Saturday, 25 May 2013

Chelsea Flower Show

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Helena asked me if I'd like to go to the Chelsea Flower Show with her as she had managed to get 2 tickets for Friday evening. Well, who could turn that offer down! I usually go to the RHS Spring show in Malvern but this year it clashed with Harri's birthday weekend, so I didn't manage to get there. It is many years since I've been  to the Chelsea flower show and I have overwhelming memories of being crushed in the throng and not being able to get a great view of the gardens. I always plan to go and then end up not booking tickets and watching it on the telly. Well not this year!

We couldn't get in until 17.30, so we went first to Tate Britain to have a look at the fabulous 500 years of British Art. This has now been arranged  around the perimeter rooms of Tate Britain in chronological order starting in the 1500's.There are so many wonderful works of art that eventually you get visual overload. We galloped through every single room covering 500  years in about 3 hours! This is clearly not the best way to do this: if I lived in London I would dip in and out , just taking one room , more slowly, at a time (it's also free).
They even had one of Barry Flanagan's famous hares! I didn't think to take more photos  but it was well worth the visit.
I had planned that we would walk from the Tate ,across the Thames, and stroll down to the Chelsea Hospital but of course it was absolutely p*ssing it down, and we both got soaked! I even had to buy a brolly in Peter Jones. All I can say was that it was a good job I was wearing winter clothes otherwise I would have frozen to death. 
We managed to see all the show gardens when it was only lightly raining and then took refuge in the Great Pavilion during the heavier down pours. So apologies for the crap photos:
One corner of the B and Q Sentabale Forget- me -knot garden (Prince Harry's garden).
A few selected highlights:
We did get to see the Australian garden that won best in show, but it was very crowded around it so I didn't get many photos. The planting was absolutely stunning, as were the natural waterfalls  but I didn't like the giant orange solar panel thing. 

One difference between Chelsea and Malvern, is that you can't actually buy any plants in Chelsea, you can only order them. The evening slot was certainly quieter than daytime, but 2 and 1/2  hours is not enough time to see everything, so there were areas that we missed altogether. The rain didn't help either as it is mostly all outside. The quality of the merchandise is certainly much higher in Chelsea (with an appropriately high price tag) and there were some stunning sculptures. I can only dream..

Gardening and art are 2 of my obsessions, but I think I'd better make my next post about sewing!


  1. I'd love to go but am put off by the crowds. So it's TV for me

  2. Mother nature is a godess of art, isn't she?!
    Looks like you had a fabulous time (well except the rain perhaps....) ;o)

  3. We keep saying we'll go one day. I had no idea you couldn't purchase on the day.

  4. I've been to Malvern a few times, but never Chelsea. It looks beautiful, but I wouldn't like the crowds either!

  5. I hope the rain didn't spoil your visit?! I still haven't got round to watching the BBC programmes - I'm having my garden redone so want to sit and watch with a notebook and pen by my side so I can note down the names of plants I like!

  6. how beautiful!! I so would love to see that show, so glad you took some pictures for us non-goers, thanks!!