Chelsea 2017: Celebrating Peter Seabrook

May 24th, 2017 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Peter Seabrook in his 40 Sunbury Road garden at Chelsea 2017

For some years Peter Seabrook has helped mastermind exhibits in Chelsea’s Great Pavilion that are focused with some determination on, as you might say, the many gardeners and not the few. This year, the front gardens of Sunflower Street have been replaced by the back garden of 40 Sunbury Road.

As always with Peter’s projects, the 40 Sunbury Road garden celebrates the best in British horticulture but this year – the clue is in the name of the garden – it also marks Peter’s forty years as Gardening Correspondent of The Sun. He joined The Sun when he was hosting BBC TV’s Gardeners’ Peter Seabrook's first column for The Sun in March 1977! World and his very first column (right,  click to enlarge), in March 1977, recommends growing potatoes in pots – decades ahead of his time – and he’s still there every week with good practical advice.

Peter has also had a weekly column in Amateur Gardening magazine for more than thirty years! He writes regularly for the trade press, too, and this year began a weekly gardening podcast!

His wisdom, his understanding of what’s important to gardeners across the country, his easy authority that’s always down to earth and that fact you can always depend on his guidance being exceptionally well informed has ensured that his advice is valued by gardeners everywhere.

His 40 Sunbury Road garden shows what anyone can do with  an average sized space. “It’s everyone’s back garden,” he said. “I’m trying to inspire people and show what can be done in a limited space.”

Peter’s exhibit includes a toy car, a washing line, a shed and a barbecue and Peter enlisted the help of school kids to grow vegetables for the exhibit and help create a fairy woodland.

A wide range of new varieties available from British nurseries and garden centres are included on the exhibit. Many have been developed by British plant breeders such as the petunias I featured here a few weeks ago and two new felicias (below), all bred in Cambridgeshire.

Peter’s exhibit was awarded a Silver Medal and is proving very popular  with visitors who appreciate how well the ideas and plants can be used in their own gardens. Just as Peter wanted.

British bred Felicia 'Friends Blue' and 'Friends White'

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Is one of our best known gardening writers. A graduate of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Graham was previously Gardening Correspondent of The Observer.
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