RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023 - for a few show gardens more

I featured some of the show garden highlights in my previous post from this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show.  There is always too much to include in one post, so this is part 2.

On Press Day at Chelsea there are always things happening to catch your eye and draw you to a specific garden.  I could not resist these bees and dragonfly in front of the the The Royal Entomological Society Garden designed by Tom Massey.
Though I did not need puppets to make me look at this garden, it had already caught my eye.  This is a garden designed for insects, with different habitats and interesting places for them to enjoy.  It was also not a huge surprise that Tom Massey would be involved with a project like this, I recently reviewed his new book about sustainable garden design and it is clear that the enviroment is something he is knowledgeable and cares deeply about.  The garden won a silver gilt medal, which is no small achievement, yet it looks like a gold to me.
Away from the large show gardens, that I do enjoy are the balcony gardens.  Admittedly I do not have a balcony and yet I find these very relatable spaces.  I like that they all are a uniform size and space so you can see directly what can is achieveable in a small space and how different the same amount of space can look.
I enjoy the show gardens very much, I see them as a bit like a fashion show - they are the art of the possible but alongside these some more relatable gardens would, I think, be a good thing.
There are also container gardens, again something that I think can be identified with.
I love some of the details.  I can only aspire to something like this in my garden, but if I could I would.

Then I moved into the Floral Pavilion, always one of the highlights of the show for me.
There is much to see.  I always spend time lingering around the Kevock Garden Plants stall.  Just look at these simple and beautiful peonies.  
I also enjoyed the master grower display.  This side is celebrating Hardys Cottage Garden Plants, who do not have a stand this year but it was good to see them all the same.  
I nodded hello to the topiary deer.
and I stood and admired the tree ferns on the Kells Bay Gardens display.  This display was one that drew me to it every time I was close by.  The garden did the business it is designed for, I now would really like to visit the gardens one day.

I wandered over to the Plant of the Year area, where the RHS decide which of the entrants to this competition will be the winner.  
Photo c/o Graham Rice

This year the winner was Agapanthus 'Black Jack', which is not black but it is very dark and a fabulous colour nonetheless. 
and whilst I accept it is not a beauty contest, I would have given the prize to Hydrangea 'Euphoria Pink', which was a runner up and definitely on my 'I will get one' list.  This is despite it being variegated which I often say is not my thing but I like this shrub.  I like that the 'flowers' are quite small, this makes them work well with the foliage in my opinion.
as I wandered around I admired some of the many irises on display.  

Then off I went into the wider show grounds.  The bird bath of happiness that used by be my annual pilgrimage sadly was not there this year.  I don't know if the exhibiter will return to Chelsea in years to come, I can only hope.
I did stop to say hello to the balanced stones, which have a warning sign to tell you that they are balanced.  I made sure not to breathe too heavily near them.
I love love love this chair!  But the golden rule is that 'if it doesn't have a price on it then you can't afford it' kicked in.  I walked past looking at it longingly.
and I loved this huge chunk of horse, whilist I have not the right place to put it.  I do enjoy seeing these exhibits that have no bearing on my garden and yet I like that somewhere someone has the perfect spot for it.
I nodded to the lost bear/dog at the station, I hope he found his way home safely.

I wandered home musing on the very good day I had.  I love the show, I really do but Chelsea needs to think more about being relatable and accessible.  What I used to love about Chelsea when I first used to visit was that you would see all sorts of people there, enjoying the day in the way that worked for us.  This now seems a memory as the ticket prices continue to rise.  It was always a 'not cheap' treat day, but add into it the costs of travel if you do not live in that London and it gets just out of reach.

That said, I can't wait for next year already..

Take care and be kind

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