Tory Chief Whip plants bulbs of Liberty at Kew
Lord Taylor of Holbeach, Tory Chief Whip in the House of Lords, joined a gathering of dignities including Major (Retd) Kenneth George Mayhew RMWO (above) bearer of the highest Dutch military Medal of Valour, Sir Nicholas Soames and Margriet Leemhuis,Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands at Kew Gardens this week for the Flags of Liberty bulb planting ceremony.
40,000 bulbs supplied by JUB Holland have been planted in a mosaic depicting the flags of The Netherlands and the UK in commemoration of the liberation of the Netherlands in 1944-45 by the British and Allied forces. During the ceremony Sir Nicholas Soames MP spoke about liberty and co-operation and his grandfathers love of gardening - there are 39 different roses bearing the name Sir Winston Churchill planted at Chartwell.
The bulb mosaic at Kew is one of two planted in the UK this autumn. Another has been planted at Lincoln Cathedral where a new Bomber Command visitor centre will be built next year.
Major Mayhew (97), who played an important role in the liberation of the Dutch cities of Venray and Weert and in the battle of Overloon, baptised the tulip on behalf of all Allied Forces who were involved in the liberation of the Netherlands.
Representatives of British, Australian, Canadian, New Zealand, Polish and US forces were also present, as was Major-General Hoitink, Director of Operational Readiness, on behalf of the Dutch Chief of Defence Staff.
The bulb planting ceremony was the latest milestone in a flower-themed commemoration project that will run until May 2015, when 70 years of freedom will be celebrated in the Netherlands. The Tulips for Liberators project is a collaboration of the Liberation Route Europe, Keukenhof Holland, JUB Holland and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the UK.
GTN Xtra looks forward to re-visiting Kew Gardens in April/May when the mosaic will be in full bloom.
Idea for Garden Centres: Could you plant a mosaic of bulbs to greet your customers next spring? We'd love to see pictures of your bulb planting ceremonies - and the results. They would both make great local press coverage.
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