Plants grown at Harper Adams University College are featuring at this year’s Chelsea Show which opens on Tuesday, 22 May.

To celebrate the 250th anniversary of engineer Thomas Telford’s birth, Telford and Wrekin Council have been working with staff at Harper Adams, to create the Thomas Telford Toll House Garden.

It is one of only 19 show garden entries this year and has been inspired by the tollhouses Telford created along the road from London to Holyhead.

Mark Hall, grounds manager and senior glasshouse technician, Jan Haycox began working on the project last year.

They researched and sourced authentic seeds of the 1830’s and then painstakingly nurtured and grew the plants using traditional methods.

It was extremely important to reproduce the exact variety that would have been grown in the 1830’s instead of buying seed from any garden centre because these would have been hybrid plants.

The garden will include more than 60 vegetables and herbs grown at Harper Adams, from beetroot and cabbage to lesser known plants, such as cardoon and skirret, which were extremely popular with the Victorians.

The garden will be seen by royalty, national and international garden experts and thousands of visitors, and will be the subject of television broadcasts to countries around the world.