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Public to vote for top plant in Chelsea show's 100 year history

Ten blooms have been chosen to mark 100 years of the Chelsea Flower Show, and the public is being asked to vote for which should be show plant of the centenary.

The plants were picked by The Royal Horticultural Society with one flower taken from each decade of the world famous gardening exhibition.

Ten amateur gardeners aged from eight to 92 have been asked by the RHS to each champion the plant from the decade they were born to help people make up their minds which one to vote for.

The 10 candidates from the decades are:

1913-1922: Saxifraga 'Tumbling Waters'

The plant has a silvery foliage topped with spikes of frothy white flowers Credit: RHS

The plant is being championed by 92-year-old ex-paratrooper Sergeant Stan Pepper, from London, who finds it easy to grow because it can be planted on a rockery or wall and does not require much bending over.

1923-1932: Pieris formosa, variety forrestii

An evergreen shrub which was introduced by Victorian plant hunter George Forrest and made its debut at Chelsea in 1924 Credit: RHS

Retired GP John Burwell, 82, from Southampton, Hampshire, is backing Pieris for show plant of the centenary He has a small collection of them in his garden.

1933-1942: Lupinus Russell hybrids

A rainbow palette of lupins unveiled by George Russell in 1938 Credit: RHS

Iris Chapman, 78, from Wrotham, Kent, first encountered lupins in the early years of the Second World War when her family moved to Cheltenham, and she has been growing them ever since.

1943-1952: Rhododendron yakushimanum

An evergreen species with bell-shaped white flowers, discovered on the Japanese island of Yakushima Credit: RHS

The plant is being championed by retired environmental scientist Rodney Tucker, 70, from Hemel Hempstead, Herts, who spent time working in west China, where Asian rhododendrons were a favourite of his. He particularly enjoys growing dwarf varieties such as this one.

1953-1962: Rosa Iceberg

A pure white rose from German breeder Reimer Kordes which stole the show in 1958 Credit: RHS

The plant's champion is Dorothy Wood, 59, of Hornchurch, Essex, who inherited her love of roses from her father, for whom Iceberg was a particular favourite. She still grows it today.

1963-1972: Cornus 'Eddie's White Wonder'

A small tree with showy white bracts in May and brilliant autumn colour Credit: RHS

It is being backed by Gareth Manning 47, from Reading, Berkshire, a keen plantsman who thinks it is the first plant he had that was truly out of the ordinary.

1973-1982: Erysimum 'Bowle's Mauve'

A perennial with mauve flowers that can flower almost all year Credit: RHS

Michaela Worthington, 37, from Bradford, West Yorkshire, who only has a small garden and mostly grows plants in pots, loves Erysimums because they have beautiful flowers and attract wildlife.

1983-1992: Heuchera villosa 'Palace Purple'

Raised from seed sent from America, it was the first heuchera to become popular as a flowering foliage plant Credit: RHS

Felicity Crabb, 26, from Christchurch, Dorset, thinks it is a plant for everyone with its deep colours and hardy nature.

1993-2002: Geranium Rozanne

A tall, fast-growing geranium with violet-blue flowers streaked with red Credit: RHS

Former finalist for RHS Young School Gardener of the Year Henry Grub, 15, of East Grinstead, West Sussex, is championing geraniums because they are his mother's favourite and they have plenty in their garden.

2003-2012: Streptocarpus 'Harlequin Blue'

Short flower stems and compact leaves Credit: RHS

Rosie Ghuman, aged eight, from London, loves the plant for its pretty blue and yellow flowers and because it is good for forgetful people as it does not need much watering.

People can cast their vote for show plant of the centenary at the Chelsea Flower Show next month or online at www.rhs.org.uk/chelsea/potc