A Powys nurserywoman scored an impressive double win on her successful return to this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.  

Claire Austin is celebrating a double win at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show. She was awarded RHS Silver-Gilt medals for both her courtyard exhibit of perennials and her garden of bearded irises – seven years after she last took part in the show.

Ms Austin, from Sarn near Newtown, returned as she celebrates her 40-year career in horticulture and the 40th anniversary of her first visit to the show.

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“We are absolutely delighted to be back at Chelsea and so pleased to have been awarded two RHS Silver-Gilt medals,” said Ms Austin.

“This spring of cold weather and low light levels made preparing plants for Chelsea particularly challenging. And we didn’t make it easy for ourselves, of course, by taking on two judged exhibits for the first time either."


Ms Austin appeared with Joe Swift for Episode two of BBC Gardeners’ World Chelsea programme, the programme had visited the nursery to film Claire’s preparations earlier this month and caught up with her to see the finished displays. Monday ended with a visit to her stand by Queen Camilla, who is a keen gardener and flower arranger.

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Her Iris Courtyard Garden exhibit was planted with bearded irises in a range of colours from pure white and pale pink to the cerise, blue, purple, yellow orange, brown and deepest black and the striking two-tone varieties.

The adjacent Perennial Courtyard exhibit offered a contemporary twist on the cottage garden, inspired in part by the front garden at her new site at White Hopton Farm.

At the heart of both exhibits is an urn arrangement by Luna Bloom brimming with irises, late spring perennials and peonies, favourites of artisan flower farmers and flower arrangers alike.

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Ms Austin has won multiple awards for her show exhibits and is a highly regarded garden writer. Her most recent publications include ‘Peonies’ and ‘Claire Austin’s Book of Perennials’. She was also ranked amongst the 100 Leading Women in Horticulture by Horticulture Week.

Members of the public will be able to see Ms Austin’s work soon at her team will be opening their site at White Hopton Farm in Sarn on Thursday June 8 and Friday June 9 between 10am and 4pm.

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Visitors will be able to explore the Claire Austin Hardy Plants peat-free nursery, the National Collections of Bearded Irises and Hybrid Herbaceous Peonies and the gardens at White Hopton Farm.

There will be refreshments and plants for sale. The entrance fee will be £7.00.

“It’s been a tremendous nursery team effort and we are so happy with the result,” said Ms Austin.

“Now we can’t wait to show our displays off to Chelsea visitors this week and then to open our Powys flower fields and perennial gardens for charity to plant-lovers on June 8 and 9.”