Predictable 'I went to Chelsea and I saw a plant' post

On Tuesday I went to Chelsea, I've been going for a while now and it was great to go this year with me old mucker Michelle.  We have shared a love of gardens and gardening for many years now.  Sometimes we might not see each other for years, but we always pick up where we left off.

Last year we went to Tatton together, but this year it was Chelsea's turn to have the old firm back in business together.  We planned a two day extravaganza of Chelsea and food and wine. 

But enough of the that, Chelsea was all over the news as not being about plants.  Allegedly it is about gimmicks, it is not relevant etc etc etc.  I went to a different Chelsea.  I went to one where I saw lots of amazing plants.  Some were on stalls in the pavilion and some were in gardens.  Some I don't like very much (cactus - why?)  Have to admit I am not that keen on looking at veg at flower shows either.  I don't want to admire their form, I want to eat them.   Don't get me started on salad stuff!

There are criticisms that it is not really a flower show.  Now I am not expert enough to know what the definition of a flower show is so I can only give my personal, uninformed, opinion.   It is a show and it is full of flowers displayed in many different ways and prizes are awarded.  It is very clearly a competition involving plants and medals are awarded accordingly.  So in my simple world it is a sort of flower show.
Some of the planting at Chelsea is complex and some is incredibly simple.  Some I look at and go 'meh', others I look at, I photograph and I look at to give me inspiration for plants and colours that I might want to use in some way one day.

I will not be recreating bits of Chelsea as such.  For a start I am not capable of such a feat nor am I arrogant enough to think I might have half the skill to make it possible to do so.

I also do not want to as I want my garden, not a copy of some ones elses; but if I see a beautiful iris, and incredible peony or stunningly shaped trees, then that is something I will store in the memory for future purchase/cultivation.

So do I think it is relevant, well yes to me it is.  As I said, I am not seeking to copy it but I see it as similar to London Fashion Week.  The creations there will never be anything I will buy, but a toned down much cheaper version may end up in my wardrobe in three years time.  Its the ideas and the vision that matters.  Even when I dislike it it is informing my opinion.  That is what I want - things to inspire and inform me.

and I want to have fun, and I think Chelsea is fun.

Oh and Michelle, get saving for next year - it was only practice this time!


  1. I have been so busy this week I have missed all the fun so thank you for your upbeat description...

  2. Spot on :)

    I've decided to have an orange and purple scheme for my summer pots this year thanks to Nigel Dunnett's garden.

  3. @vp I loved the orange and purple combination - so simple yet it just shone.


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