Toby steals the show at Chelsea

Knaresborough schoolboy Toby Owen-Hughes, 7, with TV stars Tommy  Walsh and Nick Knowles at Chelsea Flower Show (S)
Knaresborough schoolboy Toby Owen-Hughes, 7, with TV stars Tommy Walsh and Nick Knowles at Chelsea Flower Show (S)
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A Knaresborough school boy has become a celebrity gardener and enjoyed a VIP trip to Chelsea after catching the eye of the the Royal Horticultural Society.

Toby Owen-Hughes, just seven years old, was invited to the prestigious show on Monday, May 20, after he won last year’s young school gardener comptition organised by the RHS.

But the young star has taken it all in his stride, managing radioand TV interviews and meetings with government ministers with panache.

Mum Sarah said: “It’s been the chance of a lifetime.

“There are no children and no gnomes allowed at Chelsea but this year it is the centenary and they are trying to raise £1m to support young gardeners.”

Sarah, a lecturer in horticulture at Askham Bryan college, said she is thrilled with Toby’s success, which has also seen him take a place on a Gardeners Question Time panel for teachers at RHS Harlow Carr in Harrogate.

But, she said, Toby has no idea of the scale of his success.

“At Chelsea he asked me ‘Who’s that man giving everyone peace signs?’ It was Ringo Starr, but he had no idea, so I told him that’s the man who sang Yellow Submarine.

“Then Toby met the Secretary of State for the Environment, and told him ‘I plant trees in Jacob Smith Park, you know’.”

Toby gardens at school at Meadowside Primary, Knaresborough, and has a patch on his family’s allotment.

And his gardening is set to progress after one company saw him tell a TV interviewer that he didn’t have a greenhouse – and sent him one of his own.