Victoria Cross Poppies Raising Funds for Chelsea Pensioners

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Normandy Landings, known as ‘D-Day’ and ranks as the boldest and most successful large-scale invasion in military history. Hundreds of men were sent to the front to help with the war effort. Today, Mr Fothergill’s asks Britain’s gardeners to mark the anniversary and help Chelsea Pensioner veterans by growing Poppy Victoria Cross again in 2019. 25p from each packet sold is donated to the Royal Hospital Charity.

There are over 1,000 stockists of the special counter-top display of fundraising Poppy Victoria Cross around the UK, including Blue Diamond, Kew Gardens, RHS Gardens, QD stores and many other leading garden centres.

Mr Fothergill’s joint managing director, David Carey, Chelsea Pensioners with Poppy Victoria Crosssaid: “We are proud to be supporting the Royal Hospital Chelsea and pleased to see so many gardeners joining with us to do that’.

Poppy Victoria Cross is a popular choice among gardeners and makes a fitting remembrance symbol with its bold white ‘crosses’ across single red flowers. Easy to grow and quick to flower from a spring sowing, this form of Papaver somniferum is ideal for informal borders and cottage garden settings. Its distinctive ‘pepper-pot’ seed heads are also useful in dried arrangements when flowering ends.

Established in 1682 by Charles II to provide a safe home for military veterans ‘broken by age or war’, the Christopher Wren-designed Royal Hospital admitted its first pensioners in 1692. The scarlet tunics and black tricorns of its residents and the Royal Horticultural Society’s Flower Show held in the Royal Hospital grounds every May are equally well known and respected around the world.

Poppy Victoria Cross seeds are available from garden retailers, and the Mr Fothergill’s Seed Catalogue. RRP £2.10 for 250 seeds.

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