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Stars among the flowers at Chelsea

lauren turner

CELEBRITIES flocked to London for a sneak preview of the world's most famous flower show as it celebrated its centenary year.

Among those getting the first glimpse at this year's blooms were baker Mary Berry, gardening expert Alan Titchmarsh and actress Joanna Lumley.

One of the most popular photocalls at the Chelsea Flower Show was for Dame Helen Mirren.

"We all dream our gardens can be like these, but of course in reality they're full of dead leaves and mess," the actress said.

"It's also very important that we must understand how important nature is... and how we're in danger of losing that."

Comic Rob Brydon joked: "I'm taking gnome art in a new direction.

"The establishment aren't happy, but I didn't play by the rules. I'm the Damien Hirst of the gnome art world."

Former Beatle Ringo Starr posed wearing a garland of flowers at a garden promoting the work of charity WaterAid, which gives people in poor countries access to clean water.

"I'd like to congratulate Chelsea, 100 years and I've been here from the first year," he joked.

The Queen, patron of the Royal Horticultural Society, was given a short tour by Prince Harry around a garden created by his charity, Sentebale, which helps vulnerable children in Lesotho.

Zara Phillips, who visited her cousin Harry's garden, was asked how important gardening was for future generations. She said: "All kids grow up in a garden playing, so I guess it does play a part in their lives."

Model Jerry Hall said: "I've been coming for many years, but this show is absolutely amazing. It's a great year."

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