An ex-dairy farmer who changed tack to set up a nursery business has scooped a Gold Medal at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show at the first attempt.
Barry Proctor of Proctors Nursery in Brown Edge scooped the accolade for his Great Pavilion exhibit which featured a “Potteries Tea Hut”.
His display of herbaceous perennials and annuals wowed visitors to the show with its colourful blooms and Staffordshire theme.
Barry’s aim was to “put Stoke-on-Trent on the map” and the exhibit featured bottle oven sculptures and Potteries ceramics inside the hut.
The show veteran created the tea hut from his daughter’s Wendy house.
He has previously won top prizes at RHS Tatton Park, RHS Chatsworth and RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival flower shows – but he entered Chelsea to raise the profile of his website sales in the south of England.
“Chelsea is the pinnacle and it was absolutely inspiring to be there,” said Barry, 53. “To rub shoulders with the other exhibitors who are at the top of their game was fantastic.
“I was born and bred in North Staffordshire and it was a good opportunity to promote our Potteries heritage.”
The Gold-winning flower display included lupins, delphiniums, citronella, poppies and foxgloves.
The flowers were nurtured over a nine-month period with intense work in the nursery’s polytunnels in the last month before the show.
Proctors Nursery is a family-run business which was established in 1999.
It has grown to its present size of 18 acres of production at Endon and Brown Edge.
Barry moved out of his fourth-generation farming business in 2000 for a “fresh start,” handing over the running of the farm next door to the nursery to his son and daughter.
Proctors specialises in herbaceous perennials, shrubs and hedging together with new and unusual perennials.