I was back at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show on Wednesday with my son, Jonathan. I’ve been a number of times to this famous flower show, said to be the most prestigious in the world, but this was the third year running. Clearly I’m hooked! Well who wouldn’t be if you love gardens and the chance to see magnificent show gardens created by some of the world’s leading garden designers. And another of Chelsea’s main attractions is the Grand Pavilion full of the most glorious plants and flowers in prime, perfect condition – you’ll never see them better than this.
In all honesty, you don’t have to be an exceptionally keen gardener or even have a garden to make it worth going, for just the experience of being at Chelsea is great in itself. It’s not all about big show gardens, there are small artisan gardens (more the size of the average London garden); there are masses of stalls selling not only garden tools, furniture and decorations but jewellery, pottery, prints … it’s a bit like a craft fair. Over where the artisan gardens are found you’ll also find lots of stalls selling great street food and some live music.
But of course for even the most modest gardener with a quite small garden (like mine) you’ll be awed by the inspiration of the show gardens. I think it’s not ever about trying to recreate them yourself but taking an idea from one, some other gem from another, and piecing together some plans to take home with you.
For more about the history of the show click here for my post a couple of years ago. This year we were lucky enough to have near perfect weather – not too hot but dry with some sun shining through to make it pleasant to wander slowly round and take in all Chelsea offers.
The show is inevitably a photographer’s paradise. The rest of this post is devoted to some of the photos I took (as always, just on my iPhone). Enjoy!