Monday, 19 May 2008

Chelsea goes green

I have been speculating the ‘in colour’ for Chelsea 2008 and after watching tonight’s television coverage on the BBC it appears that this year it is green. I didn't see that coming although it is not a huge surprise.

If you are a regular visitor you will know that green dominates my garden too. Although I wouldn’t say I was a trend setter having gardened with green for many years. I love green in the garden.


Okay, so tonight you really don’t want to hear about my garden! You will notice a new picture at the top of my side bar. This links directly to the website for The Chelsea Flower Show.

As I type this the judges will be on the final stages of deliberation over who gets medals and what type they should be. Three weeks is all the time the gardens and displays have had with the deadline for completion 7.30am this morning. I am certain there are a lot of exhausted and anxious people tonight!

Early tomorrow morning the medals are handed out and the BBC usually covers this too. There will be tears, smiles and I suspect some jumping for joy!

So do I have any favourites from the small snapshot I have seen tonight? Will I stick my neck out and say who I fancy for best in show? I’d like too but I haven’t seen enough of the gardens yet. Excuses, excuses – I know!

Did you know there are a staggering 600 exhibitors this year? Of that number there are 22 show gardens. Did you also know that gnomes are on the banned list at Chelsea? That did make my smile as they are on the banned list in my garden too!

Okay, you’ve twisted my arm… I am going to say The Laurent-Perrier Garden by designer Tom Stuart-Smith will get best in show.

I also liked The QVC Garden by designers Patrick Clarke & Sarah Price (Wynniatt-Husey Clarke) and the oak pathway suspended above the planting in The Lloyd's TSB Garden by designer Trevor Tooth. I have to say when we see more coverage tomorrow I may well find others I like as much. However on first impression The Laurent-Perrier Garden gets my vote.

Update Tuesday 20th May (Medals Day): I am delighted to announce that The Laurent-Perrier Garden by designer Tom Stuart-Smith was awarded both a gold medal and Best in Show in the category of show gardens. I am thrilled. I do believe, as said in the television coverage, that it was a very brave garden using so much green and I am so glad it was chosen. I hope to show links later so you can see it and the others in some more detail. The website is still being updated. Congratulations go to Tom and his team!

Finally, I'd like to wish everyone visiting this show a great time!

8 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Do you ever get to go to the Chelsea? I bet it is a madhouse. I have read so much about it that I would like to attend some day. I know a lady that has been there. That is probably as close to it as I will ever be. Ha...

shirl said...

Hi there Lisa :-)

Yes, I was lucky enough to go 12 years ago with my Mum. It was wet, cold and the marquees were so crowded that they were restricted to ‘one way’!

They have new marquees with more room now. They also have a surface over the grass so you don’t get wet feet as we did too. We had difficulty seeing the show gardens over the sea of umbrellas and occasions I just had to hold up my camera and take the shots!

All that being said we dressed up and despite the rain I wore the hat I took for this special occasion. It did not dampen our spirits at all. There was so much to see that we had to pace ourselves to fit everything in (which we didn't) before the coach picked us up again.

Yes if the rain had stopped it would have been more enjoyable no doubt. I do plan to return but it is likely to be my teenage daughter I will be going with if we can fit it around exam times here in Scotland. We considered going this year.

Once the website is updated with all the winners and videos of the gardens you will be able to get a good flavour yourself. I hope you enjoy it :-D

Border Reiver said...

I've been the Chelsea now about 10 times. Last year was much better as they've expanded the area and much less crowded than my first visit in 1985 as a spotty youth. It can be mayhem, but I have found going on the second RHS members day (not the first) and get in there by 9am - walk the place to noon, spot of lunch and a rest mid afternoon then stay until after 7pm just about keeps one sane and it's amazing how people dissapear after 5pm. Personally I prefer Hampton Court as a lot more space, but Chelsea is special as the launch pad for many plants etc. I'd recommend anyone who's into gardening must go at least once.

A well deserved Best in Show as you say Shirl. i'll be watching tonight.

But no garden gnomes, how can you say that...Reg my illuminated gnome will be upset :-)

Marie said...

Green is great :)

Barbara said...

Thanks a lot for the link you gave about Chelsea. Last year during our stay in Scotland we could also watch short reports on TV (always before dinner!). This was very interesting, as we do not know such shows over here. I'm glad that green is THE colour! I also love it...not only because of all my various hostas!

shirl said...

Hi again Border, Marie and Barbara :-)

Border- A veteran then! Yes, I can see that there is more room now when you see the coverage. Sounds like you’ve got a good plan going there for Chelsea. Now Hampton Court I haven’t been to and it is on my hit list. I went to Tatton in its first or second year and the traffic getting there was a nightmare we queued for almost two hours – a bit like Chelsea on a coach trip! I agree, it is worth seeing at least once. Apologies to Reg. I do hope he has recovered :-D

Marie – Hi again :-) I agree, it so is :-D

Barbara – You are most welcome :-) I have links for a number of shows here in the UK but they are quite far down my sidebar. Chelsea is there too if you look for it again. After Saturday I will be removing the link at the top. I had a feeling you would be a GREEN fan! However hostas are yet another plant love we have in common :-D

M Sinclair Stevens (Texas) said...

I would love to go to Chelsea at least once but I doubt I'll be able to. I'm hoping to go to the Tatton Park show since my inlaws live near there.

Thanks for the coverage. Both the Laurent-Perrier Garden and the QVC garden look so cool, restful, and inviting. Maybe that mood is a response to the threat of global warming. (It's near 40C degrees here in Texas so it seems very appealing to me!)

shirl said...

Hi there M Sinclair :-)

Chelsea is a place that is well worth one visit in your lifetime however I am glad you were still able to see some of the gardens through the links on their site at least. Yes, I am glad you enjoyed my favs too :-D

Well, the Tatton Park Show I have been to once and a few photos from my pergola post and colour posts were taken there. It is much more open than Chelsea and you will be able to browse at your leisure. I am sure you will enjoy it.

However, if it is green and cool gardens you love to see please don’t miss a visit to the gardens at NT Tatton Park itself. I have been there a couple of times and loved the fernery (in a greenhouse) and the wonderful Japanese gardens. They are both so tranquil The house itself is also worth a visit :-D

I have visited this area a few times over the years and I am sure your in-laws will take you places. However, although a little bit of a drive perhaps, I would also recommend Biddulf Grange and the Dorothy Clive garden. There is also Bridgemere garden world with heaps of plants and Stapley for water features.

I am sure the greens of that area of England will be a huge contrast to Texas! Enjoy your trip whenever you go. Have a great weekend :-D