Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Chelsea Flower Show has come and gone ... Time flyeth doesn’t it?



The Royal Horticultural Society’s 2012 Show tested the patience and ingenuity of all contributors to the limit – the two year drought conditions triggering a hosepipe ban in the eastern part of Britain ...

Lupinus Beefeater

... which once announced allowed the heavens to open giving us the wettest April in living memory, together with a particularly chilly cold snap – very unpleasant it has been!


This year was the 99th annual Chelsea Flower Show – though the War years were missed – while it has always been held in the grounds of the Chelsea Hospital bordering on the Embankment along that part of the River Thames known as Chelsea Reach, clearly shown at the bottom in this portion of Stanford’s Map of Central London, 1897 (left).


The first day during which the awards were made welcome the Royal Family, friends and celebrities, RHS members visit on days two and three, then the great British public can come in for days four, five and six – the last day being the day of the great sell off ...
Day six - Going Home!


... when people go home with trees under their arms, the tube becomes full of plants, the buses garner baskets of flowers, and cabs generously allow their fee paying passengers to be accompanied by all sorts ... plants, pots, tools, et al ...  it looks fun, but I’m glad it’s not me!!

The Chapel, Royal Hospital
Chelsea: 1681 - 1691 by
Sir Christopher Wren

In 1913 there were 244 exhibitors, while today there were 550 ... and they are allowed 25 days to put up their Gardens, plant and bring in their displays.


Where in the world would you go to visit a Flower Show ... well Royal Chelsea – the plants should be stars ... all colours of the rainbow were on show ... especially anything queenly or in red, white and blue ...


As usual there were lots of innovative ideas ...

 

... the Queen’s Corgis in flower format ... Prince William said that one thing he would change when he comes to power will be the corgis ... he says “they’re barking all the time ... I don’t know how she copes with it!”



Chelsea Pensioners starring
with Diarmuid Gavin's
Pyramid Garden
Chelsea pensioners starred with the multi-storey magical Pyramid Garden built by Diarmuid Gavin – he was awarded the Most Creative Show Garden award ... and at 80 foot high (24 m) it’s probably not surprising ...


... it was a 7 tiered garden which features a lift, a cafe, a helter skelter, work studio and greenhouses among its 5,000 plants and trees ... and just towered over the show gardens and flower pavilions below.


David Austen's new Jubilee Rose




Tree bark featured amongst the plantings ... Prunus Maackii ‘Amber Beauty’ features, as did the new David Austen Jubilee roses, Astrantia Major, Mathiasella bupleuroides ...


Astrantia Major


Things keep happening in this little land of ours ... and flowers always seem to fascinate us and amuse – I took a scented red rose from the garden here ... at least it has roses, there’s not much else to pick ... to give my mother some pleasure.


Prunus Maackii




Mathiasella Bupleuroides





Well that’s Chelsea ticked off the list before the rest of the summer jaunts catch me ill prepared ... 

I’ll away to start the next post!

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

41 comments:

Lynn said...

Love those flower bedecked Corgis! My sister has a corgi and yes, he barks with great enthusiasm. :)

Elise Fallson said...

I would absolutely adore going to the Chelsea Flower Show. It must be spectacular!

Old Kitty said...

Oh the corgis in flower form - amazing!!! And Mr Gavin's pyramid is just too fabulous for words! LOL! Did you snap up a bargain? I hope so!

Take care
x

Friko said...

I would love to go to Chelsea but I can't stand crowds. The ordinary shows like The Three Counties etc. are crowded enough for me. I watched a few of the tv programmes though.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Such a beautiful flower show! The corgis are also my favorite. Thanks for bringing this lovely event to us! Julie

Stephen Tremp said...

The pictures alone are worth the visit. I grew up in Michigan and Holland MI would hold their annual tulip festival. Talk about a lot of flowers. And of course the four of us kids would all get wooden shoes too.

Southpaw said...

That is just wonderful. I've been to flower shows before but nothing to this level.

I'd love to see everyone tracking home with plants. It may make the tube a little more crowded but it would make me smile.

Heather Murphy said...

This is beautiful! I have never seen some of these flowers before. I agree with Prince William about the corgis!

Betsy Brock said...

I must have some lunipus beefeater!! I love that!

The photo of the people carrying the flowers is hilarious! Oh my!

What a treat to go to that...it looks amazing!

KarenG said...

I would love nothing more than to spend six months with you as my tour guide across England. Oh the things I would learn and the sites I would see!

Inger said...

There's just something about you British people that I really , really miss. I think I should write a blog story about my time working as an au pair in an English Vicarage. Hilary, I think you just gave me an inspiration.

Rosalind Adam said...

Never been to Chelsea but a friend from my critique group has a son who has just received a silver medal for his garden. He's Christ Gutteridge and his garden was designed for our local children's hospice called Rainbows.

Chuck said...

