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This Year’s Chelsea Flower Show Features 300,000 Spectacular Crocheted Poppies

The display honours all the servicemen and women who have fought in wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations over the last 100 years.

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There's a display of over 300,000 individually crocheted poppies, covering an area of 2,000 square metres, in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea as part of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The display is reminiscent of the "Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red" installation by artist Paul Cummins, which saw 888,246 ceramic poppies at the Tower of London in 2014.


The project started in 2013, when Lynn Berry and Margaret Knight, both from Melbourne, decided to crochet 120 poppies to honour their fathers, who fought in World War II.

The endeavour subsequently blossomed into a global outpouring of respect and remembrance.

Yui Mok / PA WIRE

Piper Michael Shanahan, a 70-year-old Chelsea Pensioner, plays at the 5000 Poppies exhibit.

When contributors started pitching in, the target grew to 5,000 handmade poppies, earning the exhibit the title of “5000 Poppies”. That's still its name, even though the number of poppies had passed 300,000 poppies by 2015.

The display was installed in Melbourne’s Federation Square on Anzac (Australian New Zealand Army Corps) Day 2015, along with simultaneous installations in many states throughout Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore.

In March 2015, the project teamed up with landscape designer Phillip Johnson to present a community tribute garden at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show that was seen by over a million people.

Yui Mok / PA WIRE

Co-creators Margaret Knight (left) and Lynn Berry with designer Philip Johnson at the "5000 Poppies" exhibit at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.


After a further installation in Melbourne’s Federation Square in 2015, the project's creators were then invited to showcase it at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016.

Watch a video about the story of "5000 Poppies":

View this video on YouTube

Matt Tucker is the UK Picture Editor for BuzzFeed and is based in London.

Contact Matthew Tucker at

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