distinctive Yorkshire voice, performed a brand-new bespoke poem on the garden written specially for the occasion to help bring to life the beauty of the county's waterways and green spaces.
He was joined on the garden by Yorkshire paddle boarder Jo Moseley who took to the water on her SUP (stand up paddle board) to highlight the leisure and tourism aspects of our canals and waterways and the many fun activities people can now take part in which benefit both mental and physical health.
The show stopping feature of the garden, which wowed the crowds, is a canal with two genuine lock gates which have which have been donated to Welcome to Yorkshire by the waterway and wellbeing charity Canal & River Trust who have specially adapted them for the garden to make sure Mark Gregory's design is as authentic as possible.
Welcome to Yorkshire's Commercial Director Peter Dodd said: "Mark's been incredibly ambitious this year - but it's worked - this garden has the real wow factor! His bold plan to source and adapt genuine canal lock gates combined with his incredible attention to detail has proved a great combination. The garden beautifully brings to life not only Yorkshire's proud industrial heritage but celebrates the brilliant way our canals and waterways are used today for leisure, tourism, health and well-being.
"This is the greatest horticulture event in the world and such a fantastic opportunity to showcase Yorkshire to a global as well as a national audience. This authentic taster Mark has created will be sure to inspire people to visit and explore the county's stunning green spaces for themselves."
Garden Designer Mark Gregory said: "This is my 99th garden at the Chelsea Flower Show and I was determined to make it one to remember. Bringing a canal to the heart of SW3 has been no mean feat and myself and the team have really pulled out all the stops.
"I truly hope people will feel transported into an authentic patch of Yorkshire and if the idyllic scene encourages visitors to head north to experience the breath-taking region for themselves then we'll have done ourselves and the county proud."
Sean McGinley, Director of Yorkshire & NE for Canal & River Trust added: "Mark and his team have created a stunning garden for Welcome to Yorkshire. As the charity that looks after the nation's waterways, we're thrilled to have helped realise the garden and it's been a fantastic opportunity for our apprentices and team to be part of.
"We believe life's better by water and are passionate about encouraging people to enjoy spending time exploring our 2,000 miles of waterways. Hopefully this slice of Yorkshire will encourage people to visit the region and spend time by the canals and rivers that we know can help improve our health, wellbeing and happiness."