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#ChelseaFlowerShow: Ugly and urban?

Garden

London - It is more traditionally associated with roses – not high rises.

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File photo: A visitor looks at a display at the Chelsea Flower Show. Picture: Reuters

But there’s real grit in this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, which is featuring graffiti-style urban art for the first time.

Rising above the delicate blooms at this centrepiece garden are cranes, tower blocks and factory chimneys.

Sheffield artist Jo Peel created the industrial mural, which has given the flower show’s traditional image a major shake-up this year. And the 36-year-old said she doesn’t mind if visitors are offended by the creation, because she wants it to be "attention-grabbing".

She told the Daily Mail: "If people are offended it means they have taken notice. I would prefer someone to be offended than for someone to be bored."

The artist said her work is about "nature taking back the urban landscape" and hopes it might open the show up to new audiences. Her mural forms the centrepiece of the Royal Horticultural Society’s flagship show garden, called Greening Grey Britain, which has been designed by gold medal-winning gardener Nigel Dunnett and cost about £100 000.

He said he hopes the display will "change perceptions", adding: "Chelsea has quite a traditional image, a country garden image. So this garden is really attention-grabbing." 

The show opens to the public next Thursday.

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