Those Corgis look too cool! I wonder how my two Bostons would look made out of flowers? That 80' tower looks very precarious...could you go up in it?? This show makes our Arboretum here in Dallas look like a backyard garden. Nice summer post Hilary.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

I LOVE flower shows! Recently, we visited Longwood Gardens in PA. There's nothing quite like being surrounded by beauty.

Cute fact about Prince William and the corgis.

Munir said...

Thank you for sharing the pictures. Wish I was there.

Jo said...

Good old Chelsea Flower Show, quite a tradition. Lovely pictures.

So William isn't going to stay with Corgis eh? Can't say I blame him

Patsy said...

I like that Jubilee rose - looks almost like a peony, doesn't it?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lynn - the Corgis are a triumph in planting - ah! and they bark incessantly .. when we see them on tv they don't seem to be barking - maybe the sound is switched off!

@ Elise - it is a wonderful show to visit - but is packed even on Members' days ...

@ Old Kitty - I haven't been for a few years now .. I'd like to go again .. and I don't come away with plants - I'm practical .. the less I have to carry the better!!

@ Friko - I'm like you .. I hate crowds - I'd love to go to the Hampton Court one, or your three counties show .. one day perhaps!

@ Julie - glad you enjoyed the post .. it's fun isn't it ..

@ Stephen - many thanks - the photos were all professional ones - so they look excellent and reflect some of the views. I'd love to visit the Tulips in Holland one year too .. and I can hear the four of you as kids clacking around in your clogs - you'd have loved that!!

@ Holly - it is an incredible event - very clever planting and design .. while watching many struggle to find some public transport with their plants is fun ... especially if I'm home with a cup of tea watching on tv!!

@ Heather - I hope you get a chance one day to visit a Flower Show .. and I think I'm with you and Prince William re the corgis!

@ Betsy - isn't the Lupinus Beefeater magnificent - I knew that had to be in the post. Glad you enjoyed it.

Some of the people buy so much .. and then really struggle out of the grounds, down the embankment or up to Sloane square to catch a bus, tube or grab a taxi .. it's crazy!

@ Karen - lovely to see you - and oh what a complement - thank you so much. We'd have fun!

@ Inger - us Brits - we are a mix of one offs ... that's for sure!

That's an excellent idea - to write about your time at the English vicarage - I'm sure there's a few stories there ... it would be lovely to hear about .. as you were on the Kent/Sussex/London outer suburbs border I seem to remember .. idiosyncrasies of vicarage life would be so amusing to hear about ...

@ Ros - I've been a few times .. but don't go regularly .. I've heard of Chris Gutteridge - congratulations to him for his silver medal ... there are some wonderful gardens representing local Charities .. Children's Hospices are so important ..

@ Chuck - they'd have to be chocolate scented flowers to get the dark coat.

Yes - there was a ladder to come up or down, a lift to go up in .. and then presumably walk down, or the helter skelter to 'fly' down!

It's incredible what they do for just the week of the Show - then it's all dismantled til next year comes around! Some designs get bought and transferred to another location .. others just the plants get sold on ...

@ Susan - the gardens (botanical or just for show) and arboretums give us all so much pleasure .. that quiet serenity of a garden scene. Longwood Gardens sound delightful .. glad you enjoyed the William snippet!

@ Munir - glad you enjoyed the post and photos .. good to see you.

@ Jo - it is certainly traditional .. delighted you enjoyed the post .. and William's comment about his grandmother's corgis!

Cheers everyone - thanks for visiting .. see you all soon - Hilary

MorningAJ said...

I would love to have seen one of these shows but I could never stand the crowds. Even if you're lucky enough to be one of the chosen 'few' for the previews they look pretty hectic.

I wonder if I'll get to see any gardens over the Jubilee weekend? I might be too busy trying to repair the damage in my own little patch. Early warm adn April snows have killed a lot of my stuff.

juliet said...

How sumptuous; Chelsea must be a real treat to visit. The Jubilee rose looks just like a peony. I laughed to think of Charles getting rid of the corgies, and to see the floral version (sans bark!)

Suze said...

Thank you so much for this post, Hilary. I was drawn by the image of the snow flower, with which I'm familiar, and the rest was a wonderful tour. Very nicely done.

Deniz Bevan said...

Do you know, I've never been to a flower show! I'm more interested than ever, though - since I started reading Alan Titchmarsh's autobiography.

Journaling Woman said...

Ahh, I love flowers. What a show this must be. And the Queen's Corgi flower display is so cute.

T

cleemckenzie said...

What beautiful pictures. I almost feel like I've been to the show myself!

Glynis said...

Loved the corgi features. The show is always a spectacular event. Such talent to ooh and ahh over!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Morning AJ - I'm like you .. I occasionally go to Chelsea - I certainly would get in to Monday's viewing!!

Yes - the weather hasn't been kind to our own gardens has it .. I hope you get some time out to visit some local gardens .. enjoy the weekend anyway.

@ Juliet - it is a treat to visit - but boy is it a scrum! I agree the Jubilee Rose does look like a peony doesn't it .. I think the floral corgis are so much fun.

