Monday, 2 June 2014

The Chelsea Flower Show 2014

Can you believe the Chelsea Flower Show has already been and gone? It feels like only 5 minutes ago we were celebrating its 100th birthday and now we are into its next celebration.
Chelsea Flower Show
As I trotted along from Sloane Square it dawned on me how much has changed in a year.  I had got my own garden and was becoming what I could class (mildly) as a gardener! Admittedly I had somehow managed to kill a few plants but overall I was actually getting the hang of it.
I was dying to see the awards winners, the up and comers and the gardens of inspiration.  It seemed that the crowds were out in full force on day one of the show, with a keen theme of florals amongst the ladies, oversized hats and dresses with dominating floral patterns. It wasn't just the ladies who had opted for such attire, local shops and business had jumped on the bandwagon by creating window displays in full bloom. It was certain that Chelsea Flower Show was definitely here.
As always the layout of the show is set in such a way that you can navigate yourself around very easily, there are sweet smells everywhere from morning coffee to, of course, the numerous flowers.

It seems the colour of the Chelsea Flower Show gardens is purple.  It was everywhere.  From foxgloves, to iris to hollyhock it took a key role in many designs. Some gardens tended to look quite forced whereas on the flip side many were very rustic making them appear wildlife inviting and peaceful.

Last year I went through garden by garden but this time I wanted to feature my top five show gardens then will move on to the other areas.  It was hard as some were simply amazing and even the perhaps not to my personal taste I could really appreciate the depth gone into it.

I truly loved the elegance of the M&G Garden especially with it's colourful flashes from Purple Toadflax.  I really love adding Hairy Canary Clover to a garden and having this in the beds walled with limestone was nice addition.

I didn't manage to get any other photos as it was so popular everyone was bundled all around.  As you can see the main colours used in the design.
I loved the Telegraph Garden last year and this year was no exception to that, with it being the second year at Chelsea for designers Tommaso del Buono and Paul Gazerwitz. Once again the pair had delivered an excellent creation, taking inspiration from Renaissance gardens with an Italian flare.
I loved the big potted plants around the edges, the Tilia x europaea 'Pallida' trees, the delicate tones of the Viola cornuta 'Belmont Blue' and eof course... the retreat area!  The ambiance of calm that oozed from the design was really highlighting the designers key message - relaxation.  It was by far my favourite in terms of plant design and layout.... I can without a doubt say it really deserved gold. 

The next garden I really liked was the Brewin Dolphin Garden by first time designer to Chelsea, Matthew Childs. 

The Homebase Garden in association with Alzheimer's Society - A time to reflect. It was extremely thoughtful and one of my favourites.  This year it was just as tranquil.
 I'm very impressed with such wildlife-friendly garden... I my garden to be like this!  The ideal place reflection.
"In a world that is so fast paced, I wanted to create a garden that encourages us to stop and spend quality time with each other. Whether it's educating children about nature or reminiscing with family, the garden provides the perfect backdrop to reflect on memories and create new ones."

Don't forget you can get Chelsea Collection seeds and plants from Homebase. 

 The colours of the ABF The Soliders' Charity Garden are perfect for the northern France inspired design.  It's created to highlight how the Western Front in WW1 has evolved over the years and healed from its past devastation.  I loved the rockery design and the combination of wildlife friend flowers. 
 Positively Stoke On Trent show garden was fantastic, but I think it was mainly down to the palette section of colours.  Designed by the Bartholomew Landscaping with the Stoke on Trent City Council. 
A design aimed at the idea of fuelling a sustainable and dynamic city from its collection of plants and moving water.  Lots of beautiful woodland flowers scattered about the edges to contrast against the modern feel elsewhere, but I particularly feel in love with the David Austin roses, Rosa Queen of Sweden, Rosa Darcey Bussell and Rosa Winchester Cathedral.
After seeing the main show gardens I decided to explore the grounds further after a grabbing a well needed coffee.  It had been a very early start and the crowds were starting to build. I stumbled across this amazing water feature creation
The Topiarist at West Green House
I moved onto the explore the artisan gardens which I found most inspirational last year and this year was no exception.  I think for the cottage garden look is my favourite purely because it reminds me of being in the garden amongst the wildlife. 
75 years of the Kensington Roof Gardens
 I saw this poppy and just had to take a photo!  Look at that colour. 
The artisan gardens always offer a combination of designs and inspirations.  This year there was oriental and
Tour De Yorkshire

The DialAFlight Potter's Garden
The The DialAFlight Potter's Garden was by far my favourite of the bunch, it is literally everything I want from an outdoor space. A design that remembers lives of those who served in World War One but also shows celebration of we can really evolve and renew in current times. 

I had a look around the main indoor displays where of course there
Interflora's display at Chelsea Flower Show
As good as last year... if not better!
The plant of the year 2014
I must admit this was my favourite display in terms of colours and flowers used.  Anemones are one of my most loved flowers due to their colours and the rich tones. Aren't these stunning?  Guess what... it's a Gucci display. 
 I really enjoyed Chelsea this year and I felt the gardens were so reflective of the creativity encouraged by their designers.  It always makes me feel eager to get straight back into my garden and work on my gardening goals!  

Well done to all the gardeners and designers at Chelsea... see you next year!

Annie 
xoxo
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