RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 - the damp one

RHS Chelsea Flower Show is one of my favourite events of the year.  I always look forward to it hugely, I follow the show gardens' and exhibitors' progress on Twitter and generally watching one or two of the BBC television programmes (can anyone watch them all?) This year I set off on a wet and cold Monday morning tightly clutching my press pass and probably even more excited than usual. There were a several gardens I was really looking forward to;  ones that I was hoping would be that little bit more special.  Last year the gardens were good, I enjoyed seeing them, but they didn't make me really go wow.  This year I had high hopes.
The Laurent-Perrier Chatsworth Garden, designed by Dan Pearson was clearly designed to make my heart sing.  I am very fond of Chatsworth having visited there many times as a child and as an adult with my own children. I am also a bit (lot) of a Dan Pearson fan.
The rain did not do any of the gardens many favours but to be frank, North Derbyshire gets its fair share of rain and the rocks looked rather good wet.  The wild planting also looked superbly lush so the rain was not a great disadvantage.  
The Sentebale - Hope in Vulnerability Garden is also a must-view garden.
I loved Matt Keightley's garden last year so was very pleased he was designing for this year's show.  I actually think the apricot wallflowers in this garden are the star of the whole show.
This one plant has been used to great effect and all you nay-sayers who dislike orange in the garden will, quite frankly, have to think again.  Or not, just leave the orange plants for me.   Did I mention it was raining?
Thankfully when the rain did finally stop I managed to get one photograph of the sun making shadows on the veranda. I was pleased to get this as the garden does shine in the sun.
The M & G Garden, The Retreat, designed by Jo Thompson, one of the few female designers this year, is also a triumph. 
Again it has resonance for me as I enjoy Vita Sackville-West's writing and have been to Sissinghurst and hope to visit again later this year.  The swimming pond is rather wonderful but you cannot see it very well from where the public have to view.
This garden also did not suffer too badly from the rain though the colours were better when the sun came out.
It has very beautiful romantic planting that was full of roses. I liked this a lot.

The Royal Bank of Canada Garden, designed by Matthew Wilson was a very wet dry garden (I can't be the only person thinking of 'drink Canada Dry can I?)
This garden actually had some benefit from the rain as the red cedar decking looked incredible in the wet, the colour just shone out.
It was a very impressive garden with very good planting. 

But actually my favourite was none of the above, I was surprised at which one really caught my eye as it was the Homebase Garden, The Urban Retreat, designed by Adam Frost that on the artists impression looked a little underwhelming but in reality just popped with colour.
This garden also featured red cedar and the rain made this stand out.  
It must be good as James Wong gave it the thumbs up.
I am going to write more about other gardens and other parts of the show later.  If you want my top tip for if you are short of time and cannot get around all the Artsian Gardens then just go to see The Evaders Garden, designed by John Everiss and sponsored by Chorley Council.
It is, in my opinion, the one not to miss.  I did a quick google for Mr Everiss and found that I have liked other work I have seen.
I have to say I think his work is a bit special and would call him one to watch.

The medals will be announced tomorrow, I am useless at making predictions but I would be very surprised if any of the above did not achieve gold. 

I leave you with two additional memories from my day: a driftwood dragon,
and a woman having a very bad hair day whilst being stalked by a unicorn.
Some days are ever thus.


  1. Was great to see you there - cheered the place up a bit!

    Ah, no mention of the Telegraph garden, my absolute favourite. But I do love orange too.... XXxx


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