xmlns:fb='http://ogp.me/ns/fb#' Karen Wagner garden & design: THE Chelsea Flower Show

Saturday, 28 May 2011

THE Chelsea Flower Show

 The jewel in the crown....Chelsea is a complete extravaganza.
What a wonderful thing to do.  It’s so much better than you see in the pictures or on tv or the dvd’s.
Of course it is wall to wall with people and you just have to go along and expect that....unless of course you can swing an invite to the special invitation and members days.  Everyone is kind, courteous and accommodating and understands that a few bumps and a thousand apologies are what is part of the parade.
And it is like a parade.....of plants, show gardens, celebrities, people and ideas.
We saw so many things.  We loved the show gardens...some fabulous ideas in them.  There wasn’t much variation in planting between them all which I was surprised about.  But overall in most gardens we have seen there isn’t a lot of planting variation.  It seems everyone sticks to the same old same old.
Of course ‘naturalistic’ and meadow plantings are thematic in much of the things we saw.  This seems to be the catch cry throughout England at the moment.  And we wryly have looked on.....everything in that lovely meadow that they are all so proud about is nothing but major and problematic weeds to us.  And we have smirked at the idea of native and naturalistic.  The meadows  (we’re not talking out in the paddocks here – I’m referring to garden meadows in large scale gardens) are carefully planted and managed.  They do have a lot of native grasses and flowering plants in them but also lots of pretty introduced extras to make them look nice.  But I am digressing.
On the whole the plantings were beautiful at Chelsea for all the gardens we saw and the some of the design ideas were truly inspiring.
There are so many pictures that I took that it is hard to just narrow it down to a few.  The water features this year were really lovely....beautifully finished, understated and more in the garden that up on a wall and to the side.  I’ve been waiting for water features to do this and it was really great to see and has given me heaps of ideas.
The two Australian entries were really fabulous.  One Englishman that I struck up a conversation with did ponder as to what was the point as they can’t grow these plants anyway.  We kindly pointed out all the things he would be able to grow and how to do it and he seemed to see the light....maybe he was just being polite as the English are so very good at.
We duly went and had our Pimms – very yummy – one must it seems have a Pimms while at Chelsea as its tradition.....unfortunately it wasn’t the best of days for languishing in the sun with a Pimms as we chose the only day that it rained liked cats and dogs for a couple of hours. 

If presented with the chance, always say yes to going to Chelsea.  Keep in mind that it is a show full of grandiose ideas and go along and enjoy it.  One of the best spectacles I’ve seen.  Better than Fantastic!.

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