Chelsea Flower Show 2017

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Terribly late again with this year’s Chelsea post but I don’t seem to have been at home much since my very chilly visit on Wednesday evening.

If you want detailed, beautiful blog coverage I’d heartily recommend the Frustrated Gardener, who has not only shared multiple posts on this year’s Chelsea, but also seems to share my opinions on this year’s gardens to an almost spooky degree!

The garden above is Nick Bailey’s Winton Beauty of Mathematics garden, and definitely one of my favourites.  Looking back at my first Chelsea post in 2014 I noted that there was no orange in any of the show gardens, and yet two years later it was everywhere.  Here, the Geum ‘Mai Tai’ picks up on the wonderful sweep of etched copper. Nick is head gardener at the Chelsea Physic Garden and I recently purchased his book, 365 days of colour in your garden, which, as you might imagine from this assured yet stimulating planting, is an absolute treat.

More bronzy orange in the Garden of Mindful Living garden, which pulled off hard lines softened by planting in a limited palette but with lots of calming, soft green.  The one thing I didn’t like was the (to me) rather cheesy photo.IMG_0733IMG_0736

And of course another garden making use of orange, was Best in Show, Andy Sturgeon’s garden for The Telegraph.  Here the magnificent Isoplexis canariensis picked up the colour of the flames in the fire pit.

I feel I admired this garden rather more than loved it, prefering my gardens softer. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t think he’s pulled off a striking, thought provoking design, I just don’t think I’d want to live with it.IMG_0739

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Below, Cleve West’s M&G design, was inspired by his Exmoor childhood and provided a beautifully calming understated scene.  The perimeter oaks were surprisingly dainty and whilst a little frustrating in the way they blocked visitors’ views, they really added to the atmosphere of the space.IMG_0721

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The LG Smart Garden had some gorgeous soft planting, in both colour and form.  No challenging brights or sharp lines here, but enough contrast to keep it interesting. Definitely a garden to retreat to after a hard day at the coal face!IMG_0727

The planting at the Support the Husqvama Garden, to me didn’t work as well, but then I’m never comfortable mixing white flowers with dark as they have here.IMG_0731

Into the Grand Marquee for more orange in the form of Geum ‘Scarlet Tempest’ (doesn’t look very scarlet to me) which came second in the RHS Plant of the Year competition,IMG_0765

a lovely combination on the Daisy Roots stand,IMG_0796

new introduction, Rosa ‘Roald Dahl’ from David Austin roses (I forgot to upload the photo) as well as these extraordinary blooms, Scadoxus multiflorus from Jacques Amand.IMG_0788

Elsewhere a stunning display from Bowdens Nursery included a train carriage, but perhaps even more impressive, endless unnibbled hostas,IMG_0774

and gorgeous alpines from Rotherview Nursery.

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And to finish, my favourite Artisan garden, the Senri-Sentei – Garage Garden.IMG_0802

and look, I’m not the only one enjoying it!IMG_0806

 

4 thoughts on “Chelsea Flower Show 2017

  1. Cathy

    So refreshing to have an ordinary (if you’re OK with that description!) gardener’s impressions instead of the GW presenters! Those geums are certainly worth looking out for, aren’t they? Thanks for sharing

    Reply
  2. Sam

    Thank you for sharing your photos and impressions of Chelsea. I was very disappointed that I couldn’t go this year, so it’s lovely to see others’ photos and hear what you think. (It’s just not the same seeing it on the TV!) I agree with you about the window-photo on the Mindful Living garden – it totally detracts from the garden. Love the planting in the Beauty of Maths garden. It’s such a shame that visitors don’t get to actually experience the gardens as the judges do and get in there to see the detail. Of course this would create chaos, but it would be brilliant to see the gardens as the designers intended.

    Reply
  3. The Frustrated Gardener

    Great post. It does sound like we are very aligned in our views which is comforting. There are so many more posts left in my head to write, which I am going to endeavour to continue with, even after the show. If nothing else I enjoy creating a record of them and taking time to analyse what I liked and what I didn’t. Plus I have a gazillion photos left to share!

    It was chilly on Wednesday wasn’t it? I was frozen by the end of the day.

    Reply

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