Holbeach’s part in Queen’s jubilee river pageant

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Flowers grown in Holbeach were used to decorate the royal barge carrying the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh in Sunday’s Diamond Jubilee River Pageant.

Gardener and barge decoration designer Rachel de Thame used one of the Queen’s favourite flowers in her design, the daffodil.

Johnnie Walkers, of Walkers Bulbs, the mail order division of Taylors Bulbs, said he hadn’t been given a sneak preview of the design but believed Rachel planned to use them in four pots.

He said: “They only wanted about 100 bulbs but we have grown about 400 because we have done 100 in four different varieties.

“For such a prestigious job it was belt and braces twice over to make sure we didn’t mess up because there is no second chance.

“It’s a great honour for somebody to ring me up and say we know you are the only person who can do it. It was a bit late when they rang but I pulled back some of the Chelsea flowers and produced these two weeks later.”

The varieties sent to London were Best Seller, Golden Aura, Golden Joy and Malvern City.