Plasticine 'paradise' stars at low-key Chelsea Flower Show

LONDON- A garden fashioned entirely from plasticine was the novel star attraction as the Chelsea Flower Show, Britain's annual display of gardening excellence, opened to a selected few visitors Monday.
"Paradise in Plasticine", complete with inedible vegetable patch and grapevine, is one of a series of low-key gardens this year designed to chime with the tough economic times.

Plasticine 'paradise' stars at low-key Chelsea Flower Show
Its creator, James May, the presenter of the BBC's popular motoring TV show "Top Gear", who enlisted the help of schoolchildren to make the daffodils, admitted his garden would upset purists but insisted it was no gimmick.
"They're a bit sniffy about it, some of them, because they think it's improper, but I think it's best in show," he said, in between emergency remodelling of his 'plants' after they were damaged by rain showers.
Among the favourites to win a coveted prize at the prestigious show in London is a low-budget "credit crunch" garden built with scrap and recycled materials.
Actress Helen Mirren, who won an Oscar for "The Queen", was among the celebrity visitors on Monday's preview day.
Asked about the recession-busting theme, she said: "Things like climate change and economic decline always have an effect on all of us, and inevitably you see gardening reflecting that."
She said gardening was a "fabulous thing to do in a recession" because it was a reminder of the pleasure to be gained from the simple things in life.
The real Queen Elizabeth II also made her customary annual visit to view the gardens.
The show, in its 87th year, is expected to attract more than 150,000 visitors over four days from Tuesday.

Tuesday, May 19th 2009

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