The Great Pavillion at Chelsea is filled with the most opulent and lavish displays, with every last nook and cranny of the vast tent populated with both people and plants. I loved wandering around capturing all of the beautifully coloured blooms – especially the multi colored array of lupins which dazzled the crowds. On the Saturday at exactly 4pm the annual plant sale kicks off and the whole tent erupts with noise. It is one of the craziest sites you will see, with people jostling to scoop up any bargains and struggling away with humungous plants; often larger than themselves. Anyone who doesn’t have a chauffeur (which is most of us) can be seen ambling to Sloane Square underground, and it must be the most bizarre site for anyone passing through as the platforms are filled with showgoers and their purchases. This year I brought back one of the lovely bright sunflowers (seen above) from the Marks and Spencers stand, but it’s since perished which doesn’t say much for my plant tending skills.
Apologies this post is long overdue, I’ve been editing and rewording for days now. My visit to the Chelsea Flower Show seems like it was weeks ago, leaving me with a slightly hazy memory and very sore feet. Although the tickets were slightly expensive, it is an all day affair with an abundance of plants and gardens. Of course if there isn’t a horticultural bone in your body then it may not be the place for you! There is much to see, plenty to eat (ahem chelsea buns) and of course drink, in the form of Pimms.
From top to bottom: The Telegraph Garden, Gold Winner designed by Tommasco del Buono & Paul Gazerwitz // A Garden for First Touch at St George’s, Silver Winner designed by Patrick Collins, The RBC Waterscape Garden, Gold Winner designed by Hugo Bugg (such beautiful blue Irises) // London Square, Gold Winner designed by Jo Thompson
Patience is really the key to seeing the outside gardens, with little or no space to move about you have to really have to treasure the moments of space. Best avoided during a thunderstorm (which saw the entirety of Chelsea cram into the show tent) but the place to seek out at 4pm when plant sale craziness kicks off!
I find myself curiously drawn towards greenhouses, lured within by the exotic species and tantalising heat. Let me define my peaked interest in the greenhouse, I’m not talking about one you may find squirrelled away in the depths of the garden but more the grandeur of the Victorian era. These elaborately designed structures became much celebrated pieces by the wealthy upper classes and botanists alike. Last year I visited Chatsworth and its just how you imagine it to be, a grand building surrounded by the sprawling Derbyshire Dales as far as the eye can see; but its the gardens that are the real treat. I could spend hours wandering and getting lost down secret passages and tree lined avenues. Unfortunately the original greenhouse designed by Joseph Paxton in 1837 no longer exists (at the time it was the largest glass building in the world!) being demolished after the 1st World War, due to heating costs. Its a great shame that such a structure was lost, replaced by its much more modern counterpart in which I took these tropical looking species.
If you like flowers, this post is for you. The best of the rest of my Chelsea Flower Show photos. I’ve never attended a flower show before, so had absolutely no idea of what to expect; and I walked into sheer craziness. I should of probably expected this from the ridiculous rate at which the tickets sold, and luckily we managed to snag all day tickets for the Saturday. Its set in the grounds of the Chelsea Hospital, and there were delightful Chelsea Pensioners milling about everywhere (unfortunately I didn’t get a photo). The weather was perfect, and the displays were all so varied. Some of my favourite gardens from the top down: M&G Centenary Garden, The Telegraph Garden, RBC Blue Water Roof Garden, Stop The Spread and lastly the Trailfinders Australian Garden which won best show garden. Then I just went snap happy with the flowers, especially the beautiful tulips. At 16:30 the gong was rung, signalling for the crazy pandemic which was the plant sale to begin. Never have I witnessed anything like it in my life, people walking out with entire trees! I left with this gorgeous bunch of Aliums.
Last weekend I attended the Chelsea Flower Show and whilst wandering about the gardens I spotted this unique hanging garden. It was so enchanting and I didn’t want to leave; as you can see I got quite snap happy. The flowers had started to wither by the 5th day but I imagine they were truly beautiful whilst in full bloom at the start of the show. Part of the design allowed people to walk inside the space, amongst the flowers which was a great visual. Its designed by Rebecca Louise Law who is a floral artist, working with both 2D and 3D. A little bit of research led me to her website filled with lots more gorgeous floral arrangements and land art, and I know when I have a little bit of spare time I’ll be looking at more of her amazing work.