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Last updated: 01 June, 2007 - Published 13:01 GMT
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Special award for Sri Lanka in Chelsea

Sri Lankan high Commissioner (3rd left) and  Peter Buckley, President, Royal Horticultural Society in front of Sri Lankan stall at Chelsea Flower Show
HE Kshenuka Senewiratne (3rd left) declared open the Sri Lankan stall organised by Borneo Exotics

"This is the best flower show in the world," says Ramya, a Sri Lankan woman delighted with the combination of different kind of flower on display in Chelsea Flower Show.

She was among the thousands of visitors in the stall organised by Borneo Exotics, the company that represented Sri Lanka in the show.

The company has been representing Sri Lanka in the prestigious show for the last three years.

"Our company is based in Lindula, Thalawakele" says a delighted Robert Kenley who has just won a special award for the display of Baandura flowers.

Marlin Wimalasena with Baandura flowers
'Baandura' and 'Habarala' on display at Sri Lankan stall

"Different colours and different species of Banndura are on display here," he said.

The stall was declared open by Sri Lankan High Commissioner in London, HE Kshenuka Senewiratne.

Kandyan dancers performed in front of the Sri Lankan stall on the opening day to celebrate the event.

It was for the first time that a Sri Lankan cultural presentation was staged at the Chelsea Flower Show.

“At a time demand for Sri Lankan live plants and foliage in the UK has shown an increasing trend, the success of Borneo Exotics is expected to provide further impetus to the Sri Lankan horticultural exports” a statement by the Sri Lankan High Commission in London said.

Kandyan dancers
A Sri Lankan cultural presentation was staged for the first time at the Chelsea Flower Show

Robert Kenley expressed concern that effects of global warming are threatening many special species in the wild.

Apart from Baandura, many other Sri Lankan plants were bought from another botanical garden in London, according to Malin Wimalasena, an organiser of the Sri Lankan stall.

Habarala and Kenda trees were also on display in Sri Lankan garden.

"We brought it from Kew gardens," says Malin Wimalasena.

The show has been criticised as focusing only on an elitist group mainly due to expensive ticket prices.

But many visitors disagree.

Jean, a Sri Lankan woman, has already been to the show in nine consecutive years.

"I think the price we paid is very much worth for somebody who enjoys gardening," she said.

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