Dame Deborah James visits the Chelsea Flower Show on a private tour to view her rose
Dame Deborah James visited the Chelsea Flower Show with her husband to see a rose named after her.
The 40-year-old podcast host, known as Bowel Babe online after campaigning to raise awareness for bowel cancer, revealed two weeks ago that she was receiving end-of-life care in her family home in Surrey.
She saw the flower on display during a private viewing on Tuesday evening, the BBC said, where she was accompanied by her husband Sebastien Bowen, with the viewing organized by BBC presenter Sophie Raworth and the Royal Horticultural Society.
Dame Deborah, who was recently honored with a Dame’s Honor by the Duke of Cambridge at her home for her ‘tireless campaigning’ efforts, told the BBC: ‘Flowers remind us of our future. We plant the seed without knowing what we might see growing.
“Being in nature gives us a boost and reminds us that life continues to flourish, even in some of the most difficult places, and brings smiles to all of us, even in the most difficult times – especially the mine.”
A short video shared by the BBC shows Dame Deborah arriving to see her stand up, saying “It’s amazing”, and raising a glass of champagne to commemorate the moment.
She recently revealed on her social media that World of Roses and the Harkness Rose Company named a rose after her.
The presenter of the BBC You podcast, Me And The Big C, said of her flower: “Roses are my favorite flower and I hope this one lights up everyone’s smiles!”.
She said in an Instagram post that “what breaks my heart and brings me the greatest thought is that this variety will and can now be grown forever,” adding that she hopes one day her daughter , Eloise, may have the rose as part of her wedding bouquet.
The rose is described as a floribunda that “produces masses of white blooms with a subtle ‘ballet slipper pink’ centre, as Deborah would say!”, the Harkness Rose Company said in the Instagram post announcing it.
He added: ‘The rose blooms repeatedly from early June until the first frosts, with its blooms perfectly arranged against the glossy dark green foliage.
“This variety is suitable for flower beds, borders or large patio containers. This is an absolutely superb strain that is easy to grow and will perform well in any garden.
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 canceled in 2020 and moved to September for 2021 due to the pandemic.
Dame Deborah has to date raised over £6.5million for Cancer Research UK, Bowel Cancer UK and the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity through her Bowelbabe fund on Just Giving.
She set herself an initial goal of £250,000 and received donations from a large number of supporters, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
During a visit to the Royal Marsden Hospital this week, William spoke of meeting Dame Deborah to award her womanhood, telling Dr Nicos Fotiadis, a consultant interventional radiologist, who treated the cancer activist : “I loved meeting her, she was fantastic.”
Dame Deborah is a former manager who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016 and kept her Instagram followers, who number more than 800,000, up to date on her treatments.
In an Instagram post the morning after her visit to see her rose, she said: “Thank you @sophieraworth for being my fairy godmother in real life and bringing me to @the_rhs Chelsea Flower after hours to see my rose @theharknessrosecompany. To celebrate and see the gardens. You are amazing. And it all brought a well-deserved smile to my face.
Sharing a selection of photos, she wrote: “A few for memories. A mix of a few photos that have made me smile over the past few days.
“I feel like right now I have so much to share that I have to be grateful for, but my body just isn’t playing along!” I find it increasingly difficult to commit and I rest a lot between the management of side effects and the beautiful random conversations with my family.
She revealed last week that she had completed her second book, How To Live When You Could Be Dead, which will be published on August 18.