Gardeners' Question Time to mark 75th year with Chelsea Flower Show exhibit

The BBC Radio 4 programme will also mark its milestone anniversary on Friday with a special show.

BBC Radio 4 Gardeners’ Question Time (GQT) will celebrate its 75th anniversary with its first garden exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show next month.

Designed by GQT panellist and RHS Chelsea medal winner Matthew Wilson, it will be a “playful and relaxing space” featuring plants frequently asked about on the programme.

The exhibit will also have an on-site recording studio, based out of a retro camper van, where visitors can put a question to a GQT radio panellist.

Rendering of the BBC Radio 4 Gardeners’ Question Time garden exhibit for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show (BBC Radio 4 Gardeners’ Question Time/PA)

GQT presenters will be there for sessions throughout the show week and visitors may find their question featured on air at a later date.

The exhibit will also include GQT artefacts, some personal presenter rarities, and familiar pieces of historic gardening equipment that will track the evolution of gardening and the Radio 4 show across more than seven decades.

Wilson said: “I am thrilled to be designing the first ever Gardeners’ Question Time garden exhibit for this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

“Gardening has helped so many of us through these difficult times, and this spring I look forward to sharing the wealth of wisdom from the GQT team in person with our many listeners.”

The Chelsea Flower Show, hosted by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), will be held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London from May 24-28.

Gemma Lake, show manager at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, said: “We’re thrilled to have such a renowned and well respected gardening programme at RHS Chelsea as it returns to its usual spring dates.

“It’s especially fitting for this milestone anniversary, and what better way to celebrate than to be amongst our thousands of visitors who are so passionate about horticulture?

BBC Radio 4 Gardeners’ Question Time panellist
BBC Radio 4 Gardeners’ Question Time panellist

“Matthew’s design not only reflects the last 75 years of gardening, gardens and GQT, but also features wildlife-friendly planting, which is a key theme across the show this year.”

To mark 75 years of GQT on Friday, presenter Kathy Clugston will host a special episode celebrating the years of “expert gardening advice” and the “odd patch of horticultural silliness”.

The show will feature new material and archive clips from 1947 to the present day.

Other familiar GQT panellists, including Pippa Greenwood, James Wong, and Ashley Edwards, will also make an appearance during the milestone episode, which will look back on how things have progressed over 75 years.

The programme first broadcast on April 9 1947, titled How Does your Garden Grow – A Gardeners’ Question Time, featuring a panel of three gardening authorities taking questions from an audience of amateur gardeners.

Gardeners’ Question Time: 75th Anniversary Celebration is on Radio 4 on Friday April 8 at 3pm and on BBC Sounds.

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