As the name suggests, Chelsea Flower Show is quite literally a festival of flowers – a splendid, multifaceted, rainbow coloured floral extravaganza of these natural masterpieces, and wow, how many masterpieces were on display in the show’s magnificent floral marquee, where some of the world’s best growers have brought the very best in floral finesse to show the world’s most beautiful species at their very best. From magnificent lush rhododendrons, to sunburst citrus coloured lilies, from lilac and cream tulips to vivd pink cacti, and from delicate mystical orchids to the poker straight, architectural forms of the star-burst allium flowers, I have frankly never seen a collection of floral gems quite like these. And these are just the photographs. Can you imagine the combined perfume of this paradisal bounty? Moving form one stall to the other, I was flushed with memories engendered by the different scents with as great an influx as I was bombarded with the multicoloured, multi-shaped spectacle that was before my eyes. As a floral tribute, it just doesn’t come much better than this. Enjoy!
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Chelsea Flower Show is the high point in the garden lover’s annual calendar, and frankly, is a pretty important date in the diary of every budding London socialite too. Dressed in their best pastel colour frocks and matching hats, sauntering around the grounds of SW1’s Royal Hospital Chelsea with a glass of champagne in one hand, and generally speaking an umbrella in the other (one may as well be realistic), the best of the celeb, upper crust and garden fanatic world come out every last week of May to hail the Summer gardening season open. This celebration, not only of flowers, but of cutting edge garden design and horticultural supremacy, is a scintillating dalliance with beauty, an artistic explosion of natural aesthetics, and a demonstration of the indubitable improvement which a well tended garden, pot plant or bunch of flowers can bring to anyone’s life.
This first of two Chelsea posts shares my experience of the show as I explored the grounds of the vast garden exposition yesterday evening. I was lucky with the weather – had I gone today, most of the gardens would have probably been flattened by the perilous wind and relentless wind which has battered these damp shores all day. But last night, in the yellow light of a low evening sun, I was able to view the show gardens – that is the garden plots pristinely designed by top horticultural masters for competitive purposes – at their very best. From elegant geometric garden spaces, neatly clipped box hedges and satisfyingly swirling water features, to the complete recreation of an almost unwieldy, lush and otherworldly Australian rainforest, the show gardens on offer this year have to qualify for some of the best in the show’s history. And appropriately too – being as this is the show’s centenary year.
With the aid of a long zoom which was able to traverse the heavy crowds bustling for space around each of the show gardens, I was able to successfully photograph many of the highlights of the show gardens, and here they are!