Deirdre Morley became convinced she was an inadequate mother who had irreparably damaged her children, the Central Criminal Court heard during her trial for the murder of her three children.
On Thursday, she was found not guilty by reason of insanity of the murders of Conor (9), Darragh (7) and Carla (3) McGinley, who the trial heard were “very, very deeply loved”.
Ms Morley had a depressive illness that developed into delusions and psychosis, the court heard.
“I felt so useless,” she told a psychiatrist in Tallaght University Hospital in March of last year. She was admitted after she killed her children on January 24th, 2020 and tried to take her own life.
The court was told repeatedly that the children were cherished, cared for and loved by devoted parents, but Ms Morley came to believe they were “doomed”.
“They were broken like me because I couldn’t parent them, I couldn’t be resilient,” she told gardaí.
The first symptoms of the anxiety that would overshadow Ms Morley’s adult life emerged when she was still a student. She grew up in Dublin, the youngest of eight siblings. Her father died when she was 20 months old and she was close to her mother, maybe “a bit too close”.
She moved to Cork to study nursing in 1996 and was “ridiculously homesick”. Two years later, after her mother was diagnosed with cancer, she first attended a GP with mental health concerns. Her mother died at the age of 85 in 2015, a “source of enormous stress”.
Later in her career, when she was studying to add to her nursing qualifications, Ms Morley again became very stressed and had difficulty concentrating.
But after the exams were over, things improved. There was another period when she experienced bullying at work, but again, this passed.
“I had a difficulty asserting my authority, I’m a bit of a people pleaser,” she said.
It was only after she became a mother that these stresses crystallised into something much darker.
Peaks and troughs
She met her husband Andrew McGinley in 2002, and they “slotted into each other’s lives easily from the start”.
Their marriage was a good one that had “peaks and troughs”. But looking back later, Ms Morley wondered “how much of our struggles were my struggles”.
“I never stopped loving him. He was a really good guy,” she told forensic psychiatrist Dr Brenda Wright.
The anxiety began to take hold again from early on in their marriage, though she became adept at hiding her feelings. She suffered from poor self-esteem, tearfulness, and low mood. At work, she had “an increasing fear of something happening on my watch”. Even when she was off, she would call into to work to check on the children in her care.
When she became pregnant with Conor, she was “really happy” and after his birth she was “on cloud nine” for the first four months. Her marriage was also in a very good place. Mr McGinley was “very paternal, he loves kids”.
But when Conor was four-months-old, the earlier anxieties began spiralling. She catastrophised about what were entirely normal developmental stages. She had “well beyond normal worries” that he was not in a routine, was not taking regular naps and would not take a soother.
“I was hard on myself. He was a good, happy, contented baby,” she said.
That anxiety and perfectionism became features of her parenting.
She agonised about their eating, their toilet training, why they were not yet riding a bike or swimming. She watched the clock constantly to see how much time they were spending on screens.
When Darragh was a boisterous two-year-old and went through a brief phase of hitting she thought she “was not giving him enough or the right kind of attention.”
Ms Morley was “completely distraught” when Carla started being a fussy eater. When Darragh was older and suffered from tummy aches after he changed school, she again blamed herself.
“Darragh was a great boy, he was very attached and attuned with me,” she later told doctors.
Family members tried to support and reassure her, but “when I was in the thick of it there was no talking to me,” she told Dr Wright. She later said “I can see now it’s all normal development.”
Her feelings of inadequacy as a mother became a recurring theme in her thoughts, but one she mostly concealed from her husband, sisters and friends.
Struggles at work
In March 2018, Ms Morley took 12 weeks off work with stress, and by the end of that year, “I wasn’t able to enjoy anything,” she told Dr Wright. She lost 10lbs over six weeks, and could not get through the day without a nap. She tried to go back to work, but was unable.
A GP she saw later that year noted that she was struggling to get out of bed and waking up early. She wanted to get away and felt overwhelmed looking after the children. Her records noted that she “can’t manage children at all.”
In early 2019, now back at work part-time, but still struggling with feeling overwhelmed, Ms Morley described a fantasy “that I am in apartment in Paris, no children, just me”. The notion that her mental health issues were impacting on her role as a parent and wife by now had tightened its grip on her.
By the summer, it was noted in her records, “doesn’t want to be around her children… doesn’t feel she can go back to the house.”
She was admitted to St Patrick’s Hospital on July 6th, 2019. There, she was described as “overwhelmed, low mood, poor sleep and appetite, excessive guilt, poor self-worth, early morning wakening, poor concentration”.
