A field of poppies at Chelsea

Visitors to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show experienced an exhibit in the spirit of the Tower of London poppy display

Chelsea Hospital poppy displayA breathtaking display of thousands of handmade poppies adorned the vista from the showground to the Royal Hospital this year.

Designer Phillip Johnson, who won Best Show Garden in 2013, is the creator behind the poignant flower exhibit. Using almost 300,000 individually crocheted poppies, Phillip’s garden design covered nearly 2,000sq m (21,000sq ft).

With more than 20 years’ creative experience, Phillip Johnson is recognised as a pioneer of Australian sustainable landscape design. In 2013 his Trailfinders Australian Garden was awarded Gold and Best Show Garden at Chelsea.

Remembrance tribute that sparked the idea

Margaret Knight, Lynn Berry, Phillip JohnsonPhillip collaborated with the 5000 Poppies Project on the design of his spectacular tribute garden. The design stems from an installation at Melbourne’s Federation Square on Anzac Day 2015.

Creators of the 5000 Poppies project, Lynn Berry and Margaret Knight, initially set out to crochet 120 poppies to honour their fathers who both fought in the Second World War, but this quickly escalated into a final total well in excess of quarter of a million poppies from an estimated 50,000 contributors.

Each poppy holds a memory

Individual hand made poppiesThe poppies have been beautifully handmade as a tribute to those who served in all wars, creating a thread of connection to servicemen and women in the armed forces. Each of the hand-knitted and crocheted flowers was individually crafted by people from a range of cultures, and communities and ages, from two to 102 years old.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.