Jails chief gets floral tribute

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The Independent Online
GLENDA COOPER

A garden dedicated to the head of the prison service is one of the star exhibits at this week's Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, the world's largest annual gardening event.

"Del's Meat and Veg", produced by the inmates of Leyhill Prison, Gloucestershire, is one of 25 show gardens on display in the palace grounds, south-west of London.

The Del in question is Derek Lewis, the head of the prison service: "He's our boss, you see, and he's called Del to his friends," said Jeff Goundrill, Leyhill's estates manager. "Whether I'll be one of his friends or not when he finds out, we'll have to wait and see."

On Thursday, the Prince of Wales will open the restored Privy Garden of William III, which replicates a garden completed in 1702. Historical Royal Palaces did two-and-a-half years' research to reproduce the garden by studying original bills and lists of flowers and shrubs planted there.

The show, now in its sixth year, runs from Wednesday to Sunday. It is open from 10am to 7.30pm (5.30 on Saturday).

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