Cornwall

Planting the seeds for royalty

Many businesses in the South West are busy providing the royal family with a range of goods, from crystal glasses to wheels for the royal coaches.

The leading horticulturist of the region's Suttons Seeds, Tom Sharples, said his job takes him on many royal visits.

"One of the perks for me is visiting the royal gardens. Come October, it means a trip to Sandringham and Windsor. In future it will be up to Balmoral too.

"The Royals are different. Some of them take a lot of interest in the gardens.

"The Queen and Prince Charles are very keen on the gardens. They take an interest in what's new as well."

There are royal eccentricities when it comes to the look of the gardens as well.

Mr Sharples said: "Prince Charles does like the drives raked at Sandringham so they look pristine first thing in the morning."

Suttons Seeds moved to the South West in 1976 from Reading. The company has a long royal connection.

Francijn Suermondt from the company said: "Suttons received the royal warrant back in 1861 from King Edward VII. We have held it ever since.

"We now have the warrant from the Queen and we're one of the very few consumer gardening seed companies to hold the warrant."

But will Suttons be providing the flowers for the Royal Wedding? The company said they could not say.

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