What a treat I’ve had this week! At work on Thursday lunchtime, I checked my phone for messages and whoah! A friend had some tickets for the Chelsea Flower Show and wanted to know if I would like to go! I didn’t need asking twice!
For those of you who are not familiar with this event, I’ll explain a little of the background – otherwise please feel free to skip the next two paragraphs.The annual Chelsea Flower Show, organised by the prestigious RHS (Royal Horticultural Society), is a showcase for both nursery exhibits and ‘show’ gardens. There is one large, or one might even say enormous, pavilion which houses all the floral displays and this is surrounded by the outdoor show gardens. The gardens are assembled on site in the 19 days before the event, on display for a week and dismantled within 5 days after the show closes.The entrants are judged and gold, silver-gilt, silver and bronze medals are awarded accordingly.
The event started in 1862 but since 1913 it has been located in the grounds of The Royal Hospital, Chelsea, London. This is actually a retirement and nursing home for retired soldiers, who are noted for their bright red jackets, and are seen strolling around the show.
To return to my visit! It was warm and sunny and we had a brilliant day! So much to see and admire!
The Laurent-Perrier Chatsworth Garden was the winner of the Best Show Garden. Lots of greenery and wild areas (or weeds) which seemed a popular feature in many of the show gardens.
Best show garden – Laurent Perrier Chatsworth Garden
The People’s Choice winner was Sentebale – Hope in Vulnerability. It’s aim is to transport you to Lesotho, South Africa and raise awareness of the country’s mission to tackle the stigma of HIV in its population.
People’s Choice – Sentebale
I won’t bore you with all my photos ( the official website has all the gardens’ photos and details) but here’s some of my personal highlights.
Slate sculpture for your garden
Layered slate seems to be trending this year on the trade stalls. Lots of interesting sculptures and other ‘garden furniture’ to tempt you, especially if you have money to burn.
Bird bath – if you’ve got a couple of thousand pounds spare!
Who would have thought a display of potatoes could look so eye-catching?
Pick of the crop
So many roses on display – I love looking at their names. This one particularly caught my attention. ‘I am Macmillan’ – a new rose which will raise money towards funding Macmillan nurses who offer care to patients affected by cancer, as well as supporting their families.
This rose will be available to buy next year
For fellow allotment gardeners – just look at how these vegetables are displayed!
So that’s my round up of this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. If you ever get the chance of tickets, it really is well worth a visit as there is just so much to see. The gardens are fascinating and you’re mentally redesigning your own garden at home – but please read my cautionary note below!
Health warning: Do not feel jealous, inferior or inadequate when viewing these gardensThey are ‘show’ gardens so I remind myself of these points.
– a team of people have been planning and working on the garden for the preceding year
– they only need to look spectacular for a week. What about all year round interest?
– there is no evidence of anyone using the garden. Where’s the compost bin, the washing line, the children’s bikes and goal posts?
– no expense has been spared in the construction of these gardens
Hope that makes everyone feel better! Happy gardening to you all!