Floral thrones, of course

Prepare to be amazed. And potentially a little bit bemused. This post will show you flower arranging at its greatest, quite where the inspiration comes for these fabulous creations I’m not sure, but it was great to wander amongst them and admire them in the Pavilion at last year’s Chelsea Flower Show.

A row of floral thrones at the 2018 chelsea flower show
hearts and crowns on this floral throne from RHS Chelsea 2018

I like the yellows and purples of the one above, as well as its heart-shaped addition at the top of the back. Imagine if you were to sit on this (and I’m not sure I’d advise that) the heart would be just above your crown, because of course you’d have to be wearing a crown, wouldn’t you? In fact the one below, has an evergreen crown woven into its bold design.

bright yellows, oranges and pinks on this floral throne at rhs chelsea

What is amazing is the variations among them. The flamboyance and the variety of colours and approaches used. The one below has a more practical solution for its occupant to avoid a flower squishing situation, although I’m not convinced it would be any more comfortable.

pink flowers of almost every type in this floral throne

I remember being amazed at the number of entries, and while the theme was floral thrones, the armchair version was a favourite.

More of an armchair covered in flowers than a throne
A canopied throne at the Chelsea Flower Show

The canopied version was much more regal, and I loved the colours of its flowers.

Pastel blooms for the final floral throne from last year's chelsea flower show

And it just goes to show that with a few logs from the garden and plenty of imagination, we all could have something just as spectacular, although in my case I think I’d settle for colourful as I’m not sure I could match any of this magnificence.

Hands up, whose garden will be supporting a floral throne this summer?

Foxgloves on Friday

Well, why not? Since I spotted some growing in my succulents, which isn’t as painful as it sounds, I’ve been fixated on foxgloves. Remembering those I saw at last year’s Chelsea Flower Show I thought it was about time those from the Botanic Nursery, had an airing here. It looks as if the ones below are clambering towards the top of the pavilion last May. I think it’s mostly the angle though, that and trying (and failing, it seems) to get as much foxglove as I could into a single shot.

Foxgloves at Chelsea

I didn’t do any better getting these into the shot either. But I’m forgiving myself for their creamy yellowness, which starts from the fresh lime green.

Foxgloves and a poppy or two too

When you think foxgloves, I’m sure we all think fairly similar. But in the photo above there’s the traditional downward facing bell (the white ones in the background), the creamy yellow in the foreground which is more horizontal and the more flowery purple stems. That messes with our ideals doesn’t it? Thankfully they’re all pretty, so I think they can get away with it.

Pink digitalis at the chelsea flower show

My favourite though are the ones that has the speckled landing strip for bees. And they’re the ones that are most like the ones in my garden, which is lucky isn’t it?

The Silent Pool Gin Garden at Chelsea

Now I’m sure you won’t be surprised that I stopped by this garden, but like me you’re probably wondering why it’s taken until now - and during dry January at that - to share it here. And for the record, my January hasn’t been dry, as the meme goes I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life, but if you’ve been doing it, well done, you’re nearly there - and sorry for this post. Although there’s no actual gin in the garden, unless they’ve used it to fill the pond, but that would just be wasteful and I’m sure we’d have heard about that if it was the case…

It’s the copper features that provide reference to the gin distillation process of the garden’s sponsor, and the space aims to provide a contemporary, but relaxing urban haven for a professional couple to unwind in. And, you’ll understand when you get to the photos, I hope we’re not all expected to unwind like the couple in the last few photos, who were being choreographed while I was there. They were certainly elegant, almost as elegant as I feel after a gin or two (although sadly I think the results in real life aren’t quite the same, whatever I think).

copper accents in the silent pool gin garden at rhs chelsea

The garden combines water, dappled shade and the copper in a space that could easily be replicated in many domestic gardens. It won a Silver Gilt medal and was voted the Best Space to Grow Garden in the People’s Choice vote, and it’s easy to see why isn’t it?

lush green planting breaking up the sleek lines of the space to grow garden

And as with many of the Chelsea gardens there’s more to it than first meets the eye. The delicate blue of the meconopsis (or blue poppy) - there’s one peeking out to the right of the Y in the tree trunk - hints at the colour of the gin bottles produced by Silent Pool Distillers. This wasn’t the only garden to have the unusual flowers in either, there was also meconopsis in the garden to celebrate the British Council’s 70th anniversary in India, in the ‘billion dreams’ garden, with its giant cricket stumps.

A glimpse of the pool most likely not filled with gin
botanicals  - another nod to the garden's sponsor

The planting with its blues, whites, greens and copper contributes to the calming space and five of Silent Pool Gin’s 24 botanicals are included in the garden including angelica, iris (the water loving Iris fulva is in the pale green water of the main pool) and rose.

Oh, and look - there’s that professional couple relaxing!

a professional couple relaxing in the garden
A professional couple relaxing in the garden perhaps

I’m teasing of course, this couple were clearly dancers. She moved in such a balletic way that was entrancing, and both were so supple and each were trusting and strong too, they were beautiful to watch.

pebbles water and copper - a winning combination in this space to grow garden

So that’s another of the Chelsea gardens shown, and one that provides a welcome blast of sun just when we could do with a hint of warmth. I’m not sure what the weather forecast is for you where you are, but in London there’s threats of snow - let’s hope they stay just that, let’s think hot and warm thoughts to help keep them away!