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Leeds City Council targets more Chelsea success

Leeds City Council targets more Chelsea success
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Leeds City Council targets more Chelsea success

Leeds City Council today unveiled the first details of their most ambitious show garden yet which will take on the best of the best at this year’s prestigious Chelsea Flower Show.
This year’s garden was officially launched at a special event held at the council’s Red Hall Nursery in Leeds which featured a guest appearance by BBC television gardening presenter Christine Walkden.

Following a successful partnership with sponsors HESCO Bastion in 2009 which led to an impressive Silver Gilt Flora award at the Royal Horticultural Society’s flagship event for gardening excellence, the same team returns to Chelsea this year with Leeds’ biggest and most daring garden design to date.

The show garden which will be entitled ‘The HESCO Garden 2010’ is themed around celebrating the green linkages which connect the city centre to the countryside in and around Leeds, as well as the importance of protecting the local environment and raising awareness of the proven health benefits green spaces provide.

To demonstrate this the team have chosen a stunning snapshot of the iconic Leeds-Liverpool canal as the basis for the design, with the centrepiece being a lock gate which will allow water to run through it and into the canal. This is then flanked by three distinct sections – woodland, wetland and a floral meadow – which can all be found in green spaces in Leeds.

The Leeds-Liverpool Canal is the longest canal in northern England measuring 127 miles long and passing through 91 locks. It was built over 46 years, starting in 1765 when businessmen proposed a link from Leeds to Preston to transport woollen goods and limestone. It was then developed to run to Liverpool and throughout the 19th century was used as a key route for commercial transporting of stone, coal and a variety of other goods. Its influence declined when railways and roads were developed and its commercial use largely ended in 1964.  Since then its popularity has grown again with a range of leisure activities being carried out on the canal.

The HESCO Garden 2010 has been designed and created by Leeds City Council’s Parks and Countryside Service with engineering design and support being supplied by our sponsors HESCO Bastion Limited, a Leeds-based company who are world-leading manufacturers of products used in civil engineering.

Maintaining the Yorkshire flavour the garden will be produced using locally-sourced materials from the region, with all the plants and flowers being grown in Leeds and HESCO products providing the structural framework for the garden.

The HESCO Garden 2010 will be on show at Chelsea from May 25-29 in the elite show garden category alongside gardens designed by some of the biggest names in the horticulture industry.
The event, held annually in the grounds of the Royal Hospital in London, attracts over 150,000 visitors from all over the globe as well as receiving extensive coverage from the world’s media.

Leeds City Council executive member for Leisure Councillor John Procter said:

“The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is one of the biggest annual events in the world and it is a huge honour for Leeds to be invited once again to enter a garden in the show garden category.
“In terms of raising the profile of Leeds as a city to an international audience, being at Chelsea brings massive benefits and we are all really excited by the design for this year’s garden as it is going to be our best yet.”

In addition to raising the profile of the city, entering a show garden at Chelsea also allows the council’s Parks and Countryside staff to pit their wits against the finest garden designers in the world, learning new skills and techniques which are then used every day to improve green spaces all over Leeds.

Sponsors and project partners HESCO Bastion said:

"HESCO are delighted to again be working with Leeds City Council at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.  Leeds has a long-held reputation for engineering excellence dating back to the industrial revolution; this year’s garden focuses on these engineering developments of the past, and the present, all of which contribute to the vibrancy of Leeds. HESCO is proud that our products carry on Leeds’ engineering tradition for innovation and design."

Young people in Leeds will also be part of The HESCO Garden 2010, as pupils from local primary schools will be learn about the value and importance of protecting green spaces through a special education project and competition.

Leeds City Council has enjoyed great success at Chelsea in recent years, with all seven previous gardens dating back to the first in 1997 earning bronze or silver category awards. Four of these gardens can now be visited by the public at sites around the city.
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