@ Suze - Delighted you enjoyed the tour .. and I presume you mean the Astrantia for snow flower - very pretty.

@ Deniz - well a treat in store .. and am glad I've triggered your interest in attending a Flower Show. Alan Titchmarsh has done really well for the gardening community - he's very popular .. and I hope you continue to enjoy his autobiography.

@ Teresa - glad to see you .. and so many flowers here for you: it is a glorious site - those corgis would have been fun to see ...

@ Lee - delighted you enjoyed a change from your Redwood view ..

@ Glynis - the Corgis are much admired .. and as you say it's always a spectacular event .. and all the ooohs and aaaahs - yes!!

Cheers everyone - lovely to see you all .. Hilary

nutschell said...

THose are wonderful pictures and such beautiful flowers! It sounds like a great event!
Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

Lynn Proctor said...

oh how gorgeous!!

Clarissa Draper said...

I love William's quote about the Corgis. That's so funny that he finds them irritating.

Susan Scheid said...

The David Austin rose is lovely--he keeps coming up with beauties, doesn't he? Prince William's comment on the corgies was delightfully irreverent. Thanks for bringing us the show!

DeniseCovey _L_Aussie said...

Hi Hilary. I'd love to visit the 'show' one year. Aussies always have exhibits. I love your post. Also love your previous. Saw the Exotic Marigold Hotel when it first came out. I adore that kind of movie. I didn't see Salmon Fishing, now I'm sorry I didn't. Must catch it sometime.

Denise

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Nutshell - everyone always seems to love - but we are a nation of gardeners ..

@ Lynn - it's fun isn't it ...

@ Clarissa - you'd think he could find somewhere in Buckingham Palace to get away from their barking wouldn't you .. but I too thought it was funny ...

@ Susan - David Austen Roses have some gorgeous roses available .. this just looks a particularly beautiful one. Another Corgi comment .. yes I expect William teases the Queen about their noise ..

@ Denise - well it happens each year and we'd love to see you!! .. and your national (Aussie) exhibits always feature in the Show gardens - or a designer is brought in - there was someone this year ..

The two films are fun .. glad you've seen Exotic Marigold Hotel .. but that you'll catch Salmon Fishing sometime ..

Great to see the five of you - thanks so much .. cheers Hilary

sue said...

Years ago I took my children to see the flower show in Melbourne. They were intrigued with the 'sculptures' made from flowers, but there were no corgies ;)

The David Austin rose is lovely - Ihope the perfume is equally as beautiful

cheers
Sue

Deborah Barker said...

Yes, the floral corgis really are quite amazing - did William really say that? I would like more roses in my garden which is large and well stocked but lacks the simple flowers I once enjoyed in smaller gardens. We have been here ten years and this is the first summer I have decided to take over the gardening myself. I'll let you know how I get on!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sue .. having just seen what they're doing for the Royal Barge in Sunday's Jubilee Pageant - I'm staggered ...

How people can visualise and represent flower sculptures (or any sculptures - surprises me) - love seeing them though.

Yes - the perfume is brilliant apparently .. and is on the Royal Barge too ..

@ Debbie - lovely to see you .. and the corgis have caught everyone's eye .. well according to the journalist - I can't say I was there!

It should be fun getting stuck into your own garden .. you can take your time can't you - adding a few plants a year ..

Yes please let me know how you go .. that'll be fun to keep up ..

Cheers Sue and Debbie .. good to see you both - Hilary

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi Hilary! What a wonderful post. The flowers are all absolutely beautiful.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susanne - delighted you enjoyed the post .. and the gardens and flowers must have been superb - as you say they look stunning .. cheers Hilary

Liara Covert said...

Its so wonderful that virtual flowers last forever. Sharing a vibrant story like this allows the images to tantalize the senses. I absolutely love imagining how people can spend up to 25 days putting together a contribution os-site. From the sounds of it, some of the entries remind me of the Rose Bowel Parade floats which you may have seen on t.v. in the USA.
Clearly, Chelsea is its own show yet if you aprpeciate flowers, its nice to experience them elsewhere 2

Theresa Milstein said...

Great pictures, as usual.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I'd never want to leave... okay, once it got dark, maybe.

So beautiful.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Liara - you've reminded me - that my Chelsea 2012 will be here 'for ever' .. and can tantalise anyone who reads it.

So much planning goes into designing the stand, the plants need to be nurtured to their maximum potential, etc etc ..

As you say the Rose Bowl Parades are extraordinary .. as are the Mardi Gras ones in Brazil and southern USA .. Chelsea has its own restrictions .. small plots, 'regulations' etc and adherence to the year's requirements ..

.. but oh it is a standard in our British year ..

@ Theresa - many thanks ..

@ Joylene - it is stunning isn't it and the scent pervading is just scintillating .. I think being there at night might be interesting too .. lots of night visitors ..

Lovely seeing you Liara, Theresa and Joylene .. cheers Hilary