Sunday, May 29, 2016

Chelsea Flower Show

Dave and I went to the Chelsea Flower Show yesterday, probably the UK's single most famous gardening event. It's so popular that tickets can be hard to come by -- we got them through our membership in the Royal Horticultural Society, a gift from one of Dave's colleagues at work.

I had never heard of Chelsea before I moved to England, but here it is quite the thing.

Royalty was present, at least in cutout form. (The queen did attend earlier.) I took this photo and realized only afterwards that those two ladies on the other side were posing for me.

The royal visage hovered over all of us...

...and over all the floral displays, like these proteas from South Africa.

Dave and I wandered through the great hall -- packed with exhibits by growers of specific types of plants -- and around the grounds, where vendors were selling everything from garden statuary to gazebos and treehouses.

We popped into the cafe and had coffee (Dave) and a Pimm's (me) overlooking the Thames. We joked that we should have worn t-shirts reading "FLOWERS SUCK" -- just to be provocative.

We saw the huge display of crocheted poppies between the show grounds and the old Royal Hospital. It's meant as a tribute to the armed forces, kind of like the installation in 2014 at the Tower of London.

And of course we saw the show gardens, which are quite amazing and unlike anything we're ever likely to have at home. It's interesting to see how the garden designers use certain plants and colors and shapes to have the desired effect. (We loved that orange flower in the lower right -- I have no idea what it is. A zinnia, maybe?)

Still, after we got home from all the hustle and bustle we agreed that our own peaceful garden was our favorite!


  1. Gardening has been completely changed recently. as you say color size and shape are used to put together very attractive gardens. Yes, home is always best.

  2. gorgeous flowers and gardens. it takes a full time job for it though. sometimes I think that would be a great job to have.

  3. Thank you for all the beautiful photos. We were fortunate to have friends take us to Chelsea several years ago. We marveled at the great number and varieties of flowers in the exhibition halls and would have loved to have bought two huge brass lions to be shipped to the U.S. but alas not in the budget.
    We love our home garden as well.

  4. Fantastic photos from this famous event. I'd love to visit it once in my life. For some reason this made me think of an old British TV show I used to watch called Rosemary and Thyme. Those poor ladies worked in some of the most beautiful gardens but, unfortunately some one was always getting killed wherever they went. :-)

  5. If those two ladies were posing for you, how come they have still got their tops on?

  6. What a beauty, this post!! LOVE the cut out Libby! All of it, superb and , really, t-shirts printed with Flowers Suck would have been the icing ! Glad Dave could make it through the day !Must be feeling better and getting back to his super powers.

  7. Looks beautiful! Glad Dave is getting out and about. Our gardens are not big or fancy either, but they are dear to me as well.

  8. Lovely post. The Chelsea looks like a great day out. That orange flower you were fond of is a calendula. They are quite easy to start from seed and will reseed themselves as well. Glad Dave is feeling well enough to get out and about. x0 N2

  9. Red: It's much more sophisticated than it used to be for middle-income gardeners.

    Ellen: I agree!

    Cheryl: The lion statues are definitely an English thing, aren't they? I see so many houses with some variety of twin lions.

    Sharon: I've never seen that show! Gotta check it out! :)

    YP: I didn't post that shot. This is a G-rated blog.

    Linda Sue: Actually, it was a bit trying for Dave. He got very tired which is partly why we sat in the cafe for a while. But I do think it was good for him to get out.

    Jenny-O: Home is where the heart is, or something like that. Also, I never responded to your comment the other day about Olga not "beating up" the neighbor dog. I was really joking -- Olga looks like a bruiser but she has never attacked another dog, thank god. Not even little tiny ones, and she's been around chihuahuas and pekingese and pretty much all sorts with her dog walkers.

    N2: Thank you SO MUCH for identifying that flower! We'll have to get some. :)

  10. THANK YOU for posting this!!!
    I have been there 3 times. in my life.... and I had hoped to be there again this year.
    It is FANTASTIC!
    I am so pleased I found this.

    Greetings from me in Norway.

  11. Glorious! I read a book once that was about a woman who created a garden for Chelsea - it was great. I'll have to track it down & reread it.