– 2018/96 – RHS Chelsea Flower Show

There are certain ‘dates’ in the yearly event diary of this country that are so unmistakably English, so entrenched in the psyche and fabric of life of the people here that to miss them, or to ignore them is to really miss out on something that would help you to understand what it is like to be English, to live in England, to have friends who are English and to have married one.

Visiting the RHS Chelsea Flower Show had always been on top of my list of things ‘to try’ so when a friend of mine invited me to go with her I was super delighted.

I did my homework before I went, I watched the BBC programs, I knew to go wearing comfortable shoes, carrying an umbrella, be prepared for crowds and make sure to have a Pimm’s (or two) (or maybe even three…ahem…). Check, check, check and … check!

So, if you like flowers and gardens and have a few minutes to spare, come with me for a walk  through the show…

The Chelsea Flower Show has been held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London every year since 1913, apart from gaps during the two World Wars.  It is organised by the Royal Horticultural Society which was founded in 1804.

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We were quite overwhelmed by the sheer number of people when we first entered, but that was because we’d gotten caught between the morning crowds leaving and the afternoon visitors, like us, entering … phew.  Yes it was busy, but we had no problem seeing the gardens and the exhibitions at all once we got out of that mayhem…

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The big thing at the Show are the Gardens… all designed by leading designers and new talents and whilst “displaying world class plantsmanship and design, many also explore solutions to some of today’s most pressing, social, economic and environmental challenges.” (from the guide).  There are the big Show Gardens, the Artisan Garden and this year also a new category the Space to Grow Gardens.

Let me show you a few that I particularly liked:

M&G garden designed, Gold Medal winner, designed by Sarah Price.

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LG Eco-City Garden, Silver Gilt medal, designed by Hay-Young Hwang.

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The Morgan Stanley Garden for the NSPCC , gold medal winner and best in show, designed by Chris Beardshaw (pictured in the middle photo.)

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The Trailfinders South African Wine Estate, silver gilt medal, designed by Jonathan Snow

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VTB Capital Garden – Spirit of Cornwall, silver gild medal, designed by Stuart Charles Towner

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Urban Flow Garden, gold medal winner, designed by Tony Woods

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Silent Pool Gin Garden, silver gilt medal winner, designed by David Neale

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Myeloma Uk Garden, silver gilt winner, designed by John Everiss

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New West End Garden, gold medal winner, designed by Kate Gould

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The Super Shoes Laced with Hope Garden, silver medal winner, designed by Laura Anstiss

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Still with me? ok, have a rest, because I’m about to send you in sensory overload now…

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I was  really tired when I got back in the car… all I wanted was to shut my eyes and recover from all the colours and smells and visual inspiration…

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Gorgeous day.

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Might even have inspired me somewhat… and people who know me know I’m not a ‘gardening person’!

 

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