Some of these are symptoms of significant depressive illness, the court heard. Sometime before she was released her husband took a telephone call from the hospital. He was asked if he thought Ms Morley was a danger to herself or the children.
“He was really shocked…he honestly was stunned that this was even being suggested,” Mr Bowman told the court.
Prosecution counsel Anne-Marie Lawlor said that because Ms Morley was so medically qualified, she took control of her own treatment. The court heard that what she was going through day to day would not have been communicated in detail to her husband. Her final diagnosis ahead of her discharge from St Patrick’s was moderate depressive episodes.
In September 2019, her mood took a sudden upswing, but a GP worried it was “too high”. She was waking up at night to bake and cook and seemed elated, which can be a recognised phenomenon for some people on the wrong type of anti-depressant, the court was told. She was advised to reduce her dosage.
Last six months
The six months before the children’s deaths proved the most difficult in her marriage. She and Mr McGinley were talking less and mainly interacted around logistics, she told Dr Wright.
In November 2019, her sister contacted the GP to say Ms Morley had deteriorated significantly. She could not get up to bring the children to school and her sister had been unable to persuade her to the come to the doctor. She felt guilt, shame, worthlessness, but did not want to go back to St Patrick’s as an in-patient, so attended for a brief time as a day patient. At that time, she said, “I just want to evaporate.”
Her family, however, believed she began to improve in December and January, but she was presenting a different side to experts. Her counsellor noted in January that Ms Morley was “as bad as I have seen her”. She kept returning to the same theme: she was selfish, inadequate and had damaged the children.
Around the same time, her GP recorded Ms Morley’s view that “things are really hard at home, the boys are acting out as discipline has started to slide.”
The court heard repeatedly, however, that this was a “skewed” sense of the behaviour of the children. Defence barrister Michael Bowman noted that, “objectively all those that viewed them found them wonderfully engaging and delightful young children.”
This was a delusion, a manifestation of the mental illness that was gripping her.
In the final week of her children’s life, Ms Morley “started to think about a plan”. “I wanted to evaporate for a long time. I’m not sure when it became more definitive,” she said.
She thought about taking her own life, but thought “I can’t leave the children.”
In the week of January 20th, she began to have two recurring thoughts. “I had to go, I couldn’t not take them with me” and “I have ruined them by bad parenting and my mental illness. I felt they were doomed. They were going to be mentally ill and not secure.”
She told no-one about these thoughts.
On the Monday of that week, she saw her sisters, but felt “removed…less and less like myself.”
“I could only see all the positives in everyone else’s life and all the negatives in my life” and the children’s. Asked later if she had given any thought to the impact of killing the children on others, she said, “I was thinking people would be sad, but it was definitive, this had to happen…I thought it was the right thing to do, the hard thing, but the right thing.”
All she could think about was what she imagined would be their struggles for the future. Now, she told Dr Wright later in 2020, “all I can think of is what they had going for them so I can’t remember what I was worried about.”
Det Sgt Dara Kenny gave evidence from garda interviews on the first full day of evidence which laid out the distressing events of January 23rd and 24th, 2020.
Mr McGinley went away on a work trip on Thursday and was due back on Friday evening. The court heard he had no concern at all in relation to Ms Morley or the children. Throughout the time he was away, they were in frequent contact, and she betrayed no sign anything was wrong.
But on Thursday, she purchased rope from a hardware store with a view to making a noose. She looked up how to make a noose and searched for the N7 flyover and the Poolbeg lighthouse.
That evening, she attempted to sedate all three children and planned to suffocate them in their sleep.
Conor was having a bowl of porridge before bed, and Darragh was having Cheerios. She crushed six to eight morphine tablets to put them in the boys’ bowls, calculating that they would ingest three or four each. But the minute Conor tasted it, he said, “what’s that? That’s disgusting”, and spat it out.
She put a tablet containing codeine in Carla’s purple sippy cup, though she believed Carla had not consumed much of it.
That night, as she fell asleep in the big bed, her two boys beside her, she felt relief that it had not worked. She thought then that she would not go through with it. “I can’t do it but I don’t know how I am going to go on.”
On the children’s final morning, Darragh was off school with a cough and Carla stayed home from creche. She was playing with her dolls and toys, and asking her mother to play with her. Darragh was using his iPad and watching TV. After a while, both children watched Trolls together. Ms Morley pottered around and smoked some cigarettes outside.
At midday on Friday, there was a minor argument over screen time which “reinforced my faulty thinking” that she had damaged the children. She told Darragh he’d had enough screens and he responded that she was ruining his life.
“I knew this was another confirmation [THAT]I needed to do my plan,” she told a consulting psychiatrist in Tallaght University Hospital.
