Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Chelsea Flower Show

Every year the Royal Horticultural Society hosts The Chelsea Flower Show.  Attracting in excess of 157,000 visitors each year, it is one of the most famous gardening shows in the world and a big part of London’s summer social season.  Whether you are an avid gardener or not, you cannot help but be impressed by the beautiful show gardens and floral displays.  Garden designers and florists compete for the coveted Chelsea Flower Show awards, and corporations sponsor designers and gardens to create publicity.  Charities are also involved, and use their gardens as an opportunity for fund raising and to increase public awareness of their causes. 

I attended the show with my husband yesterday.  I am always inspired by the amazing gardens the designers manage to create.  Some of the gardens would require a rather generous budget and are more the stuff of dreams than reality, but I always come away from the show with new ideas.  There were so many beautiful gardens it is hard to choose a favourite, but here are some we particularly liked. 

Looking like an outdoor room even more than a garden, A Joy Forever designed by Kate Gould really impressed us both.

Designed for a young couple who want to use their garden year round (although I think they would struggle in snowy weather!), it features comfy sofas, chairs, a fantastic storage wall, a waterfall and even a fireplace.  We were particularly taken by the storage wall which has sections to store everything from wine to throws.  It’s a very modern garden with lots of concrete and steel, but this is offset by the planting - all white and green with subtle blue highlights.  It even has a permeable floor and rainwater harvesting facilities to reduce its environmental impact.  I was really taken with it, and my husband and I were not the only ones who were impressed - the RHS awarded this garden a Silver-Gilt medal. 

The Dyslexia Research Trust did a garden to highlight their work entitled “Dyslexia - A Barrier to Education?”  The garden was designed by Tim Fowler and is the winner of a Bronze Flora medal.

I liked how Tim had used a small space and incorporated words, letters and even giant books into the garden.  One side of the garden is white, the other blue and yellow, divided by a mosaic path with jumbled letters on one side and fully formed words on the other.  The iris were stunning.  It was a beautiful garden that also managed to highlight an important. 

There were so many beautiful things to see, it was nice to take a little break in one of The Stone Chef’s amazing chairs.  You wouldn’t think that stone would be comfortable to sit or lie on, but actually these individually made, bespoke creations were warm, smooth and really cosy!

If it were not for the four to five figure price tags, I would order a design similar to the one on the left without hesitation!

I’ve got tons more to share from Chelsea - including some amazing floral tea parties - plus I’ll be blogging about the changes we are making to our home over the next three days - including the new built in study, changes to the master bedroom some colourful new walls.  Watch this space!

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