Well as the dust settles following the hype of Chelsea Flower Show week I have finally found some time to sit inside and write a few words but mostly share some of the images I took.
It was HOT HOT HOT. GLORIOUS. The weather has been vile, ok good for the plants and the water situation but cold and wet can be a bit draining after several months of toting a brolly and rain mac about with you everywhere and not to mention the wearing of boots, boots and more boots on the feet!
I was prepared, sort of, linen garb and a lightweight jacket. I bought a wonderful hat on the day, my 3rd in this style, all 3 bought at Chelsea, all due to overheating on the day…I love hats and hats love me, they don’t love my hair but ‘hat hair’ is worth the shade and cool offered.
Arriving at 07:21 is a bit on the keen side but getting in on the dot of 08:00 makes the early start worthwhile. Although there are quite a few people milling, there are simply not the hordes and hordes that arrive in the following hours. The sun was absent in the early hours but a scoot along main avenue with unfettered views of gardens negates the lack of glowing light.
I find it takes me at least 2 if not 3 visits to view and appreciate the big show gardens ofcourse if I took the time to read all the preparatory writing and imagery it would possibly cut down the need for 3 walkthroughs but I seem to forget each year. Perhaps I’ll diarise some time for it in 2013 (perhaps not!).
So first impressions have me lingering at Joe Swift’s glowing garden
and Tom Hoblyn’s Italian inspired watery garden.
Not to say that Cleve West,
and Arne Maynard’s
are not desirable but everyone has favourites.
Jo Thompson’s Caravan Club garden with Doris the 1950’s caravan was delightful and something akin to what a garden of mine might look like, slightly chaotic, dense and delicious planting and quite a bit of functional cleverly worked in and made to look beautiful.
The Artisan Gardens were a bit of a disappointment last year and this year…well about the same, 2 or 3 stunning gardens and then the remainder? well, quite run of the mill truth be told. Not to say that they weren’t beautifully executed, or planted nicely or bringing the cute factor, solving the brief and all but just a bit samey/seen it before. I wonder if the title leads designers into this samey-ness year on year, the word Artisan does have a limiting effect IMHO.
The floral marquee was heaven early on and steamy later in the day the usual suspects bar one or two and some amazing stands of plants and flowers. To see daffs, roses, sweet peas, agapanthus and alliums in flower under the same roof is as ever a touch odd. I remember as a child (7-8) not being able to quite work out how this could happen at Chelsea (Mum was VERY keen for sis and I to share her enthusiasm for all things horticultural) but they never seemed to show up together at home in our garden!
There is so much coverage these days that I wonder if writing a blog about it is really informative, interesting or just bothersome…. looking through the images and notes I took though is a great reminder of the event. Well worth the trip and the expense for this year at least.