She remembered looking at the clock at about 12pm and thinking, “I just had to end our suffering.”
As she suffocated him using lengths of tape and a plastic bag, “I wanted to stop but didn’t think I could.”
At 12.39pm she got a text from her niece about wedding invites. She responded, “So exciting.”
At that stage, Darragh may already have been dead. “I’m not sure about Carla…I remember replying ‘it’s so exciting’, and thinking look what I’ve just done, or look what I’m in the process of doing,” she told gardaí.
She carried the bodies of Darragh and Carla upstairs. She realised Carla was still breathing, so she held her nose until she stopped.
She collected Conor early from school at 1.50pm, because she wanted “to make sure I was gone” before Mr McGinley got home at 4pm.
There, she exchanged brief words with another parent and the school secretary. She was texting her husband about this time about his plans for coming home, and showed no sign anything was wrong. There was “nothing untoward or strange at all” in her behaviour, Ms Lawlor noted.
They stopped on the way home so that Conor could get his favourite roll in Tesco. At this stage Ms Morley said she “was already regretting what I had done, but I didn’t think I could stop”.
While he was having his 15 minutes of screen time, she wrote a note that she would stick to a bicycle in the hall.
“Don’t go upstairs. Phone 911. I’m sorry,” it stated.
Conor’s final moments were spent with his mother, watching Jurassic World. By now, she was wavering in her plan.
“He was just being really good.”
At that stage, she told gardaí: “I’m thinking I can’t do this. This is awful…I can’t not do this because the other two are dead. How would he live with that? How would he live knowing that his mother killed his siblings?”
She persuaded him to put tape on his mouth and a bag on his head by pretending it was a game. “When I tightened it, I think he got frightened. It’s horrific, I know it’s horrific,” she said in her garda interviews four days later.
“He said ‘Mum, stop’, and I said, ‘I’m really sorry’.”
At this point, she was asked if she wanted a glass of water. “I just want them back,” she replied.
Asked later by forensic psychiatrist Dr Mary Davoren if she knew what she had done was wrong, Ms Morley replied: “I must have known it was wrong at some level because I waited for Andrew to be away to do it.”
She remembered thinking, “what if I don’t die?” and that if she survived, she would have to “spend my whole life in prison.”
After she had killed the children, she ingested at least 13 tablets, and brought a half bottle of wine with her in the car as she left the house at 4.10pm and drove to a N7 flyover bridge. She intended to end her life there.
At 5.10pm, there was another phone call with her husband, updating her on his timeline. But the drugs took hold by 5.35pm, and she crashed her car into a verge.
A woman passing in another car, nurse Deirdre Gorman, saw her slumped over the wheel and came to her assistance and brought her home. “I don’t remember anything else until I woke up in hospital on Sunday.”
When Mr McGinley arrived home after 7pm, his wife was collapsed outside the house being tended to by paramedics and members of the ambulance service, and nobody could tell him where the children were. It was he who found Conor’s body in the play tent downstairs.
The court heard that efforts were made to keep Mr McGinley out of the bedroom where Darragh and Carla’s bodies lay, but they were not successful.
“At that point, the level of distress was extraordinarily high,” the court heard.
When Ms Morley came out of her induced coma, her remorse, guilt and hopelessness at what she had done were immediate and overwhelming. On January 28th, she told a psychiatrist, “I wish I had a time machine.”
Three days later, now on an anti-psychotic drug, she was calm, but heartbroken. But she told doctors “the grief was unbearable. She wanted a magic wand to go back three weeks and ask for help.”
If you are affected by issues in this article you can call Pieta House 1800 247247 or text “HELP” to 51444, Contact Aware at 1800 80 4848 or firstname.lastname@example.org or the Samaritans at 116123 or email@example.com. You can also text “HELLO” to 50808
I bought a property that has a driveway without a dropped kerb. It is uncomfortable every time I drive over it. When I approached my local council about getting it fixed, it said the developer was under no obligation to drop the kerb.
The council said I would have to apply for a licence to get it dropped. That licence costs £222.35.
I will also have to pay for the work to be carried out. Is there anything I can do about this and why are developers allowed to build homes without dropped kerbs? MT
Parking space is at a premium and many want a drive, but you’ll need a dropped kerb too
MailOnline Property expert Myra Butterworth replies: Parking spaces are becoming highly desirable in many areas, as on-street parking restrictions proliferate.
Your developer was issued with guidance by the local council to drop the kerb. However, the local council in this case has confirmed that there is nothing in planning consent or elsewhere that required the developer to drop the kerb.
Unfortunately, you have no claim against the original developer or the person from whom you bought the property. And so you will now need to apply to your local council for the kerb to be dropped.
