Thorncroft Clematis nursery in Reymerston going for gold at Chelsea Flower Show
A family-run nursery is going for gold for the sixth time at this year's Chelsea Flower Show.
Thorncroft Clematis in Reymerston, near Dereham, will be exhibiting 500 clematises – including 60 varieties – at the prestigious event from next Tuesday until Saturday, May 26.
Peter Skeggs-Gooch, 31, one of the directors of the business, said: 'Clematises bring impact to the garden because of the large diversity of colour and the size of flower. They stand out and make people go wow.'
The business was set up in 1989 by his parents Ruth, 58, and Jon Gooch, 59, who are also directors of the nursery.
Mr Gooch said: 'It is like collecting key rings or stamps. Once you start collecting them, you want more.'
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His wife said: 'We do it because we love it.'
She added that they have always loved gardening and her father, Geoffrey Tolver, 85, was also interested in clematis plants.
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The nursery received its first medal from the Chelsea Flower Show in 2001, which was a silver gilt.
But it was in 2007 when Thorncroft Clematis won its first gold medal.
'We never dreamt we would be so successful. I cried when I got the first gold medal,' Mrs Gooch added.
Included in this year's entry, which will take four days and four people to put together, are plants with a family connection.
The Dorothy Tolver is named after Mrs Gooch's mother, who died last April.
Mr Tolver cultivated the pink plant by cross pollination – a common way to create new clematis varieties – and it is now grown across the world.
Another type created by Mr Tolver in 2004, called Fond Memories, will also be on display at Chelsea Flower Show.
The Pat Coleman variety, cultivated at the nursery in memory of a regular customer from Hingham, will also be featured in the display.
Mr Skeggs-Gooch said: 'To have achieved five gold medals in a row makes our little Norfolk nursery a high achiever among many.'
Another exhibitor aiming for a top prize at the show this year is Peter Beales Roses, from Attleborough.
Visitors will be able to walk through the flowers in a natural garden setting.
Peter Beales Roses has won 18 gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show since 1989.
Included in this year's display will be a Queen's Jubilee Rose.