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Stewart Lees at Chelsea

Ever get coriander confused with cumin? Or wonder just what exactly curry powder is made out of? We often think that the fresh and fragrant herbs in Stewart Lees paintings might help you with these and many other culinary questions. The bright zesty greens of fresh basil or the tightly coloured variegated leaves of a tasty thyme plant are as delicious in his compositions as they are on your plate.

Wandering around the Chelsea Flower Show of course gives you a chance to marvel at a huge range of culinary and edible plants and flowers at every turn. Many of the specialist nurseries and growers in the Great Pavilion focus on herbs, fruits and vegetables that really make your mouth water.

The 2017 Chelsea Plant of the Year came from this category and was a dwarf mulberry tree that was years in the making. Mulberry ‘Charlotte Russe’ (‘Matsunaga’) is the result of many years of work by 89-year-old breeder Hajime Matsunaga.


Exhibited by the Horticultural Trades Association, found on exhibits in the Great Pavilion and on Chris Evans Taste Garden this compact dwarf mulberry tree is the perfect size for small gardens and patios. The self-pollinating plant reaches only 1.5m and produces berries from June to September on plants that are only one year old – most mulberry plants take around eight years to mature.

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Stewart found plenty of inspiration throughout the Flower Show, like this. Whilst  on our stand he was capturing on panel a favourite citrus – his zingy lemon. His composition included a not insignificant piece of a Victorian banister, this huge piece of wood was for the lemon and it’s requisite leaves to carefully balance on. We think he mastered a really lovely composition which summed up perfectly the spirit of the Chelsea Flower Show 2017.


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