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100 years of Chelsea


I don’t usually visit the Chelsea flower Show. Not because I don’t want to. I just cant stand all the crowds. This year was an exception. The main reason was my good friend and yours – Petal Tracey wanted to go and had asked me if I would like to go with her, way back last summer. Well how could I refuse? I’m so glad I went. We did end up feeling tired and all flowered out at the end of the day, but looking back over the many photos I took, I thought some Goyers may enjoy a little look at some of the highlights of our day:

We arrived early, only 10 past eight and the ground was relatively deserted. We made a quick dash for the show gardens and started off with the one that got all the prizes – the Australian trailfinders garden presented by Flemings

This is designed as an Australian backyard, featuring a studio structure alongside a natural billabong and waterfalls. I wonder how many Australian Goyers are lucky enough to have a back garden like this? You may agree, this garden was certainly impressive, but was not my favourite – we’ll get to that later…
Still not too many people around …..

But a bit too early for a Pimms yet me thinks!! :-(
Lets get back to looking at show gardens

This sculpture was commissioned by the Rhs for the shows centenary. The artist is Mark Quinn. The sculpture was destined to be auctioned by Sotheby’s. One of the helpful guides nearby informed us it was likely to go for millions!! Don’t think we’ll be bidding on that then Tracey! Beautiful colours though, the photo doesn’t do it much justice.
More gardens:

Especially loved these calla lilies, planted in a large circle around a pond.

No shortage of ideas for living walls -

Chris Beardshaw’s garden for Arthritis Research UK was really special -

The seeability garden was really interesting too. Sponsored by Coutts to raise awareness about the effects of visual impairment. The paths were of slate. I just liked it, especially the rusty circles.

The Stoke on Trent garden was designed to tell the story of its journey from rich industrial past to its present as a modern city. I just liked the planting combinations. some of the roses were to die for -

My personal favourite was the Roger Platt garden sponsored by M&G. Entitled the Centenary Garden

The sub title of this garden was ‘windows through time’ as the garden was designed to be viewed through the large circle in the picture above. The planting was what made this garden special for me. Gorgeous tall cornus plants were used throughout the garden and blocks of colour provided by herbaceous perrenials and bulbs. A rather special pink delphinium was used called ‘dusky maiden’. – Just lovely, everyone seemed reluctant to walk away from this one, we stood gazing for a long time….
Other areas of interest outside included a series of towers:

This was also designed to be a ‘bee hotel’ – pretty too!
Chelsea would not be Chelsea without the weird stuff. There was a whole large pitch just filled with all these incredible statues. Quite where you would house the guy riding the dinosaur, I’m not quite

~The little owl would fit into my garden quite nicely though!

Now into the pavilion:

As you would expect – flowers from floor to ceiling. Gorgeous bulbs. These are some from the Jacques Armand stand

This was the stand everyone seemed drawn to. It was spectacular!

The Waitrose stand was good too, as they allowed you to walk right through the centre of their display. They even took the exhibits over the top of you as you walked through. They were proud to announce that all the produce used in the display was from the same stocks on sale in the supermarkets.

and overhead -

Some final photos of some of the flowers and exhibits I’ve not mentioned:

One of the ‘artisan’ gardens. I loved this little pebbly pool.

fantastic fountains -

These little geums were lovely.

A few tropical delights -

Cant do a whole blog without the obligatory

A photo of Tracey gaining a higher viewpoint for her photos – gottcher!!

Finally, finally some final shots of more artisan gardens..

We were determined to stay until the end and see everything we possibly could. I think we achieved that. The only downside was we were both shattered! We finally left for home at 7.45pm! Hope you enjoyed it, we certainly did, thanks for sharing our day.

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Great photos PoppyLover....thanks for putting them up so we could do Chelsea without the crowds.I think that sculpture and the incredibly bright planting surrounding it is great and what a lovely cream colour the rose is in one of the pics!
Oooh , and I feel posh now because I have a red Zantadeschia(Calla Lily) exactly the same as the one in one of your pics.Mine is in a pot In the back garden having been brought on early in the heated potting shed so it's looking nice and red just like the one in your pic!

9 Jun, 2013


Poppy what a wonderful blog. What I like is all the things we didn't see on the television coverage. So much more to Chelsea than you would think from that coverage ! I shall put this in my favourites to look back on later. Beautiful photos, and so glad you had a good time.

