I knew from my previous visits to the Chelsea Flower Show that the surrounding area tends to join in and this year I heard more about the Chelsea Fringe - a festival of flowers, gardens and gardening, celebrated with a series of events that runs alongside the more well known event. I didn't manage to get along to any of these, but maybe next year.
This year I travelled to Chelsea from home, and so took a different route arriving at Victoria instead of Sloane Square so I wasn't quite sure what to expect in the surrounding area, I wasn't disappointed though as the photos in this post will show, as once again the route to the Royal Hospital was bedecked with gardening goodies.
The photos above, taken outside Linley's, were the first I encountered and paid homage to bees, as well as giving a nod to the Chelsea favourite of lupins.
Other shop windows had bold and wonderful displays which were simply stunning, and clearly quite colourful.
This simple display of ferns and foxgloves made me smile as it seems I wasn't the only one enjoying them.
And further along a table full of cacti and succulents in terracotta pots caught my eye. Simple but effective, aren't they?
Other displays almost hinted at spending more time enjoying the displays, I'm not sure if anyone taking a rest here would be welcomed or not, but it'd be a great place to stop a while.
Later in the day heading back to Victoria I took a slight detour along a row of shops, wondering what I might find. These too were decorated, and flamboyantly so.
I mean if you're going to have a floral wreath, you might as well make it a big one hey?
Or how about pastel blooms to match the exterior of your shop. Once again the beehives made a reappearance, but I had to hurry past this one as the cakes were calling loudly to me, but I resisted, although right now I wish I hadn't.
Not to be outdone by the giant floral wreath, there were floral hearts and more.
After a long day walking around almost every inch of the show, these windows really did put a spring in my step as I headed back to my train home. So there's much more to Chelsea, and this year I discovered just a little bit more of it without trying, quite a find indeed...