Friday, 27 May 2011

RHS Chelsea Show 2011

The Chelsea Flower Show, deserves the title 'The greatest flower show in the world' and completely blew me away, when I visited it on Tuesday.

We arrived not long after it had opened but we were by no means on our own. Hundreds of people had got up at the crack of dawn to see the most wonderful show gardens.

The first one you encounter is the M and G garden by Bunny Guinness. Being mainly vegetables, I absolutely loved it and was quite surprised to find it got a silver gilt not gold medal. 

The curved raised woven willow beds were packed to the gunnels with the most perfectly poised vegetables. It was absolutely beautiful and proved that vegetables are a thing of beauty and deserve centre stage in any garden.

The two avenues on which the show gardens are located, were very busy and you had to be very patient and wait your turn to slip into the front for the perfect view but it was definitely worth the wait, they were so wonderful.

My two favourites were the Laurent-Perrier garden by Luciano Giubbilei which has the most delicious plants imaginable. There were a couple of Astrantia's I had not seen before. 'Buckland' with its soft pink flowers on whitish bracts with green tips and 'Roma' with it's beautiful sugar-pink flowers.

The plants chosen for this garden had a lovely soft hue and the garden was so relaxing, with its wide stretch of water running through the middle; lots of ideas and inspiration to take home.

My other favourite show garden was Cleve West's garden for The Daily Telegraph. This sunken garden, with it plants suitable for a dry garden, was loosely inspired by a visit he made to the Roman ruins at Ptolemais in Libya several years ago. 

I loved the plants he chose like Dianthus cruentus, one which I heard lots of people ask about, with it ruby red flowers, interplanted amongst plants like, Calamintha sylvatica and Acanthus mollis and lots of plants which would self seed amongst the gravel.

Of the small gardens, A Post card from Wales, designed by Kati Crome and Maggie Hughes, was my favourite.

Designed around a small cottage in Wales, this garden has a mixture of cultivated cottage garden plants like Aquiligia, Campanulas, Veronicas and Thymes and then on the other side of the garden, along with a beached boat on silted mud were their wild cousins.

I loved these small Artisan gardens. As they were so small, your eyes could linger on every part of the garden and take everything in, which sadly you just can't in the large gardens. 

When you enter the flower pavilion, your nostrils are awakened by the wonderful perfume pervading the air. 

If you love flowers, it probably is the most exciting place to be in the world this week. I saw the most wonderful roses, & peonies and a gorgeous tulip called Angelique which is a must have for the garden next year.

The coverage of Chelsea by the BBC has been fantastic this week.

Instead of getting my weekly garden fix, courtesy of Gardeners' World on a Friday, I am getting it every day!

If you didn't get a ticket for Chelsea this year, how about going to the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show from 5 - 10 July. The bonus of this show, is that you can buy the plants you see on the stands. Maybe it's best that you can't buy plants at Chelsea, well best for my bank balance anyway!

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