Research by Direct Line found that during the past three years there has been a rise in the number of requests for dropped kerbs received by local councils amid an increasing demand for parking spaces.
Between April 2018 and March 2019, councils received an estimated 14,500 planning requests for dropped kerbs, rising to 14,700 between April 2020 and March 2021.
Stephen Gold, a retired judge and author, explained: Your local council is correct. In fact, it is sometimes necessary to also obtain planning permission for the construction of a dropped kerb: For example, if the kerb would be on a classified road or in a conservation area.
The fact that the all-clear has been given in the past to neighbouring properties for a dropped kerb is no guarantee that you will be as lucky because of changes in engineering standards and improvements in design. You may also be refused where, say, your property is on a bend or at a road junction or close to traffic lights.
The property was sold as it was, with no dropped kerb
You have no claim against the original developer or the person from whom you bought the property.
The property was sold to you as it was: One driveway and no dropped kerb which would have been obvious, so you got what you bargained for.
You would or should have contemplated that a drive from the property over the pavement might be an uncomfortable exercise. Had your seller agreed to bear the cost of construction of the kerb and associated expenses, the position would have been different.
But assuming that you bought with the help of a mortgage, the property would have been inspected by a valuer or surveyed on behalf of the mortgage lender and you may have organised your own private survey.
If the process and expense of getting the all-clear for a dropped kerb was not raised in the inspection or survey report then you would have an arguable – although not a strong – claim against the report’s author or their employer.
After all, section 184 of the Highways Act 1980 makes it an offence to drive over the pavement to get out of your property when the local authority has prohibited you from doing so in view of the absence of a dropped kerb and so this would have been an important matter.
You would have up to six years from the report to start what could be a county court ‘small claim’. You would be well advised to send details of the claim to whoever reported with a threat of proceedings if they do not pay up. If the claim is rejected by them, assess whether to take the matter further when you have the benefit of knowing why they assert they are not liable to you.
Even making a small claims carries risks. You won’t get back the court fees if you lose and may have to pay the winner’s expenses for travel and loss of earnings in being at court.
Stephen Gold is the author of ‘The Return of Breaking Law’, published by Bath Publishing
“Pod” is not a golf word. And yet it has been on the tongue of nearly everyone in the golf community during the past, tense days before this week’s Ryder Cup, the biennial, pressure-packed team competition between American and European pro golfers that begins Friday.
Paul Azinger, the American Ryder Cup captain in 2008 and a former PGA Tour pro, deserves the credit, or the blame, for injecting “pod” into the golf vernacular. Thirteen years ago, after learning that Navy Seal units bonded by training and living together in small, carefully selected platoons, Azinger decided he would divide his 12-man team into three four-man units before that year’s Ryder Cup. The hope was that a finite, close-knit group could match the unity exhibited by Europe’s triumphant teams.
Called the pod system, Azinger’s four-man corps were chosen after each player took a personality test. Grouped together based on compatibility, the players did almost everything together before the Ryder Cup matches – practice rounds, meals, nightly table tennis games. When the competition started, they were paired together in matches and routed the Europeans to claim the first US victory in nine years and just the second since 1993. Azinger was celebrated for his innovation.
But in a show of the stubborn individualism that may be hampering the overall American Ryder Cup effort, the US captains who succeeded Azinger rejected or diluted his approach. Only one of those teams won, in 2016, when Davis Love III embraced the pod system.
At other team competitions in professional golf, including the Solheim Cup, which pits women’s golfers from the United States against those from Europe, leaders chose to adopt Azinger’s model with success and failure. Last month, the American Solheim Cup captain, Pat Hurst, implemented the pod system and her team lost, 15-13.
Even Azinger, now an analyst for NBC, has questioned the current efficacy of his idea. “The way I did it wouldn’t even work today, to be honest, even though the concept was good,” he said last week. “I just think the pods, they don’t work all the time. We keep getting beat. If everybody’s still using the pods, pods isn’t the answer. It’s something bigger than that.”
The pod debate has not stopped or impeded the discussion about the best way to replicate Azinger’s success on the American side. In the run-up to the event, the overarching intrigue is how Steve Stricker, this year’s US captain, will make up the two-man partnerships he sends out for the 16 matches against Europe’s two-man teams on Friday and Saturday. (On Sunday, the Ryder Cup concludes with 12 one-on-one singles matches.)
The American hand-wringing about their player pairings has generally been a source of quiet amusement for the European squad. Devising the pairings on their team is rarely controversial or the product of profound, multilayered planning. Players often form natural partnerships based on which European country they represent.
