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Chelsea Flower Show to rebrand garden weeds as 'hero plants'

chelsea flower show to rebrand weeds as 'hero plants'
Weeds rebranded as 'hero plants' ahead of ChelseaWestend61 - Getty Images

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show will rebrand garden weeds as 'hero plants', with a third of Show Gardens this year set to feature brambles, thistles and knapweed.

While weeds have an unfavourable reputation, the world-famous gardening charity is urging households to stop using the term in a derogatory way, instead referring to them instead as resilient 'superweeds' or 'weed heroes'.

Sheila Das, garden manager at RHS Wisley in Surrey, told The Times: 'We used to call them plants in the wrong place. They are not. They are plants in the right place. If you've got a weed, it's telling you what's going on underground. Your weed is your adviser. It's your friend.'

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Similarly, Tom Massey at the Royal Entomological Society (RES) said that dandelions are rocket fuel for bees, adding to the beauty of your garden.

'People often get really stressed out about dandelions on the lawn but they're a good source of nectar [for bees] because they flower early in the year and they're really nice to look at,' he said. 'Even foxgloves and knapweed [are welcome]. There's a lot of stigma around the word "weed".'

garden weeds
Liudmila Alieva / EyeEm - Getty Images

Meanwhile, Cleve West, who will be building a garden at May's Chelsea Flower Show for the charity Centrepoint, added: 'Many of the wildflower so-called "weeds" will, without doubt, be the unsung heroes in the garden because we (including me) have all been conditioned to make gardens with an emphasis on aesthetics.'

Jilayne Rickards, who is designing the Fauna and Flora Garden at Chelsea, will also be adding brambles and thistles.

Elsewhere, Chelsea gardens will now be judged on their eco credentials to reflect the demands of sustainable gardening. For each garden, a clear plan needs to be in place about what will happen to the plants, flowers and structures post-show. In order to prevent waste, the RHS is pushing for more gardens to be resurrected elsewhere.

The popular flower show will run from 23rd – 27th May 2023 at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. For ticket availability, visit rhs.org.uk.

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