It is an interesting turn of events, that in this modern era, we are transported to the show ground daily through the magic of television and the internet. Here we can luxuriate in all the show has to offer without once setting foot outside.Brilliantly talented people film and describe the exhibits, strangely this has the effect of making the show look better on tv than it does in real life! This always foxes me, and yes, somehow disappoints me.
This year being the 100th anniversary of the show I had great expectations~ here are some of the things that caught my eye...this is the "Secret Garden, past and present" designed by Horticolous. Positioned in the The Great Pavilion. It was real standout for me.
Also in the Pavillion this, from Barnsdale Gardens. Inspired by their ornamental kitchen garden and of course famous for being the home of the late and very great Geoff Hamilton.
This was amazing and quite unexpected, a Buddhist temple surrounded by orchids and bromeliad flowers
Two white elephants are guarding the temple, it looked stunning and was the work of Nong Nooch Tropical Botanic Garden.
Outside in the Artisan Gardens I loved the colour in the Herbert Smith Freehills garden, this garden is inspired by the work of the charity WaterAid in India.. The planting was so perfect, red, plum and ochre...
This is the Massachusetts Graden. inspired by poetry of Emily Dickinson and featuring the most fabulous leather applique work panels designed by Susanna Hunter.
I think this just about nosed ahead of all the others as my overall favourite...by Woolcott and Smith Garden Design for the NSPCC. It was so nostalgic and crammed full of beautiful planting, the photographs on the RHS site do far better justice to it!
There were some stunning hoardings around the show ground featuring images from the archives, I thought they were stunning and wished more had been made of the history...
I drink dew for wine, and hearken to
The voices of the birds, and dance
To the rhythmic swaying of the grass.
I am the lover's gift; I am the wedding wreath;
I am the memory of a moment of happiness;
I am the last gift of the living to the dead;
I am a part of joy and a part of sorrow.
But I look up high to see only the light,
And never look down to see my shadow.
This is wisdom which man must learn.
Taken from "Song of the flower" by Khalil Gibran
Whilst I certainly had my "favourite" gardens it is not lost on me the Herculean effort that goes into every exhibit and garden. I admire and salute everyone who takes part in the show, this was brought home to me the week before the event when I bumped into my mate Simon.
"You look knackered!" was my hearty greeting.
"Been up all night with Verbena Bonariensis" he repilied.
"Say no more!" I said.
"No not that verbena! This Verbena is for a show garden at Chelsea and it needs to be perfect..."
"Ah, I see....."
...and Simon, it was perfect! Have a look here at Roger Platts Centenary Garden..
Simon's family run How Green Nursery and have been supplying Chelsea Flower Show for many years. Luckily for us they are having an open weekend on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th June, so if you are anywhere near my neck of the woods (Kent ~ Sussex border) then do pop in. More details available on their Facebook page. Maybe see you there?