“The Europeans are bonded by blood, which means everything to them,” Azinger said. “The Spaniards play together. The Englishmen, the Irishmen, the Swedes, they’re bonded by something that really gives them a full-blown 1 per cent advantage.” Azinger said a 1 per cent advantage may not seem like much, but in the three days of a Ryder Cup competition, more than 4,000 shots are likely to be put in play. A 40-stroke swing, or 1 per cent, could conceivably decide a couple of matches, where one point is awarded for each victory and half a point for a tie. Europe has won nine of the past 12 Ryder Cups, but on four occasions the margin of victory was a single point.
Seizing on that 1 per cent edge, Azinger said of the Europeans: “They bring an intangible with them. It’s a fact.” Outside the golf world, there may be some precedent to explain how the European team’s geographic make-up improves its Ryder Cup results. Some of the strongest, most effective troops during the second World War were soldiers assembled from the same town or village, according to Charline Russo, a senior lecturer in organisational dynamics at the University of Pennsylvania and a consultant on executive coaching and team development.
“It wasn’t just because they grew up together, there was also that accountability factor,” Russo said. “You didn’t want to go home and admit that you screwed up.” Russo, who has a PhD in organisational leadership, has a deep familiarity with the personality tests that Azinger used 13 years ago.
Stricker, who was on the 2008 team, last week conceded that he would employ a variety of tactics to devise his pairings, although he declined to be specific on whether he would use the pod system. Russo said the assessments could be valuable tools, but cautioned, “You need somebody who knows what they’re doing with it because these things can be dangerous.” Azinger, for example, consulted at length with a clinical psychologist.
It may be even more difficult if Brooks Koepka, who qualified for the team but injured his wrist last month, is healthy enough to play. Koepka and his American team-mate Bryson DeChambeau have spent most of this year feuding on social media. Stricker has asked the two men to put aside their differences during the Ryder Cup, and each player has been discreet of late, but do not expect Koepka and DeChambeau to be paired for a match, or even assigned to the same pod – if there is a pod system.
Justin Leonard, who was a member of several American Ryder Cup teams including the 2008 squad, said that keeping Koepka and DeChambeau apart should be “real easy”, especially if the players are in pods. “We ate breakfast together, we ate dinner together, we played our practice rounds together, and when we were in the same room with the whole team, we sat at a table together,” Leonard said of 2008, adding that the arrangement provided a level of comfort because there were no surprises when the pairings were announced.
Additionally, Leonard, who is now an NBC golf analyst, said he expected the pod system to return for the Americans this week because Phil Mickelson, who was on the 2008 team, is a non-paying vice captain to Stricker. “Phil Mickelson was a big proponent of the pods,” Leonard said. “He loved that system. Him being a vice captain, I feel fairly confident that we’ll see something similar to that.” Azinger said he did not have a clue how Stricker might proceed. “I don’t know what’s he’s doing,” Azinger said. “He’s not told me.”
Celebrities turned out in force for the Chelsea Flower Show preview day today as the event prepares to launch its first ever autumn edition after the traditional spring event was delayed due to Covid.
The show, which usually takes place in May, was postponed to autumn for the first time in its 109-year history due to the coronavirus pandemic, and will run from Tuesday 21 to Sunday 26 September in a special one-off event.
Stars including Dame Judi Dench, Guy Ritchie and Call The Midwife’s Helen George turned out in force for today’s preview, which is also open to the press.
The Queen, who attends the event every year, is set to skip it this year for the first time since 2005 as she remains in Balmoral, where she is expected to stay until October. It will be only the tenth time she has missed the Flower Show.
Instead, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Prince and of Kent, and Princess Alexandra will represent to Royal Family at the event.
Celebrities are flocking to the Chelsea Flower Show ahead of the opening of its first ever autumn edition today including Gemma Collins (pictured)
Ben Fogle and his wife Marina were in attendance at the big event (left), as well as producer Guy Ritchie and his wife Jacqui Ainsley (right)
Presenter Alexa Chung donned a black knitted jacket and short co-ord for the occasion in London earlier today (pictured)
A suspend egg made of wood and surrounded by brushes and wild flowers welcomed visitors at the Yeo Valley Organic garden today
Wildflowers and literary quotes carved in a wooden wall awaiting visitors at the very pretty Florence Nightingale garden today
Guy Ritchie, 53, was joined by his wife Jacqui Ainsley as they unveiled his £50,000 luxury BBQ on the first day of the Chelsea Flower Show
Celebrities including actresses Dame Judi Dench, 86, Sally Phillips and Helen George, as well as fashion designer Paul Smith were among the first stars to tour the show.
