Aside from the inclement weather on Monday, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 was fantastic and exceeded all of my expectations. As always the standards were exceptionally high and the show has really taken on a new direction, especially with the artisan picnic area, which was introduced last year. (more about that later) .
Every garden design seemed to be full of the most gorgeous flowers, in muted and often clashing colours, with traditional and rustic stone work, which gave a natural and very tranquil feel to this year’s theme. In contrast to this was the standout ‘The Beauty of Islam Garden’ designed by Kamelia Bin Zaal.
Show Gardens that I especially liked included ‘The Time In Between’ (Designer: Charles Albone), ‘The Laurent-Perrier Chatsworth Garden’ (Designer: Dan Pearson) and ‘Sentebale – Hope in Vulnerability’ (Designer: Matthew Keightley)
A Time in Between by Charles Albone
I even spotted Prince Harry visiting Matthew Keightley early doors at the Sentebale garden as it was designed to celebrate the opening of the Mamohato Children’s centre in Lesotho, South Africa as part of The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community.
I especially liked the mass abundance of ornamental grasses, lupins (my new favourite flowers) and foxgloves on show. A soft under layer of beautiful swaying grass with these powerful towering flowers in a mass of colour made for a beautiful theme. This Lupinus Russell Hybrid I saw in the Great Pavilion (or the big tent as I like to call it) was super stunning. I am a real fan of these candy themed flowers at the moment.
The Great Pavilion was once again home to an array of gorgeous flower displays from florists and nurseries including a very creative Made Hatter’s Tea Party by Simon Lycett. Loved the giant Jammie Dodger.
There was also stunning displays of stocks, dahlias, lupins and, violas and peonies, and a really cute Hobbit Garden by Adam Flemming and Peter Lillington, designers for Wyndford Garden Plants.
I always love to visit the Artisan area at RHS and this year the picnic area was so gorgeous. Simple benches highlighted with wild flower jars and festoon lighting, this would look so pretty at night. Such a pity it was too wet to eat there when I was visiting, but has given me some ideas for outdoor parties.
Plant and Flower highlights for me included the use of moss, foxgloves, lupins and cacti, and my favourite gardens were Show: The Time in Between, Artisan: Edo Garden by Ishihara Kazuyuki Design Laboratory and also Paul Cummins MBE tulip installation in the Great Pavilion which was unveiled by Her Majesty the Queen no less! You can also purchase the tulips online, which I will definitely be doing to go with my poppy. Paul Cummins website
Edo Garden by Ishihara Kazuyuki Design Laboratory
Other exciting spots at the show included singer Sam Smith enjoying roses in the Great Pavilion, Joanna Lumley sitting in a taxi to avoid the rain, Carol Kirkwood filming the weather slot for BBC Breakfast telling us it was raining whilst we stood in the rain, and my first book, The Balcony Gardener in the RHS Book Shop.
Another fabulous year at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show to launch the gardening months, now all we need is the sunshine.