Alan Titchmarsh, the broadcaster and writer, criticised what he called a total lack of investment in horticultural science at the launch of the Chelsea Flower Show 2013 today.
Next May marks the centenary of the world-famous show, and the organisers, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), will use the anniversary to launch a Centenary Appeal, aiming to raise £1m to train the next generation of gardeners.
Mr Titchmarsh, whose first appearance for the BBC at Chelsea was in 1983, said he didn’t want to single out a particular political party, but he was disappointed by the performance of the current Government, who were supposed to be “the people of the Shires, the people who understand how the countryside works”.
The first RHS spring show was held in Kensington, central London, in 1862, and consisted of two marquees. It moved to its Chelsea site in 1913, and attracts 40,000 visitors per day.