ITV presenter Charlotte Hawkins, wearing a floral day dress, was also among the people in attendance.
They got to admired the beautiful Parsley Box Garden, which was designed by Alan Williams and delighted visitors with a table set with Parsley inspired tableware and small pumpkins.
Meanwhile, the Psalm 23 garden wowed with its pond and zen fountain, offering a autumn-inspired oasis within the show.
Established in 1913, the flower show has become one of the world’s biggest showcases for horticultural excellence, attracting visitors and exhibitors from across the globe.
It has grown from 244 exhibitors in 1913 to more than 500 today, including gardens, nurseries, floristry, educational displays and trade stands. The show attracts 168,000 visitors.
Celebrities are flocking to the Chelsea Flower Show ahead of the opening of its first ever autumn edition today. Dame Judi Dench, 86, stole the show as she attended
Pregnant Call The Midwife’s star Helen George showed off her baby bump in a floral dress as she toured The Chelsea Flower Show preview day on Monday. The event, which takes place in autumn for the first time, opens to the public tomorrow
A show-stopper! Gemma’s yellow cape had a train which elegantly swooped the floor as she walked around the flower show today
Pictured, a performer entertaining guests at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this afternoon in central London
Feeling peckish? A carved pumpkin, tomatoes, yellow courgettes, carrots, turnips and more were used in this artful display celebrating our five a day
Designers created beautiful butterflies out of flowers for some of the displays on show at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show today
Careful where you put your hands! A selection of small cacti in all shapes and colours was also on display at the event today, pictured
Single flowers, branches and twigs suspended mid-air in vials of water made up one of the show’s most delicate displays, pictured: Charlotte Smithson, Great Oaks from little Acorns grow, 2021, Commissioned by The Oak Project
Dame Judi Dench made friends with Chelsea, a 18-weeks-old Golden Retriever who is training to be a guide dog and was named after the show
The actress could not get enough of the adorable pup, which was at the Artisan Garden alongside other guide dogs in training
A model dressed in forest green commanded the stage in the Bodmin Jail 50 degree East – A garden between continents also on show at the exhibition
One fruit and veg aficionado in attendance today wore a tomato tie for the event as nature fans put their best fashion forward
Dinner is served! A woman was seen adjusting a beautiful floral centrepiece with matching tableware and glasses during the show
Models wore traditional Himalayan dresses at the Trailfinders 50th anniversary garden, pictured, which celebrated Asian culture
Gemma Collins appeared in high spirits as she chatted with passersby before entering the event wearing a vibrant yellow gown
Actress Sally Phillips couldn’t hide her excitement as she toured the Psalm 23 garden, which incudes a pond and a fountain, at the show today
The ITV presenter gave an enthusiastic smile as she prepared to wander around the beautiful displays at this years Chelsea Flower Show
Presenter Nick Grinshaw looked relaxed in a leather jacket, while comedian and presenter Lee Mack stopped by the show with a coffee in hand
No wallflower! Dame Judi Dench seemed delighted to be attending the show and stopped to smell some of the flowers when she arrived, wearing a linen jacket
Take your pick! Tantalising cherry tomatoes were beautifully displayed into round bushes at the show/s press day ahead of its opening tomorrow
Some of the designers who put forward displays for this year’s Chelsea Flower Show wowed visitors with the pretty Alliums they used, pictured
Curtains of pink, yellow and red Chrysanthemums were also used abundantly at the show which celebrates horticulture, pictured
Autumn and its vegetables and fruit are the guests of honour this year, because the show usually takes place in May, but was postponed due to coronavirus
Florists put the finishing touches to their displays, making sure each detail was sorted ahead of the show’s first day tomorrow, pictured
Actor and writer Reece Shearsmith looked smart in a black suit, crips white shirt and red and black tie as he stayed in the Dobbies garden
Ronan Keating, Alex Jones, wearing a beautiful floral number and Jermaine Jenas opened the BBC One Show and RHS Garden of Hope today
The three BBC presenters opened the garden with Arit Anderson, pictured right, who designed it for the BBC on the show’s occasion
Sporting a bouncy blow-dry, Alex Jones, who welcomed a baby daughter on August 21, looked beautiful in the light blue day dress
Guy Ritchie, who is exhibiting his very own barbecue at this year’s edition of the Chelsea Flower show, looked relaxed with wife Jacqui Ainsley
Anthea Turner, wearing a beautiful floral blouse and white jeans, and ballroom dancer Anton Du Beke looked happy to attend today’s event
In excellent spirits, Dame Judi put on an animated display at the show as she posed with Chelsea pensioners in uniforms with whom she held a big flower garland
Dame Judi exuded elegance as she posed with Chelsea pensioners on the RHS Queen’s Green Canopy Garden at the event this afternoon
The iconic actress appeared to be deep in conversation with one of the Chelsea pensioners at the event this afternoon
Presenter Nick Knowles was among the celebrities who stopped by the Chelsea Flower Show’s autumn edition today, pictured
Singer Alexandra Burke inside the It looked stylish in a stripy suit at the Italian Piazza, Villaggio Verde Garden designed by Jason Hales, while Fiona Bruce headed to The Parsley Box Garden
Judi Dench was caught in deep conversation with Allan Williams, who designed the Parsley Box Garden for this year’s show, pictured
Dame Maggie Smith was spotted admiring the several displays at the show, wearing a coral jacket over a navy ensemble, pictured
DJ and presenter Trevor Nelson put his sunglasses on and took his hat off as he explored s Dobbies’ garden while X Factor judge Louis Walsh seemed in great spirits
The show is organised by the Royal Horticultural Society, of which the Queen is patron, and traditionally takes place mid-May.
