Deborah James visits Chelsea Flower Show to see rose named after her

·2 min read
BBC presenter Sophie Raworth with Deborah James  (Handout)
BBC presenter Sophie Raworth with Deborah James (Handout)

Dame Deborah James has visited the Chelsea Flower Show with her husband to see a rose which bears her name.

Dame Deborah, known as Bowel Babe online after raising awareness of bowel cancer, revealed earlier this month that she was receiving end-of-life care at her family home in Surrey.

The 40-year-old saw the namesake bloom on display during a private tour on Tuesday evening, according to the BBC, where she was accompanied by her husband Sebastien Bowen.

 (BBC)
(BBC)

The visit was organised by BBC presenter Sophie Raworth and the Royal Horticultural Society.

Dame Deborah, who was recently honoured with a damehood by the Duke of Cambridge at her home for her “tireless campaigning” efforts, told the broadcaster: “Flowers are a reminder of our future. We plant the seed not knowing what we might see grow.

“Being around nature gives us a lift and it is a reminder that life continues to blossom, even in some of the hardest places, and brings a smile to all of our faces, even in the hardest of times - particularly mine.”

A short video shared by the BBC shows Dame Deborah arriving to see her rose, saying “This is amazing", and raising a glass of champagne to commemorate the moment.

She revealed on her social media recently that World of Roses and the Harkness Rose Company had named a rose after her.

The presenter of the BBC podcast You, Me And The Big C, said of her flower: “Roses are my favourite flowers and I hope this one will brighten the smiles for all!”.

She said on Instagram, “what breaks my heart and brings me the most beautiful thought, is that this variety will and can now be grown forever", adding that she hoped one day that her daughter, Eloise, may have the rose as part of her wedding bouquet.

The rose is described as a floribunda which “produces masses of white blooms with a subtle ‘ballet slipper pink’ centre, as Deborah would say!", the Harkness Rose Company said.

 (Deborah James Instagram)
(Deborah James Instagram)

Money from the sale of each Dame Deborah James Rose will be paid to Bowelbabe Fund for Cancer Research UK.

Dame Deborah has to date raised more than £6.5 million for cancer charities through her Bowelbabe fund on Just Giving.

She set herself an initial target of £250,000 and has received donations from a huge number of supporters, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Her second book, How To Live When You Could Be Dead, will be published on August 18, she revealed earlier this month.

Deborah James aka the Bowel Babe

The Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show in London is back in its May slot for the first time since 2019, after being cancelled in 2020 and moved to September for 2021 due to the pandemic.

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