Stunning exhibit at Chelsea Flower Show honors war vets

To see photos of the actual flower carpet, click here. Photo: RHSTo see photos of the actual flower carpet, click here.
Photo: RHS

The Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show transformed the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea into a scarlet tribute to all those who have served in war.

From a distance it just looks like massive red carpet, but upon closer inspection the carpet is bordered by swaths of brilliant crimson poppies. These poppies cover almost 21,000 square feet and are actually handmade crocheted blossoms.

What started as two Australian women’s project to crotchet 120 flowers in honor of their fathers’ service during World War II quickly spread and captured the attention of many across the globe. The 5000 Poppies Project received more than 250,000 poppies from an estimated 50,000 contributors.

The winner of the the 2013 Best Show Garden, Phillip Johnson, designed the exhibit and collaborated with 5000 Poppies Project.

Johnson had originally worked with 5000 Poppies Project founders Lynn Berry and Margaret Knight in Melbourne, Australia, to create a similar installation for Federation Square in 2015.

“It captured the hearts and imaginations of people from all over the world, and inspired Phillip to present the collection at Chelsea this year,” said the Royal Horticultural Society.

Along with the contributed poppies, an additional 26,000 stemmed poppies were made for the exhibit.

A close up of some of the crocheted poppies. Photo: RHSA close up of some of the crocheted poppies.
Photo: RHS

“The 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,” RHS said.

The Chelsea Pensioners were allowed a sneak peak of the red carpet before it opens to the public tomorrow.

The poppies will be on display May 24-28 before being sent back to Australia for the centenary of the Battle of the Somme on July 1.

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