Chelsea prize for 
celebrated florists

jpco-29-5-13 Sue Flight at Gravetye Manor who won a silver award at the Chelsea Flower show (Pic by Jon Rigby)
jpco-29-5-13 Sue Flight at Gravetye Manor who won a silver award at the Chelsea Flower show (Pic by Jon Rigby)

A florist took a prize home from the Chelsea Flower Show - despite changing her display at the last minute.

Sue Flight, of Turners Hill, stayed up all night making the arrangements and won a Silver Gilt award at the centenary show.

Head florist at Gravetye Manor, West Hoathley, Sue’s flower arrangement included birch twigs, red and white roses and delphiniums.

She said: “I’m quite glad. I didn’t think I would get anything because I changed my mind on the day, so I was quite chuffed.

“I didn’t like how the original design was going so I changed and it paid off.”

Entrants to the 100th annual show had to go further than usual to prove their credentials to the Royal Horticultural Society.

But this was easy enough for 2011 silver gilt winner Sue whose display was featured on the front page of the 2013 brochure.

The veteran contender has entered around half a dozen shows at Chelsea.

She had also won first prize at a world championship in Japan and represented Sussex at national competitions.

She added: “I don’t do it too often because you have to stay up all night, it has to be fresh on the Monday morning.

“It was amazing seeing all the celebrities like Ringo Starr.”

Horley-based eye-care charity SeeAbility also came away from the flower show with an honour. Its thought-provoking ‘Sight Loss’ garden won a Silver Gilt medal.

Designed by Darren Hawkes, it was created to encourage visitors and TV viewers to consider the impact of sight loss.

It included striking hard landscaping and planting to conceptually represent four specific sight conditions.

The garden has been visited by the Queen and Prince Philip.

Formerly the Royal School for the Blind, SeeAbility supports adults with sight loss and additional disabilities at its Horley residential home Woodlands.