Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Chelsea Flower Show tribute week

Let’s celebrate gardens some more with a garden visit week taking a Chelsea Flower Show twist (do join me if you fancy). The NTS garden Inverewe, on the west coast of Scotland, is a worthy gold medal winner to my eyes after a long awaited return visit last September. Yay… the rain stopped and the sun came out for it too! Fingers crossed the weather is kind for the gardens and visitors to Chelsea this week :-)

The judges at Chelsea are looking for perfection in blooms so I guess the poppy below wouldn't have made it. I have to admit to enjoying photographing flowers that are going past just as much as the perfect ones. I wonder how many photographs and videos will be taken at Chelsea this week. Any guesses?



Debris of all kinds including garden trugs need to be removed before 6:30am on the Monday of Chelsea week when the Chelsea Judges begin their rounds. I also have to admit to enjoying photographing garden tools etc in borders on garden visits - wheelbarrows and trugs are my favourites! I wonder how many wheelbarrows and trugs were taken to the show this year. Any guesses?

Walking round the Show Gardens and Floral Hall Displays, the Chelsea Judges will be scrutinising planting combinations to make sure they fit the brief given by the designer. Visitors to all garden shows/on garden visits will also scrutinise planting combinations for inspiration for their own gardens. I take many photos here again – colour and texture are the things I look out for.



Garden visits can transport us to other parts of the world with their choice of plants, materials and designs just as show gardens do. The warm currents of the Gulf Stream and the 100 acres of woodland, planted by Osgood Mackenzie to shelter the garden, allow many plants to flourish you wouldn’t expect at this northern location.

Once again, coming back to the judges at Chelsea, they are looking for a mood to a planting that helps transport the visitor. That mood has to blend together seamlessly, depending on the designers brief, it might be to a hot climate where the use of different planting heights/story levels and mulching are crucial and a reduced pallet of colour has to be balanced very carefully.




So the design brief for Inverewe could be written (as per the NTS website) as:
“A lush, sub-tropical-style, oasis perched on a peninsula at the edge of Loch Ewe amid the rugged landscape of Wester Ross”. Looking below, I’d say it definitely fulfils that brief - wouldn't you?


Dense planting, narrow paths opening up to vista views work well in our own smaller gardens too. Simple ideas like this can transform gardens.


Simple design ideas like this boundary fence of branches at Inverewe
will be highlighted by presenters in the TV coverage of Chelsea Flower Show.


Show Garden designers like to play with the element of surprise too,
like switching from formal to wild through a garden gate or door.


Inverewe Garden caught me completely by surprise here – fantastic!


Voting for the garden that you think should win the BBC RHS People's Choice Award 2015 takes place on Thursday after each of the 15 Show Gardens have been reviewed. If there was a People's Choice Award for an area at Inverewe Garden my vote would be for the Walled Garden and I’m pretty confident it would win with a large margin.


A sneak preview, watch your feet in the mud… oh my it’s pretty high up here!


At garden shows we can only look from afar as only the judges
and invited guests get to wander through the show gardens.


Later in the week, I’d like to invite you to join me for a wander around the Walled Garden at Inverewe. So many views and features caught my eye on this visit - perhaps should warn you it may spill on to more than one blog post! I’m delighted to finally find a fun way to share my many photos of this garden visit with you!

Finally, to keep with my Chelsea Flower show twist and as I am writing this blog late evening (gone past midnight) I’m going to schedule its publishing to 6:30am on Tuesday as that is when the BBC presenters and RHS personnel go round the gardens leaving medals where they are given. I do love to see the TV coverage of this moment. Looking forward to seeing more coverage of the gardens too. If you are watching too - enjoy :-)


This post was published by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in May 2015.

6 comments:

Janneke said...

I am so thrilled to be able to watch Chelsea flower show. We never could receive BBC on our tv, because we live outside our village in the Netherlands. Last night I discovered I could follow it on my computer, great, I will sit in front of the pc every evening. I'm looking forward to see which gardens get a gold medal.

VP said...

I love your twist on Chelsea Shirley! This is a garden I'd love to visit, so thanks for posting about it :)

Lisa Greenbow said...

It is very exciting seeing the garden you visited. I always have a wheelbarrow or something out. Usually the hose is laying in a path. I wish I could see some of the Chelsea show. I will look around for some video of it.

Shirley said...

Hello everyone, what a fun garden week this is. I do love the month of May in our garden too and I suspect I’m not the only one :-)

Janneke, that’s fantastic! I wonder if you agreed with which garden got gold now. Dan Pearson definitely deserved his ‘Best in Show’.

VP, thanks, I hope you come back to see the rest of the posts this week to see more of this garden which does change a bit with every year. Ha-ha... I should have forward planned these posts but I'm having fun making them up as the week goes :-)

Lisa, I’m particularly thrilled to be sharing this garden visit with you being in Indiana, USA. I hope you enjoy the rest of the garden images I have to share. I’m thinking you will! Ha-ha… I’ll think of you when I see a garden hose in a garden I visit from now on. If you follow the link to the RHS Chelsea website above you will be able to view video from there :-D

SeagullSuzie said...

I love Chelsea and enjoy watching it on tv. I'm not sure I could go, I think it would be too busy for me.

Shirley said...

Hello again, Suzie, yes I too love watching Chelsea on TV although I do yearn a little to go back again. However, my first (and only visit many years ago) did find it pretty crowded with little space to hold a camera to get photos of gardens and exhibits far less be able to stand a while and truly appreciate them :-(