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'Old and modern war' theme for Chelsea Flower Show

Organisers of this year's Chelsea Flower Show are hoping this year's theme will come up roses with contestants, who are being asked to cast their eye over history for inspiration.

Chelsea flower show
Veteran Chelsea BBC presenter Alan Titchmarsh will return as an entrant to Chelsea flower show for the first time for 30 years. Credit: Reuters/Toby Melville

The Chelsea Flower Show will mark the centenary of the First World War by asking entrants to arrange flowers around the theme of old and new conflicts.

Designers have drawn on family experiences of war from the Somme to Afghanistan to create displays for this week's show at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

No Man's Land: ABF The Soldiers' Charity Garden to mark the centenary of the First World War represents a landscape marked by the fighting in northern France, including trenches, a mine crater pond and the yew trees found in war cemeteries.

Read: Titchmarsh 'hurt' by BBC over Chelsea flower show snub

Titchmarsh 'hurt' by BBC over Chelsea Flower Show snub

Broadcaster Alan Titchmarsh has admitted he was "hurt" by the BBC's decision to sideline him in this year's Chelsea Flower Show programming - saying he was made "an offer I had to refuse", he told the Radio Times.

Titchmarsh, 65, who has been replaced by Monty Don admitted:

"Yes, I suppose I was hurt, because I know people enjoy you doing it as much as I loved doing it.

Titchmarsh returns with a feature garden at this years show. Credit: Matt Faber/PA Wire

"But they probably felt it was time for a change and may well be right. Was I dumped for Monty Don? You might say that. I couldn't possibly comment. I don't feel dumped."

It was announced last year that Titchmarsh was leaving the show, with the BBC saying in a statement: "The way the Chelsea coverage will be presented across the BBC has changed for 2014, and Alan decided to step away from next year's show."

Titchmarsh told Radio Times: "I'm not bitter. I was disappointed but I'm not a grudge-bearer. You have to move on."

This year, Titchmarsh has created a Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) garden for Chelsea and the BBC has booked him for an interview to talk about his creation for the Britain In Bloom scheme.

More: Alan Titchmarsh returns to the Chelsea flower show

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Alan Titchmarsh returns to the Chelsea flower show

After almost 30 years, top gardener and TV presenter has said that the Chelsea Flower Show "doesn't get more demanding," after marking 50 years in horticulture.

Titchmarsh returns with a feature garden at this years show. Credit: Matt Faber/PA Wire

Titchmarsh will this year be designing a feature garden at the world famous flower show for the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Britain in Bloom scheme, which is also celebrating its half century.

"I've got a great team. When you build a garden at Chelsea you're working with the big boys, it doesn't get more demanding, more testing than this. I want to give it the best shot," he said.

The garden follows a journey in horticulture from his birthplace in Yorkshire to the coast of the Isle of Wight where he has a home and garden.

Alan Titchmarsh leaves BBC's Chelsea Flower Show

Presenter Alan Titchmarsh is stepping down from the BBC's Chelsea Flower Show coverage after 30 years as its host.

Alan Titchmarsh Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

The gardening guru decided to leave the show after a revamp of broadcasts from the event.

"I really enjoyed my 30 years of presenting Chelsea Flower Show coverage for the BBC and wish the new team every success," Mr Titchmarsh, 64, said.

He has increasingly turned his attentions away from the BBC, with an afternoon ITV chat show and a series on Classic FM following his departure from BBC Radio 2.

Chelsea Flower Show preview attracts celebrities

Celebrities have been given a sneak preview of this year's Chelsea Flower Show, ahead of its public opening. The Queen will also make a special visit later today.

Joanna Lumley poses in front of the M&S stand at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Credit: PA
Dame Helen Mirren attends the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Credit: PA
Ringo Starr at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Credit: PA
Emilia Fox at The B&Q Sentebale Forget-Me-Not Garden. Credit: PA

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Celebrities attend Chelsea Flower Show

Celebrities have flocked to the world's most famous flower show for a sneak preview ahead of the Queen's official visit. The Chelsea Flower Show marks its centenary this year.

I love gardening but I don't have as much time to do it as I'd like - but I'm massive on veg. When you're a chef, the closer you get to nature the better.

– Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver

It's heart-breakingly beautiful in every way - it has simplicity but it also has symbolic patterns. It's so delicate.

– Actress Emilia Fox

I'm taking gnome art in a new direction. The establishment aren't happy, but I didn't play by the rules. I'm the Damien Hirst of the gnome art world.

– Comic Rob Brydon

Chelsea Flower Show gnomes to be sold on eBay

Gnomes, appearing at the Chelsea Flower Show for the first, will be sold on auction site eBay to raise money for the RHS Campaign for School Gardening.

The decorated figures will all be auctioned off on eBay from today to raise money for the £1 million RHS Centenary Appeal, marking 100 years since the first Chelsea Flower Show.

The gnomes have been designed by celebrities including Elton John and Dame Helen Mirren. Credit: eBay
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Pictures: Midlands entries at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

A Birmingham entry at The Chelsea Flower Show
A Birmingham entry at The Chelsea Flower Show Credit: ITV News Central
The RHS Great Spring Show was first held in the now vanished RHS garden in Kensington in 1862.
The RHS Great Spring Show was first held in the now vanished RHS garden in Kensington in 1862. Credit: ITV News Central
The Chelsea Flower Show has been held in the grounds of the Chelsea Hospital every year since 1913
The Chelsea Flower Show has been held in the grounds of the Chelsea Hospital every year since 1913 Credit: ITV News Central
Of the firms that exhibited at the first Show in 1913, only two are still showing: McBean’s Orchids, and Blackmore and Langdon.
Of the firms that exhibited at the first Show in 1913, only two are still showing: McBean’s Orchids, and Blackmore and Langdon. Credit: ITV News Central
It is the flower show most associated with the Royal family.
It is the flower show most associated with the Royal family. Credit: ITV News Central
Garden gnomes have returned to the show for the first time in 100 years, with some designed by celebrities
Garden gnomes have returned to the show for the first time in 100 years, with some designed by celebrities Credit: ITV News Central
Meridian

Beatle visits RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Ringo Starr speaks to exhibitors at RHS Chelsea Flower Show
Ringo Starr speaks to exhibitors at RHS Chelsea Flower Show Credit: ITV News/ Amanda Piper

Flower growers from the South of England are putting their best blooms on display at this years RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Exhibitors were very pleased to have a special visit from the former Beatle Ringo Starr.

This crocodile hides in foliage in the Hillier's exhibit
This crocodile hides in foliage in the Hillier's exhibit Credit: ITV News/ Amanda Piper
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