Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The RHS Flower show Chelsea - Part 1

The Arthritis UK Research Garden 
Well the Queen was there yesterday and so was I ! For years now I have been thinking about going to the Royal Horticultural Show at Chelsea. If never quite got round to actually going and very nearly didn’t today.  With two poorly daughters over the weekend it seemed that I was going to have to stay at home and read about it from everyone else, however, the girls picked up and I did get to go.  It was really is good as everyone says.   There is plenty of amazing coverage about the show everywhere so apologies if you are already Chelsead out, but I wanted to share some of the highlights all the same.

There were people from all over the world there, with film crews, celebrities and press everywhere,  it has been a long day. I have so much to write about, but for this post I picked my favorite gardens from the many and I will write about the rest in a separate post in a day or so. 

Here are my favourite gardens.  My favourite was the Arthritis Research UK Garden ( above) which was designed by award-winning landscape and garden designer Tom Hoblyn. Inspired by the great Renaissance gardens of Italy, it certainly does capture the drama, and the structure was spot on.  I particularly loved the use of the trees as  the bark was just beautifully textured. 

The M & G Garden

 The focal point of ‘The M&G Garden’  is a large copper sculpture made from approx 3,800 copper washers!  (Watch out for the metal thieves !)  The sculpture is Reminiscent of a piece of arts and crafts jewellary  and is designed to convey energy and movement by weaving through the garden and water 
The Brewin Dolphin Garden 

I loved this garden and the structure.  Designed by Cleve West the beech hedging and yew topiary forms, contrast with loose layers of herbaceous plants.  It’s kind of romantic in a grown up way and a sense of timelessness to the garden  .. it wouldn’t be out of place 50 years ago in a classical country house kind of setting. 

The Laurent-Perrier Bicentenary Garden 

Created by award-winning garden designer Arne Maynard,  the Laurent Perrier Bicentenary Garden has a romantic and soft planting scheme with structure from the topiary.  I loved this garden so much .. I think I may have to use elements of it for my own garden, because it has such an easy elegance. 

The Telegraph Garden

For this year's Telegraph Garden, the designer Sarah Price has allot to live up to as this is her first Chelsea garden.  She set rugged rock and water against a delightful and delicate flora to compose as a tribute to wild Britain. 

L'Occitane Garden 
The essence of the wild Corsican Maquis - 8-time Chelsea gold medal-winning garden designer, Peter Dowle to brought the dramatic colours, scents and textures of this unique landscape to Chelsea today.  It looked stunning and oddly as though it had always been there. 

Quiet Time: DMZ Forbidden Garden

The barbed wire fence surrounding the garden really makes you stop and think. Created to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Korean conflict.  I read that the indigenous Korean plants that have thrived in the almost pristine conditions in the sanctuary of the demilitarised zone (DMZ) and this design highlights the tensions and lasting effects of the conflict.

The fence is hung with old rusty cans and what looks like casually thrown bottles, which contain letters from separated families and friends.  This garden certainly illustrates the sense of longing felt by people kept apart by the conflict. 

Like I said ..  it makes you think.


  1. I've been saying for years that I will go, and still haven't! I can't get enough of Chelsea, keep these posts coming!

  2. Im always glued to the tv to watch all the Chelsea shows but have not actually got there yet. I will one day.

  3. It's six years since I visited Chelsea, but I was glued to the tv coverage last night, and it looked as stunning as ever. Hopefully the sun shines all week too, it makes everything look even more magical. Wish I was there!

  4. Of the coverage I've seen so far on tv your first five photographs are my favourite gardens (although as I said - so far). I'm making notes because I'm going to Chelsea on Friday and think a list of must see gardens is essential - I can't wait. It's so easy to spend the whole day there and miss so much of it. Thank goodness the weather has improved.

  5. It is so worth going. Really the whole thing is inspiring and the buzz is amazing.

  6. I am so jealous - have been the last two years and thoroughly enjoyed it, and both times the weather was great. My son worked on the Australian Garden last year and was in charge of putting in the swimming pool - a very nerve racking experience especially under the time restraints. Its amazing how all the gardens look like they have been there for ages instead of just a few weeks. Hope the weather holds as it is such a spectacle.


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