New Forest nursery's Chelsea Flower Show entry based on War Horse novel

Daily Echo: Life sized steel war horse ready for its journey to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Life sized steel war horse ready for its journey to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

GREEN fingered experts are capturing the public’s attention at a world famous flower show with this wartime inspired entry.

Heucheraholics, a nursery based in Lymington, took inspiration from Michael Morpurgo’s novel War Horse for its RHS Chelsea Flower Show display.

It depicts a life-size steel horse sculpture jumped out of the trenches in an effort to get home.

A signpost in the middle is even hung with authentic German, French and English helmets.

Heucheraholics, which has been running for 12 years, specialises in growing varieties of heuchera, heaucherella, tiarella and pulmonaria plants.

So the display uses heucheras and heucherellas of different shades, which was designed to reflect the horse, the central character of the First World War novel, jumping from the dark into the light.

Co-owners Jooles Burton and Sean Atkinson have been exhibiting for the last six years and got their first gold last year.

This year’s marquee was wartime inspired, which got them thinking and after they were offered a sculpture of their choosing by Lymington sculptor Mike Turner they used the horse.

Jooles had watched the recent War Horse film, read the book and was aware it was being performed at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton which was how she came up with the idea.

It took about three months to get the piece together.

They managed to borrow the helmets from a collector and Jooles’ daughter’s friend Rachel Booty, 25, from London painted the backdrop.

But she said the most difficult item to find was the sandbags for the trench.

Jooles confessed she was disappointed when the display was awarded a silver gilt and did not get a gold.

“We thought it was the best display we’d ever done,” she said. “It really deserves a gold, it’s really innovative and creative.”

But she said it has received plenty of attention from both the public and celebrities.

This is not the first time that the Heucheraholics have attempted a themed display – they did one in the year of Kate and William’s royal wedding purple with a mini surrounded by signs with possible locations for their honeymoon.

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