However this year it was blighted by Covid, and The Royal Horticultural Society announced in January that the show, in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, would be moved from May 18-23 to September 21-26.
Last year the event had to be scrapped completely because of coronavirus, with a virtual show staged online.
As many as 140,000 are expected to attend the event, which will ensure planned safety measures, included spreading the show over an extra day and reducing visitor numbers.
Dame Judi Dench and her daughter Finty Williams seemed the best of friends as they took a break from touring the several displays available at the show
Presenter Mel Giedroyc donned a pretty pink blouse, navy 7/8 trousers and white sneakers as she explored Dobbies’ garden today
Dancer Anton Du Beke and Hannah Summers held hands as they walked around the event during a surprisingly sunny September day
Charlotte Hawkins, Alexandra Burke, a friend and Zo’ Ball guest showed off their stylish outfits at the Italian Piazza, Villaggio Verde Garden
Anthea Turner, Zo’ Ball, and Alexandra Burke playfully posed with a giant pumpkin which was grown by Ben White, centre, at the Italian Piazza, Villaggio Verde Garden
A judge inspected on the displays during today’s press day. A the end of the week, one display will take home the best in show title
Guy Ritchie and wife Jacqui Ainsley appeared in high spirits today as they stepped out to attend the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The director donned a pair of orange trousers, plaid shirt and casual coat while his wife was stylish in a white shirt and fashionable sunglasses
Ben and Marina Fogle visited the RHS Chelsea Flower Show COP26 Garden, a feature garden, designed by Marie-Louise Agius
Model Alexa Chung put on a fashionable display in a black romper and tights paired with an oversized grey coat and black leather heels
A model showcases the delicate detail of her flower collar, which incorporates dried and fresh flowers in neutral tones, with touches of yellow, orange and green
A woman took the time to sit *on one of the ricks and reflect by the fountain by the pond of the Bible Society: The Psalm 23 Garden
Reality star Gemma Collins put on a very elaborate display as she stepped out for the The Chelsea Flower show in London this afternoon
Gemma, 40, donned a floor-length yellow gown decorated with gem stones paired with a pink bedazzled dress and matching metallic trainers
Gemma made sure she put on a show in her yellow cape as she took a break from her tour to enjoy a glass of Prosecco, pictured
Dave Myers, who is one half of the Hairy Bikers – who were beloved by the late Prince Philip – attended with his wife Liliana Orzac who wowed in a pretty dress
Excited children posed with resident act Daisy the Drag Queen Garner and other models during the press day ahead of the show
Interior designer Matthew Williamson looked stylish as he explored Dobbies’ garden while Chris O’Dowd, right, cut a casual silhouette in pair of jeans and tan jacket as he enjoyed a drink at the show
A royal event! Weather queen Carol Kirkwood, wearing a floral dress under a navy blazer, met Drag Queen Daisy the Gardner during the show
Television presenters Johnny Ball and his daughter Zoe Ball were seen posing together at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this afternoon
Director Guy Ritchie was spotted at the event with wife Jacqui Ainsley who looked casually chic in a camel coat and pair of green trousers (left). Alexa Chung arrived in a practical purple raincoat, black tights and patent pumps
Chelsea Pensioners in uniform wave from the top of a repurposed double-decker bus in the Bowdens garden hosting bamboo shoots and ferns
Florists Tara and Valerie Pain, pictured, wore beautiful flower collars in the Parsley box garden during the show’s press day today
The Chelsea Flower Show is readying to open its doors to the public as it returns following the coronavirus pandemic. The show, which traditionally takes place in May, was postponed to September for the first time in its 109-year long history, and will go on from tomorrow to Sunday 26 September. Visitors in matching hats, pictured, toured the show for a sneak preview today
Narture meets disco! During the show’s press day, a drag queen made sure the party started early, with models wearing futuristic gear danced next to a pink barbecue set
Presenter Nicki Chapman looked beautiful in a pink dress as she walked among the grandiose flower displays around the event
In 2019, the Duchess of Cambridge designed one of the gardens and gave the Queen a guided tour.
