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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 May, 2004, 17:01 GMT 18:01 UK
Veg king gets royal appointment
Medwyn Williams
Medwyn Williams hopes for his 10th gold medal next year
Champion vegetable grower Medwyn Williams is off to the Middle East by royal invitation after his greatest triumph at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Mr Williams, 61, of Llanfairpwll, Anglesey, won the president's award, the first time a vegetable display has won the top floral prize.

He also picked up a Chelsea gold medal for the ninth year in a row.

To cap it all, he has been invited by the queen of Bahrain to judge its national vegetable show next year.

The whole thing is called a flower show, and the vegetables have sneaked in and won the top prize
Medwyn Williams
The display by Mr Williams and his wife Gwenda included potatoes, tomatoes, cauliflowers and leeks, and was the personal choice of Royal Horticultural Society president Sir Richard Carew Pole.

It is the 200th anniversary of the show, and Mr Williams said: "The fact that I've won the best exhibit in the whole show in the bicentennial year is quite moving indeed for me.

"It's like an Olympic winner having a gold medal; that's what if feels like."

Mr Williams, a retired council official, has 100 bowls of vegetables, and is already hoping to win his tenth consecutive gold next year.

But he is still enjoying this year's success with a display which featured all colours of the rainbow.

Medwyn Williams' vegetable display
The display included 6ft leeks, blue potatoes and green okra
"When we saw this little white envelope next to my gold medal I wondered what was in it - whether I had done something wrong," he said.


"When I opened it, it said 'Congratulations, Mr Williams, you have won the president's award for the best exhibit in show'."

He attributed his success to "something in my genes".

"I just enjoy growing vegetables. I try to grow things to perfection.

"I try and cheat on nature, and nature's got an uncanny way of kicking back sometimes; it doesn't always work."

He is also hoping to take his expertise to Bahrain, whose harsh climate makes it mostly desert.

He said: "The Queen of Bahrain came over and she's invited me over to judge their vegetable show there next year."

Mr Williams is delighted that vegetables have also been given due recognition at Chelsea.

"The whole thing is called a flower show, and the vegetables have sneaked in and won the top prize," he said.

"I'm very grateful for having it, (the president's prize) but also for the humble veg, because I'm always trying to lift the profile of vegetables.

"They are always on the lowest rung of the ladder in horticultural terms, with the orchids and roses and gladioli and everything else coming above them.

"And yet you can't eat those things; you can only eat vegetables."

Show flowers put on ice
01 Apr 03  |  Wales


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