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A Day at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2009


By peter


The trip to Chelsea on Wednesday was great, the time went so quickly that I lost track of it and didn’t get a chance to see everything – there were streets I didn’t even walk down.

I didn’t meet any fellow GoYers – although Ajay and I went for a Pimms anyway :o) £4.50 for a small and £9 for a large glass! Very enjoyable in the lovely sunshine though, and it’s well worth taking a minute to just watch the crowds – and there are crowds :o)

The flower show is packed even before entering the gates, and as you pass through the gates a road packed with people and stalls stretches in front of you.

The crowd as we entered Chelsea

It’s pretty slow moving around the grounds, especially trying to get in a good position to take show garden photos, even being quite tall. If you’ve never been there are crowds at each garden and it can take 5 minutes to slowly work your way to the front. Once you get to the front to get a good view you’re almost stuck there; crowds of people behind are trying to do what you’ve just done and you can end up taking as long to get back out of the crowd as it did to get to the front :o)

There are also stands which look like show gardens, I really quite liked the raised beds on display on one stand selling cold frames and greenhouses.

Veg garden on a commercial stand

I should’ve had a quiet word with this lot, though. Looks like they could do with a few tips on cold frame design :o)

Cobbled together by amateurs

Finely crafted masterpiece

All of the gardens were pretty fantastic, but the great thing is that there’s something for almost any taste. The Daily Telegraph garden which won best in show is beautiful but not something I’d want – and that (I think) is what gardening’s all about :o)

Daily Telegraph Garden

I also loved (but wouldn’t want) the statues from the Ace of Spades urban garden. I thought these vicious metal aliens stalking their prey (slugs & snails?) through delicate blooms were fantastic!

Alien in the Ace of Spades urban garden

However, I would love to have the Hesco garden and I think of all of them, this was my favourite.

The Hesco Garden

One thing to look out for when you’re taking photos at Chelsea is people in the gardens. I got to the Hesco garden at watering time :o)

Watering the Hesco Garden

Another highlight for me was the QVC garden which I can imagine spending hours relaxing in.

The QVC Garden

I think the two have a similar feel, maybe it is telling me about my taste in gardens. I don’t really know what my ideal garden would be, I wonder if there’s an art to reading into garden tastes?

I heard Ken Livingston last night saying that a single oak tree brings hundreds of species of wildlife to your garden. Oh, to have room for an oak tree :o)

I might be able to fit in at least one piece of the wildlife boxes that were part of the Future Nature garden – but certainly not their centre piece.

Wildlife habitat in the Future Nature garden

I liked the humour in Sarah Eberle’s 3 ‘Credit Crunch’ gardens, especially the offshore garden which had the path to the door completely under water.

The Off Shore garden

There was so much to see that we ended up with not much time to go around the Great Pavilion which was a bit of a mistake, the displays in there are absolutely beautiful.

It’s not really a plant, but I did find this for David’s garden – a cocoa bean store on the stand from Grenada :o)

Cocoa bean store

Talking of not plants – the urban garden which had the largest crowd was James May’s Paradise in Plasticine. There seemed to be mixed reactions from overheard comments but there was certainly interest. Everything in the garden was made from plasticine!

Paradise in Plasticine

All in all it was a great day out, with were some fantastic gardens and amazing displays. Not everything to everyone’s taste, but wouldn’t that be boring?

I hope you have a fantastic weekend in the garden :o)

More blog posts by peter

Previous post: BBC Gardener's World plant list - 16th May 2009

Next post: BBC Gardener's World plant list - 29th May 2009



Thank you Peter for the tour, your pics are brilliant, i enjoyed them very much and i agree with you....your favs would be mine too....:>)

22 May, 2009


There's coverage over here downunder on our Better Homes and Gardens show tonight - now that I've had a preview from these photos I will be able to compare what they present with the fabulous photos you've posted. Great photos.

22 May, 2009


thats fab thanks for posting pics, loved the telegraph garden that would be my dream garden when the kids are all groen up, did you see Joe Swift hes luuuurvly


x x x

22 May, 2009


Thanks Motinot & Bernie :o)
Oops, and Mookins :o)

I didn't see anyone famous while we were there, which seems almost impossible when you see how many celebs are on the TV shows.

