In this second highlights post from my visit to the Chelsea Flower Show on Monday I'm sharing my highlights from inside the Great Pavilion (read part one to see my highlights from the show gardens, artisan gardens and the space to grow gardens).
The Great Pavilion is huge. Two football pitches worth of flowery gorgeousness. I started off with a methodical up and down each row approach and then got distracted and that plan went out of the window. I *thought* I'd seen everything it had to offer, but I've since realised I didn't - not sure how, but I did see a lot...
One of the corners was dedicated to floral displays, there were floral thrones and floral arches, and there was a definite nod to the Royal Wedding. I'll share more in a future post, but for now there's a close up of one of the arches, which also had a heart-shaped "window" built in.
There was the usual display of neatly arranged alliums, and instead of the more usual purple ones I thought I'd share this pale pink version. Even looking at this picture I'm making a mental note to get more alliums for my own garden next year.
I think this floral horse and cart was one of the areas where my logical plan went awry - I was quite literally drawn to it, it's beautiful isn't it?
I'm a fan of the wire mesh type sculptures and the figures on this stand were fantastic. The planting was evocative of a journey through a pretty meadow, and the smell here was fantastic. As I've been editing my photos I've realised that a sure fire way of seeing just how much I liked a stand was by the number of photos I've taken, and I've a few of these, so you can expect to see more of this at a future date.
You knew there'd be cacti at some point didn't you? And you're right a highlights post wouldn't be mine without some, these ones have the added bonus of having brightly coloured flowers too, so a double win in my books.
While we're talking bright colours, just look at the colour of this plant in the greenhouse, which I snuck myself into. The leaves have an almost waxy, succulent like look about them, but the flowers have a touch of asters about them don't they? I'll be doing some detective work on this one I think.
Actually while we're on colour this Flower Market made me smile, as where else would you have blooms laid out to resemble veg (and with real veg there too)?
I mentioned in my first post that there was a fair bit of corten steel on show and in the Stihl inspired garden by Hillier Nurseries, there was more - and I'm really not complaining.
I quite randomly appear to have chosen both sides of these pots for this post, but doesn't the blue of the ceanothus look great against the steel backdrop in the photo below?
This iris, and those around it also caught my eye, isn't the colour exquisite? Almost golden. I think I might need some irises in my garden at some point...
The planting at Chelsea is often dense and that's a style I love - I'm not keen on seeing earth between plants - I was pleased to spot these upturned, and crooked sleepers, and it reminded me that this was very much our preferred approach to our gabion basket area on one point, now though I can't imagine anything other than our quirkily filled wire baskets.
The Great Pavilion was also good for some celeb spotting, the lady of the left is Beverley Knight and she was a good sport trying out the Steel Drum, she admitted after the photos she had no idea but quite enjoyed herself. I bumped into her a few times around the show and the lady next to her was always with her. I don't know who the man is on the end of the photo, but I did recognise the man with the medals. Me being me had no idea of his name until later, it's Johnson Beharry who in 2005 was awarded the Victoria Cross for valour in Iraq, and was the first living recipient of the award in thirty years.
He was, as you'd expect, super nice and I was proud to shake his hand and in fact he was one of the few people (or celebs) that I spoke to. I also learnt later on that he was born in Grenada which explained why he was at the Grenada stand. I'm not a fan of the celebrity culture, and I do think that we should aspire and recognise people that achieve great things, rather than those that don't, if you know what I mean.
Anyway, back to the flower show. As you can see I'm back at the greenhouse from earlier, but this time it's a much more refined affair, with greens and succulents for lunch, and a soft cushioned chair to sit on.
Actually the chairs reminded me of something similar from my 2015 visit - remember my Bumping into Alice in the Chelsea Wonderland post, if not pop over and have a look, it's definitely fairy tale.
I've a couple more photos to share in this post (and plenty more for a few other days) but I couldn't end without a peony shot, and not just any old peony shot, the colours of the petals here had me fascinated.
As did one of the clematis displays, there were wave after wave of clematis on these structures lapping at the beach. It was a great way to display them and fun too, and yes you've guessed it there'll be more of these photos at some point too.
So there's my highlights in sixteen or so photos, I tell you narrowing it down took quite some doing!