Meet Royal Parks gardeners who grow 250,000 flowers for UK capital's parks

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By Thomas Hill  with AP
Rob Dowling, Royal Parks Nursery, Manager
Rob Dowling, Royal Parks Nursery, Manager   -   Copyright  AP Photo

Hidden in Hyde Park, a dozen high-tech greenhouses grow a quarter of a million plants for London's eight royal parks every year.

The plants are grown from seed or cuttings and kept in twelve different zones at the nursery.

"We grow around 400 varieties of plants," said Rob Dowling, Royal Parks nursery manager. 

"That ranges from everything from these pelargoniums -- which will go in front of Buckingham Palace -- to some more herbaceous type plants that will go to Richmond Park," Dowling explained.

In 2018, almost €6 million was spent on the nursery, and now the greenhouses have automatic vents and screens that can respond to weather conditions to help ensure the plants have just the right amount of sunlight.

This year the flowers grown in the nursery will be displayed for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations, marking Elizabeth II's 70 years on the throne.