22 May, 2009


Thanks for the trip Peter, great photo's. Shame you missed the Great Pavilion....may-be next year! :)

Did you know the plasticine garden won a gold plasticine medal? Made especially the night before the awards were presented!

Last night of coverage on TV tonight.

22 May, 2009


I waited by the Pimms stall Peter...Where were you?! lol
It was a great day and I had a bit longer there than you. I agree you never get round to seeing everything. Hope to see you there next year, or what about Hampton court? thanks for the pics, i missed the hesco garden

22 May, 2009


I loved the fact that Chelsea judges awarded James May with a plasticine medal LOL, great photos and some of these were on the programme today and last night, looks too busy for me though don't cope with crowds!

22 May, 2009


Hehe, I hadn't heard about the gold plasticine medal.

Glad you enjoyed it too, Mageth. We must have walked straight past you at the stand :o) I think we're probably going to Hampton later this year, will keep you posted onChelsea next year.

I think my photo of the crowd was the busiest bit, Sewingkilla. The roads are busy but not packed, like town on a Saturday. It's trying to get close to the show gardens that's shoulder to shoulder. But worth it :o)

22 May, 2009


Thank You so much, for the bean store pic/reference,, Peter!

Cocoa, in any form, doesn't last here long enough to require storage, lol, but the by-products make a really good, environmentally-frinedly mulch, reminds me of a suggestion by Grammazoo back in October, so will look into this. :-)

No "Green" Carpet Celebs"? This is unusual, but depends on "how much rushing around, trying to see as much as you can in one day", you have to do.

Sorry that you missed each other, Peter, Ajay and Mageth :-(

Well, will have better personal planning in place for Chelsea 2010! Won't miss it! :-)

22 May, 2009


Your own-made "coffin" is definitely" far superior to that trendy polycarb, recycled -coke tin, expensive model, Peter!

And,,,,the Daily Telegraph garden does give me ideas for a glass elevator, heeheee!

22 May, 2009


Nice blog Peter, it has certainly made my mind up about going though. The crowds would have driven me insane.
I had planned to go on a members only day. Was Wednesday members or the first public day?

23 May, 2009


David, thanks for the compliment on the cold frame. I had completely forgotten about the glass elevator in the story, cracking idea :o) I think Ajay might have seen a celeb while I was trying to get in good photo positions.

Thanks Fleurdemai, Wednesday was a members day but I suspect they sell the same number of tickets for each day. It might be a bit quieter first thing, our tickets were from 3.30 in the afternoon. Even with the crowds I'd recommend a trip, I really enjoyed it :o)

24 May, 2009


I went on Tuesday and it wasn't too busy. My favourite, the Widow's Garden, was in the Great Pavilion. Shame we don't recognise other Goyers, maybe we should have a GOY tee shirt. I might make my own ready for Hampton Court in July.

24 May, 2009


I went to Chelsea many moons ago, but these days I simply can't cope with crowds, so I stay away.

I do go to the AG Show in last summer, and enjoy that.

Thanks for the photos, Peter. At least I can enoy some of the show through your eyes!

25 May, 2009


How about a green lapel ribbon.......thats quite discreet Ginellie

25 May, 2009


For my all4shelties forum we designed and ordered badges so that we could recognise members when we attended dog shows.
I think they ended up costing us 34p each (we ordered 100)
The badge were only about 3 or 4cm wide and so are quite discreet.
We sold them to members at a £1 which covered the postage.
They have been a great success, with many members saying that they would never have had the nerve to walk up to a stranger but felt a bit braver when spotting someone at a show wearing the forums badge.

Why not have a competition to design one for GOY?

25 May, 2009


As we have never been to Chelsea it was great to walk around with you....less crowded!!
Enjoyed your pictures very much.

25 May, 2009


Looks like we'll have to come up with something so we can spot each other at shows!

Glad to give you a glimpse of the show, Spritz & DottyDaisy :o)

26 May, 2009


Love that Hesco garden :o)

23 Nov, 2009

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