The RHS said the September show will ‘celebrate the best of autumn horticulture’ and at this year’s event, the Royal Family contingent will see displays including the RHS Queen’s Green Canopy Garden.
The garden runs alongside Her Majesty’s unique tree planting initiative created to mark the monarch’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022.
Lisa Snowdon was a vision in brown boots and a vibrant animal print gown as she attended the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this afternoon
Sally Phillips put her balance to the test as she stood on a rock in the middle of the pond, wearing heels, while touring the show’s Psalm 23 garden
The Bridget Jones star added a chic pink coat to her stylish floral dress as she posed for a picture at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show
Model Valerie Pain showed off a beautiful autumn-inspired flower colour at the show this morning Due to the change in dates, this Year’s flower show with celebrate Autumn-trends rather than Spring
Alan Williams, left, who designed the Parsley Box Garden, proudly posed in front of his creation as celebrities like the designer Paul Smith, right, flocked to the show
A pregnant Helen George showed her baby bump as she stood with nurses in the Florence Nightingale garden at the show, pictured
The effort got underway in secret in March – the end of the official planting season – when the monarch and the Prince of Wales, who is patron of the initiative, met at Windsor Castle to plant an inaugural ‘Verdun Oak’ .
Everyone from individuals to Scout and Girlguiding groups, villages, cities, counties, schools and companies, will be encouraged to plant trees from October 2021, when the tree planting season begins, through to the end of the Jubilee year in 2022.
From October, details of contributions can be uploaded onto an interactive map on the new QGC website, so people can see the canopy’s development.
A table laid with little pumpkins and autumn-inspired sets awaits visitors who venture in the Parsley Box garden, which was designed by Alan Williams, pictured
Models Valerie, left and Tara Pain were the belles of the ball with their amazing flower collars and white dresses at the show today
Models Valerie and Tara Pain appeared in high spirits as they attended the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in elaborate collars made from dried flowers
The Woodland Trust, the largest woodland conservation charity in the United Kingdom, has committed three million free saplings to schools and communities across the UK as part of the QGC initiative.
Trees can be planted either singularly or in copses by individuals, schools, community groups or businesses on private land, or even as a new Platinum Jubilee Avenue of medium-sized or large trees – ideal for cities, large estates, housing developments and parishes.
The project is not-for-profit and is being funded by private donors and supporters including Royal Mail, Coutts, The John Lewis Partnership, Coupa and Rentokil Initial plc.
While the QGC has not received government funding, it is also being supported by DEFRA.
Neon lights and hot pink accessories offered a stark contrast with the peaceful set-up of the Show’s display as a drag queen Djed at the show
Everything coming up roses! Good Morning Britain’s presenter Charlotte Hawkins donned a floral day dress to the event today
Charlotte wore her blonde tresses curled and loose around her shoulders while opting for a pale pink manicure and light make-up look
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs George Eustice was pictured attending the Chelsea Flower Show today
A fitting guest! Actress Dixie Egerickx, who started in the recent remake of the Secret Garden, looked darling in a floral babydoll dress
Helen George, who is expecting her second child this year, put on an animated display as she talked to fellow visitors and members of the press at the show today
The Call the Midwife actress beamed as she cradled her baby bump with her hands during her visit of the show today, pictured
Helen chatted with some of the models working around the show and bringing the displays to life, who was wearing a pilgrim outfit
The performer is pictured acting in front of a stunning garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, a garden show held by the Royal Horticultural Society
Mel Reynard put on a fashionable display in a mask and gown at the Landform Balcony Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this afternoon
Making an impression with her outfit, Gemma posed as she arrived at the Chelsea Flower Show in London this afternoon
A gust is pictured admiring a stunning floral display at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London this afternoon
One guest grinned in front of the plants as she donned a tomato-themed headdress and gown at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London this afternoon
Designer Martha Krempel is pictured discussing her Arcadia balcony garden with visitors at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this afternoon
Dame Judi Dench and her daughter walked arm in arm as they toured the different displays of the show today, pictured
Alexandra Burke took a moment to sit down in a beautiful wicker chair as she visited Dobbies Garden at today’s event, pictured