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TRH tour BBC Gardeners' World Live at the NEC in Birmingham

15th June 2005

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall toured the BBC Gardeners‘ World Live at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham, one of the country's leading garden exhibitions.

Their Royal Highnesses visited a number of the exhibits at the show including one created by the UK's only blueberry farm.

The couple visited two Shakespeare-themed gardens, one by students at Derby College and another inspired by Anne Hathaway‘s cottage at Stratford-upon-Avon. There was also a sensory garden for people with visual impairment.

Her Royal Highness was presented with a rose which was named after her, the Rosa Duchess of Cornwall.

A donation from the sale of each plant will go to the National Osteoporosis Society (NOS), a charity which The Duchess has been involved with for many years and became President of in 2001.

The Duchess was presented with the soft-pink flower by Marilyn Stevens, Project Manager for Roses UK, and Terry Eccles, Chief Executive of the NOS.

The plant, which has dark and glossy foliage and is described as having a spicy fragrance, was created by Roses UK, which represents growers of the flower in the UK.

A spokesman for Roses UK said: “It‘s a privilege to be given the opportunity to name this rose for Her Royal Highness.

“It seemed a particularly fitting time to do so, celebrating her recent marriage, recognising her dedicated work for the National Osteoporosis Society and welcoming her to the rose feature at Gardeners‘ World Live.”

The Prince is passionate about gardening and designed his organic garden at Highgrove from scratch.

The Prince and The Duchess met six three to five-year-olds from St Andrew's Benn Church of England Primary School in Rugby, Warwickshire.

Along with around 50 other pupils, and with the help of designer Simon Venn, the children had been involved in creating their own garden for the exhibition.

Five-year-old Katie Maycoss, from St Andrew‘s Benn Church of England Primary School in Rugby, Warwickshire, presented The Duchess with a posy of flowers before Their Royal Highnesses were shown around the exhibit.

The display includes easy-to-grow chives, oregano, lettuce and even recycled materials with plants growing out of discarded baked bean tins from the school canteen.

Other plants had been grown in brightly-painted car tyres as makeshift pots. Schoolteacher Sue Ainley said The Prince was very impressed by the garden, which will be taken back to the school after the exhibition.

“He was really interested,” she said. “He said what we have given them is something for life.

“The Duchess was saying it was fantastic and the children would remember this and be able to appreciate gardening for the rest of their lives.”

Mr Venn, the designer of the garden, added: “It is very important for children to learn about growing things and how things take time and patience to grow.”