Diarmuid loses the plot at Chelsea

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The Independent Online

Diarmuid Gavin ruffled the gardening establishment by winning prestigious silver-gilt medals in two Chelsea Flower Shows with his obscure designs. But now he seems to have trampled on a tulip too many.

The Home Front presenter's quest for a gold medal at this year's show has been kiboshed by the organisers, the Royal Horticultural Society, who have rejected his latest plans. "Diarmuid submitted a design that was not considered suitable as a Chelsea Flower Show garden," an RHS spokeswoman said. "The panel met three times and made a decision to reject it." The Irishman, a pin-up in many a potting sheds, was said to be furious at the snub.

He has had a turbulent relationship with horticulture's elite. In 2004, he instigated a row with Chelsea organisers and competitors when it was revealed he had not secured sufficient funding for his Colourful Suburban Eden garden, filled with brightly coloured "giant lottery balls" on sticks. He admitted falsely telling organisers he had secured sponsorship for the entry, but still won a silver-gilt flora award.

During the same show, he was filmed having a row with a neighbouring competitor, Gardener's Question Time panellist Bunny Guinness, over the height of a wall. He branded her "rude, elitist and a snob".

Show organisers described Gavin as "a complete nightmare", saying his £250,0000 garden cost more than it should have because of his disorganised approach. Last year it seemed he had been welcomed back, again winning a silver-gilt for a "communal space" filled with concrete pods and lavender.

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