9 Jun, 2013


Thats what we did Poppy when we went a few years ago, got there as the gates opened, we made for the big marquee first then did the show gardens, it was so easy to see things, we'd more or less finished by lunchtime, and no stress!

Thanks for all the lovely photos x

9 Jun, 2013


Enjoyed your blog very much Poppy . . . lovely of you to go to so much trouble to show us so many photos, and what a great idea to get there really early. No wonder you were shattered - what a long day! I'm adding this to faves so that I can look again, and as Cinders said, we've now seen things we didn't see on the TV. Fantastic - thanks :)))

9 Jun, 2013


WOW!!! Didn't we have a great day Poppy??!! Can't believe that we managed to survive it all... My favourite of the show gardens was Roger Platt's Centenary Garden. The planting was just so romantic and dreamy...!!! However, my favourite Artisan garden was... I'll have to see if I can load it for you to see... Enjoyed your blog Poppy! xxx

PS Sorry I'm having such problems with loading many of my pictures from the new camera :o(

9 Jun, 2013


A very interesting tour - thank you. I have to confess to preferring the more traditional gardens to the very modern ones with lots of hard stuff and not many flowers though. Waitrose was the winner for me, even though there weren't any stupendous new varieties of flowers, just because of the artistic ingenuity of the use of materials! You must have had a totally exhausting day, but worth every minute - thanks for sharing it with us.

9 Jun, 2013


A great blog Poppy, having never been I really appreciate you sharing your day with us, like you I don't like crowds.
I prefer the gardens without the modern statues but thats just me, lol...
Lovely photo's, thankyou..

9 Jun, 2013


I`ve enjoyed the tour very much Poppy in fact you seem to have covered it better than on the TV, where the emphasis seems to be on the presenters more so than the gardens.

9 Jun, 2013


Hello Paul the gardener. You will have to put a pic on of your Zantedeshia. I'm glad it made you feel posh lol. Cinders, I was surprised the Waitrose stand was not covered on the TV, glad you enjoyed the blog. Pamg, I wish I was that disciplined! We managed to see most of the show gardens before the crowds descended! Yes Sheilabub, we were both shattered, but really, really happy. It was a great day and good to share, glad you enjoyed it. Hello Petal, yes I thought you would like Roger Platt's garden too. I'm still wondering where I can squeeze in an Eddies wonder!! Steragram, yes the Waitrose stand was a favourite of mine too. I loved the mix of flowers and vegetables. How I didn't pick one of those strawberries to! Lincs, if you have never been you must treat yourself one year, but I would definitely pay more to go on the RHS members day when they limit the numbers even more. You can celebrity spot too, if you are lucky. Stroller, I agree, I love going to the shows if only to speak to the growers. You can get so much information and they are always so friendly and generous with their tips.

10 Jun, 2013


thank you, so pleased you had so much fun and saw lots of the gardens, it looks amazing, you must have been cream crackered after all that walking and picture taking. Loved the water features/fountains and some of the sculptures, like you would not know where to house a dinosaur sculpture. Now the little owl would fit in my garden just perfectly too. Lots of lovely pictures, I was tired out just looking through them so no wonder you were so tired after a whole day walking and looking. Thank you for a lovely blog on Chelsea.

10 Jun, 2013


Poppy . . Eddie's White Wonder alert! I also fell for this gorgeous shrub, and bought one from Karen Juncker, a specialist, but it has NEVER flowered :((. A few years ago I emailed Karen for advice, and she said to give it plenty of leaf mould, and it has still NEVER flowered, lol, and I must have had it for seven or eight years!

10 Jun, 2013


I'm pleased you had a wonderful time :o)

10 Jun, 2013


Wonderful blog Poppy really enjoyed it - so many ideas!

10 Jun, 2013


Great blog Poppy, I was bored with the television coverage, but yours brought it to life. I don't suppose I'll ever get to see it in the flesh (I'd probably topple one of those towers) so I'm very grateful you've taken the time to share. It must have taken you ages:-))

12 Jun, 2013


Hi sheila. Thankyou for the tip on eddies white wonder. I have seen one at one of my favourite nurseries and in my mind i have planted it! Lol. It was in flower when. I saw it so maybe worth a punt. I found a really high potash feed supposed to be for amaryllis i use it on all my clems. So it will geta dose of that if it doesnt flower for me. Oliveoil, hywell dirtyred and bornagain really pleased you enjoyed the blog. It gives me alot of pleasure to relive it and . Something to look back on in a few months when ive forgotten all about it

16 Jun, 2013

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