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Page last updated at 17:46 GMT, Wednesday, 29 July 2009 18:46 UK
The Sandringham Flower Show '09
Sandringham Flower Show 2008
The Sandringham Flower Show attracts almost as much wildlife as it does people

The annual Sandringham Flower Show took place on Wednesday, 29 July, 2009, with thousands of visitors arriving on the royal estate.

The 128th west Norfolk show was attended by HRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

The Help For Heroes charity garden was a focal point, with it winning a Large Gold Medal in the royal prizes.

Television gardeners Chris Beardshaw and Alan Mason also answered the public's gardening questions.

The Sandringham Flower Show is one of the biggest one-day shows in Britain organised on a voluntary basis and it has a reputation for friendliness and high standards.

The Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall attended the festival in 2008

It was originally started to encourage tenants on the estate to keep their gardens well tended and tidy.

The Royal family has always taken a keen interest in it. The Queen Mother visited every year, and HRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have also followed the tradition.

Public gardens

A range of public gardens were on show at the event, all battling out to win the People's Choice Award. The regular royal prizes were also given to a range of British and exotic flowers and vegetables in the Royal Marquees.

Two celebrity gardeners judged the horticultural prizes in 2009. Chris Beardshaw is a garden designer who's had awards at the Chelsea Flower Show and exhibits at major RHS shows.

Alan Mason runs a garden design business, but he reached a wide audience with his TV series Gardens Without Borders.

The pair also lectured in the Gardeners' Forum Marquee accompanied by BBC Radio Norfolk gardener Martyn Davey.

Certificates were awarded for Gold, Silver Gilt, Silver and Bronze Awards and the Best in Show in each category.

There was also a certificate for the People's Choice Award, voted for by the public attending the show.

One of the highlights of the 2009 show was a garden designed in honour of Britain's armed forces and the Help For Heroes charity.

Chris Beardshaw
TV gardener Chris Beardshaw will be answering your gardening questions

The original design saw a Sultan tracked command vehicle (an eight tonne tank) from RAF Honington, sunk into the Sandringham turf to form the centrepiece of the garden.

In addition to the military presence, there was a flypast of Tornados from RAF Marham to honour the Help For Heroes charity, which has raised millions of pounds to help wounded or injured members of the armed forces.

Heart-stopping display

There may be tension in the competition gardens, but the Sandringham Flower Show was more than just about flowers.

In the main ring, visitors saw a heart-stopping display by the Bolddog Lings Motorcycle Display Team and the Royal Signals Freefall Parachute Display Team tumbling from the sky.

The Minden Band of the Queen's Division also brought rhythm and music to the festival, as they led the royal parade onto the showground.

The Sandringham Flower Show took place on Wednesday, 29 July, 2009.

View photographs of the show here.

In pictures: Sandringham Flower Show
29 Jul 09 |  Nature & Outdoors



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