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Own a piece of RHS Chelsea Flower Show history

A charity online auction is giving 13 lucky people the chance to own a piece of RHS Chelsea Flower Show history, at the same time as raising valuable funds for Wessex Cancer Trust.

The online auction is the culmination of a very successful ‘Memory Tree’ project by Hillier Nurseries, whose charity partner is Wessex Cancer Trust. Hillier has exhibited at Chelsea for almost a century and has a record-breaking 72 gold medals. With so many amazing memories connected to the show, the ‘Memory Tree’ was created so visitors at the 2017 show could share their treasured garden memories too.

At the show, visitors signed tags to hang from the tree and wrote down their most treasured garden memory in a special book. It was a great success and by the close of Chelsea, over 500 memories were fluttering from the branches, which was quite a spectacular sight.

Alan Titchmarsh, a long-running supporter of Wessex Cancer Trust, was the first of a plethora of famous faces to take part. Dame Judi Dench, Joanna Lumley, Piers Morgan, Jo Whiley, Nigel Slater, the One Show’s Matt Baker and Alex Jones, Carol Klein, Anton du Beke, Ainsley Harriott, Nigel Havers and Cerys Matthews also signed tags.

Wessex Cancer Trust is now auctioning the commemorative tags signed by the celebrities. Each one is beautifully displayed in a frame, complete with certificate and a copy of the person’s memory.

Alan Titchmarsh, whose favourite gardening memory recalls walking among sweet peas on his grandfather’s allotment aged just one and half, commented: “It was a pleasure to visit the Hillier garden at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show and to kick off the Memory Tree. It was nice to take a moment away from the busy show to reflect on my many, many memories of gardening. Fingers crossed the auction raises lots of funds for the Wessex Cancer Trust who I have supported for many years.”

The auction is open from Friday 6 to Monday 16 October. To bid, simply visit Wessex Cancer Trust’s website at https://www.wessexcancer.org.uk/celebrity-auction.

Alongside the auction, Hillier has also launched a digital copy of the Memory Book called ‘Your Garden Memories’. The interactive book replicates the memories that were shared at Chelsea alongside photos of this year’s award-winning garden and commentary from members of the Hillier family. The book can be viewed at www.hillier.co.uk.

Wessex Cancer Trust, based in the south of England, helps and supports anyone affected by a cancer diagnosis – regardless of age, gender or type of cancer they have – during diagnosis, treatment, recovery, remission or end life.

For more information please visit www.hillier.co.uk or follow Hillier on Facebook or Twitter.

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