Following on from my first post looking at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, here are my thoughts on some of the other gardens I enjoyed. Firstly, the Living Legacy Garden for Wellington College and designed by Andrew Wilson and Gavin McWilliam.
I always think it a little harsh to say that something 'only' got a silver gilt medal as it is no mean feat to achieve one, yet there is a sorrow that it did not achieve gold.
It was a good garden, the burned stump with the guardian sculpture was impressive.
I might have been thinking about Gort, but not in a bad way (1951 version please, not Keanu Reeves). It was raining quite hard at this moment so please forgive the raindrops on the lens.
The Beauty of Islam designed by Kamelia Bin Zaal also received a silver gilt, to which I feel I should add ‘surprisingly’. It was a garden that needed more sun when I saw it, but it was very beautiful, very precisely designed with great lines and superb use of water.
The Morgan Stanley Healthy Cities Garden, designed by Chris Beardshaw had some of the best sculpture of all the gardens and used extremely effectively.
Good sculpture is one thing, but siting it effectively is a real skill. The planting worked well and it was a good garden.
Ok, I did have to look twice at the sculpture below as at first glance I was thinking that the facehugger was on back to front, but once I realised what I was looking at it made more sense.
The garden received a deserved gold medal.
The Perfumer’s Garden in Grasee by L’Occitane, designed by James Basson was truly beautiful, albeit a little rainy).
I did feel that this garden and Chris Beardshaw’s had got one of the more difficult plot locations. I feel they are harder to see and easy to walk past, this is not a good thing and especially when reflecting on the amount of work and skill that has gone into making them.
I loved this garden and I was very glad to see it achieved gold which just goes to show that both it and Chris Beardshaw did not suffer judging wise. The garden had some fantastic specimen olive and fig trees and the planting was some of the best I saw at the show.
The Time in Between by Husqvarna and Gardena, designed by Charlie Albone, is a very effective garden and I was surprised to see it only achieved a silver-gilt.
It made good use of its plot, the secluded area at the rear of the garden was beautifully designed and the planting worked extremely well.
It was a joy to see Proteas being used so well.
They are a hard plant to place in a traditional planting sense and you would not think they would go well with box balls, alliums and iris, but they did and were used to great effect.
Along to the Fresh Gardens, an area I think that should be encouraged even though I look at much of it and walk away perplexed. A couple of gardens stood out: the Dark Matter Garden for the National Schools’ Observatory, designed by Howard Millar Design Ltd, is particularly worthy of note.
The rusted structure worked extremely well with the planting.
The Breakthrough Breast Cancer Garden designed by Ruth Willmott was also extremely well planted. The silver birches shone in the rain and the planting was superb.
I also really liked the curved walls of the Pure Land Foundation Garden.
The temptation to stroke the walls was almost too much.
Into the Great Pavilion and as usual the stands are just overwhelming with colour, scent and the skill and dedication of the nursery owners.
Some are huge like The Surreal Pillars of Mexico, with its lavish dahlia planting.
I always like to stop by Hardy's stand, as every it was at gold medal standard and superbly planted.
Hilliers stand contained this lady with this rather fine get up.
and it was totally compulsory to stop and admire the Cedric Morris irises on the Howard Nurseries stand,.
You glimpse from one plot to another, taking in the sights of Thailand across a sea of hydrangeas.
You also bump into people apparently lost from the 13th century,
and you see the most magnificent displays such as these lupins.
and I leave you with one of the most rainy pictures you will ever see,
pity the human fence-post.