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

The 40-year-old podcast host, known as Bowel Babe online after campaigning to raise awareness of bowel cancer, revealed two weeks ago that she was receiving end-of-life care at her family home in Surrey.

She saw the bloom on display during a private tour on Tuesday evening, the BBC said, where she was accompanied by her husband Sebastien Bowen, with the visit 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 BBC: “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.”

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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 in an Instagram post that “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 in the Instagram post announcing it.

It added: “The rose is repeat flowering from early June to the first frosts, with its blooms set out perfectly against the dark green, glossy foliage.

“This variety is suitable for beds, borders or large patio containers. It is an absolutely superb variety that is easy to grow and will perform well in all gardens.”

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.

In an Instagram post the morning after her visit to see her rose, she said: “Thank you to @sophieraworth for being my real life fairy godmother and getting me to @the_rhs Chelsea flower after hours to see my @theharknessrosecompany rose. To celebrate it and to see the gardens. You are incredible. And the whole thing brought a well needed smile to my face.”