A quick round up including pics I have already tweeted from Chelsea Press Day in case anyone missed them or lives up a mountain in France and doesn't use twitter.
Not only is Chris Beardshaw a 'pocket adonis' he also does beautiful gardens. I truly adored this for the 'Arthritis Research' and I think it put over the charity's message in a reasonably subtle manner. The planting was all my favourite, dreamy, colours even including some Cleve West 'Masterpiece' lupins (see my blog post from days of yore).
A comment from twitter friend Sally Nex saying she wasn't keen on the 'corridor' effect got me thinking. I can see exactly what she meant and this next picture reminds me of the Garden Photo day at Wisley, where we were taught that its often a good idea to use the telephoto for long border shots to compress the perspective and lose the long corridor effect. As you can see I didn't use the telephoto!
For me, the smooth simplicity of the paving corridor made the borders and plants the focus for this garden showing off Chris's horticultural mastery. Bit of a shame the pathway was covered in dirty footprints from the judges et al trudging around. In a show where, to my mind, it looked like the same gardens from the last few years had been slightly rejigged and regurgitated, the planting was pleasingly different and the fabulous wire sculpture (surely based on the Pocket Adonis himself) enhanced rather than stole the show. Love the echiums and will try them again in my border despite past failure!
Another one I liked, the East Village garden, again offered something different with a brave, slightly retro feel, bold colours and curves.
|East Village Garden|
I've always like Nigel Dunnett's gardens but let's face it if you didn't spot it as a Nigel Dunnett garden then you haven't been paying attention to Chelsea for the last n years. In fact I'm not going to post a picture of his garden as you can probably just imagine it for yourself!
The Aussie Trailfinders garden (which got Best in Show) was a good example of sculpture outshining the planting. I was so mesmerised by the structure I didn't really notice the rest. The girl is probably about to break into Waltzing Matilda - I know a great alternative version to this which I was taught by some Aussie surfers. Unfortunately, I once sang to a group of people at a dinner party thinking it was funny, and shocked everyone into a deathly silence.
|Aussie 'Trailfinders' garden|
I liked Jo Thomson's garden, although I didn't love it as everyone did her caravan garden last year. The theme 'Stop the Spread', contrasting the beauty of a garden with the spread of pest and disease, was sobering and the colours a little sombre for my taste. If there was any mistake it was perhaps to make the dead ash trees look so architecturally attractive!!
|Jo' Thompson's garden|
Whilst I was full of appreciation for Jo's planting scheme I ache for someone to just let her loose on a Chelsea garden where she has entirely free rein to come up with something that is totally 'her'. I do for all the designers really. Take Jinny Blom, I think she drew the short straw this year in terms of trying to please both Royals and the Sentabale charity. Her garden really didn't work for me at all. Still, always better to be talked about at Chelsea than ignored and it gave Anne Wareham something to get excited about, so not all was bad news.
|Jinny Blom's Sentabale Garden|
Last of my favourite gardens was Robert Myer's - I liked his last year too. Again Sally Nex disagreed and said it was 'too well-behaved' a marvellous description which is perfectly fitting, I love the well-behavedness of it. Had to agree that the white chairs weren't quite right though. Hmm.. looking at the picture I don't like the wall either. The photo doesn't do it justice at all. Someone's comment on Chelsea was "enuff Anthriscus ravenswing already" but I just can't get too much of the stuff. I love all those umbelifferous lacy plants.
Just in case you're thinking "I'm half-way through this post and there's still no mention of Climate Change Farmer, Author, and barman Mark Diacono" I'd better remedy that now. Mark was muddling cocktails on the Pennard Plants stand. The muddling was entertaining, the cocktails were good, I now know what stevia tastes like and will be heading to Pennard's to buy some seeds next time we are near there.
I have no doubt this isn't the last I have to say about Mark and his cocktails.
There ain't nothing like a Dame! Helen Mirren looking fabulous and elegant in a lily of the valley floral dress.
Joanna Lumley looking more Ab Fabulous and a little less elegant but you've to to love her!
Hillier's stand was bright, gorgeous and after a rather flat grey start to the day, very cheering! I had a glass of their more alcholic fizz and the day started to improve.
A quick visit to my Heucheraholic friends - their stand was looking pretty good and I wanted to snaffle a couple of the shiny happy heucheras. Jooles said I would have to wait until after judging - they had resigned themselves to getting gold at every show but Chelsea. