The Chelsea Flower Show is always an amazing experience and I would highly recommend you going if you possibly can. We’ve been especially lucky the last couple of years with the weather, as everything always looks better in the sun, the atmosphere is more relaxed, the ice cream sellers, of which there are many, are also happy (and I’d highly recommend blackberry and cream flavour), although the designers have to work hard watering to keep the displays in top condition.
This year, I would say on balance, the planting in the gardens was slightly less ‘wild’ than it has been recently but still very naturalistic. One of the overarching colour schemes in many gardens were dark blues and purples, using lupins, foxgloves and iris in particular. There was a large focus on the health and well being this year, and with blue being a very calming colour, this came through in the planting. From epilepsy to myeloma to mental health issues, there were gardens to touch many people and each of them shared a beautiful calm quality even within the bustle of the show.
There were however notable exceptions to the cool planting hues, such as the bright yellows and oranges of the The LG Eco-City Garden, which won a silver-gilt medal and the vibrant colours of the silver medal winning ‘Supershoes Laced With Hope Garden’ designed by Laura Anstiss, which was designed to convey a message of hope for children diagnosed with cancer.
The gardens were all beautiful without exception, but there is so much more to see at Chelsea. The incredible trade stands don’t get seen on the television coverage, but some of them are quite spectacular themselves. It was lovely to see Laura Wallace of Ilkley, and her beautiful exhibit of paintings, which were all very coordinated with the overall feel of the show, although i was told that was a happy coincidence! http://www.laurawallace.co.uk/
Of course, I was also very keen to see some of the floristry. This year the florists had to create a throne for a wedding, very apt considering recent events. At the beginning of the week the competition entries were for the RHS Chelsea Young Florist of the Year, for florists aged under 25. Here is the beautiful gold medal overall winning entry by Ellouise Hasler-Stott from EG Flowers.
The RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year was held at the latter end of the week, and was spectacular. This is the overall winning design of this senior category, by Rebecca Hough, hugely well deserved and congratulations to all the entries, some stunning work.
The floristry classes are held in a corner of the great Floral Pavilion, which is the size of two football pitches. There are just unbelievable numbers of gorgeous exhibits, with flowers stretching out as far the eye can see. Here are just a few of my favourite images from inside the pavilion.
While I had to take a charger with me as my phone kept running out of battery due to all the images I was taking, I will just share this one, which is of a ‘Cafe au Lait’, Dahlia, and was my choice of the most beautiful flower of the day.
If you love flowers and plants, and can go to London during the third week of May next year, I would say, go to Chelsea, and join the RHS so you can go on a members only day when its just a little quieter, it’s worth it.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the pictures, I certainly enjoyed taking them.
If you would like more information and official images of the show gardens, including the Welcome to Yorkshire garden, which won the people’s choice award, but was so popular that I couldn’t get a picture of it, visit https://www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/rhs-chelsea-flower-show/Gardens/2018