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Prince Charles and Camilla full of praise for Mellis couple's Sandringham Flower Show display



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A pair of florists from Suffolk were given the chance of a lifetime to dazzle Charles and Camilla during a display at Sandringham last week.

During a visit to Sandringham Flower Show on Wednesday, July 27, the Duchess of Cornwall was full of praise for Eileen and Tim Tordoff, who run Tin Shed Flower Farm – an artisan flower farm from their home in The Common, Mellis.

After moving to Suffolk from Colorado three years ago, the mother-and-father-of-three soon became involved with Flowers from the Farm – a non-profit organisation that champions independent horticulturalists.

The Tordoffs at their home in Mellis, Suffolk. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2022.
The Tordoffs at their home in Mellis, Suffolk. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2022.

On Wednesday, they were trusted to lead the group’s display at the annual show.

The display, located in The Royal Tent, included a nine-foot floral arch and antique bird table with flowers flowing out of it.

To the delight of Mr and Mrs Tordoff, 66 and 67, respectively, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall stopped by on Wednesday morning and were full of praise.

Prince Charles and Camilla arrived in at the festival in style – sat in the back of a horse-drawn carriage.
Prince Charles and Camilla arrived in at the festival in style – sat in the back of a horse-drawn carriage.

“It was quite an honour,” said Mrs Tordoff, who spent 30 years working as a florist before retiring. “We are still buzzing about it.

“Camilla loved the display so much she wanted to pose in front of them. Later, I was asked to make a bouquet to present to her. It was very exciting.

“She was very gracious and said she was a keen gardener herself and spoke to us about how wonderful it was to be sustainable.”

The Tordoff's display at Sandringham last week. Picture: Eileen Tordoff.
The Tordoff's display at Sandringham last week. Picture: Eileen Tordoff.

Charles and Camilla had arrived at the 139th incarnation of the show in a carriage to huge fanfare.

The previous two flower shows had been cancelled due to the pandemic.

After the Royal Tent was opened to the wider public later that afternoon, many of the 20,000 people in attendance flocked there to have a look at the displays for themselves.

“We spoke to the attendants about the importance of buying seasonal, British flowers,” added Mrs Tordoff.

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall spent time chatting with display holders at the festival.
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall spent time chatting with display holders at the festival.

“It was all very well received. We spoke about how there are zero air miles with British flowers – we like to say that our ethos is ‘grown, not flown’.

So impressive was their display that the it was awarded a ‘Super Gold’ award by judges.

Mr and Mrs Tordoff, the latter a former farrier and blacksmith, moved to Suffolk following their retirement and quickly established the Tin Shed Flower Farm, where they grow locally-sourced flowers and plan to start a series of workshops.

“When we retired, we knew we wanted to grow flowers and wanted somewhere with a good growing climate. Given that we already had family around here, it seemed like a logical choice,” added Mrs Tordoff.

“As soon as we got here, we hit the ground running.”

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