I *might* have mentioned it once or twice already, but I'm off to Chelsea this year. And I'm super-excited about it, even more than normal, as apart from it being the best Flower Show ever, I applied and got Press accreditation. I know, exciting huh? I found out back in April that my application was successful and recently my pass arrived, all I was waiting for was to find out which days I'd been allocated.
And I got that email today and so I'm aiming to make as much use of that as I can and visit on a show day and the press day on Monday. I'm sure it won't be as exciting as I'm making out, but I'm excited. I think I'm allowed to be.
I'm a sucker for all things related to the show at this time of year, and often that's restricted to the television programmes (which are already set to record). I picked up some interesting facts from the A-Z of Chelsea which was on last weekend, there's
- 27 show gardens,
- 400 exhibitors,
- over 100 nurseries provide plants for the show, which as you'd expect have to be in exactly the right condition and stage of flowering to be at their best throughout the show, and
- the Great Pavilion is the equivalent size of two football pitches - no wonder it takes your breath away when you first enter.
But often it's the little things, the detail in the gardens as well as the overall impact of the show garden. Just look at the detail of the plants in the photo below, and the gravel on the path and how it's broken up. It's amazing how these gardens are assembled, in fact how the whole show ground is transformed for just a few days of the show, and then removed afterwards. There's the infamous plant sale on the last day of the show of course, but more and more the gardens are being recreated in alternative spaces, and I like that. I like how the designer's work, the plants and the design gets to live on, nothing, especially such things of beauty should be discarded so easily.
Of course I love to look at the show gardens too, but I don't think I've ever managed to see them all and I suspect this won't change this year - although wouldn't it be nice if it did? The photos I'm sharing in this post are from my last visit to Chelsea, which I'm struggling to believe was as long ago as 2015. I'm long overdue a visit...
There's always so much to see and if you ask MOH he'll tell you I have him walking every inch of those two football pitches of the Grand Pavilion. It borders on the bonkers, the amazing, the wonderful and the superb. I think having just a single type of flower on show adds to the impact and wow factor, and while I haven't shared them here (mainly because I have veg envy and don't seem to have so many photos), the vegetable displays are definitely on the side of amazing. I'm aiming to get some veg photos to share with you this year, so you can see what I mean.
The other part of the show I like to see is the artisan gardens, on our last visit this was one of the few photos I was able to take as the whole space was rammed, uncomfortably so and we gave up planning to come back later in the evening, but were distracted by something equally as wonderful, no doubt. So they're on my list to see this time round too.
This year I've decided I should do some "homework" ahead of my visit and have a bit of a plan for what I want to see, well a plan that's a bit more detailed than everything, that is! So I've taken a look at the RHS site to see what I can expect.
The health and wellbeing gardens immediately caught my eye, as I know how much I benefit from a potter around the greenhouse, or a weeding session on the allotment. It also wasn't long before I spotted there's a gin garden, it's inspired by the Silent Pool Distillery and as you'd expect uses botanicals in its planting. I've a feeling I'll be making a stop there.
In fact my plan didn't get much further than this, as once I'd started browsing to see what's there I realised I'd gone down my very own rabbit hole, very enjoyable, but it wasn't helping getting this post written. So for the time being I've reverted to the plan of having a wander and avoiding the crowds, because often that's the best way to enjoy a garden.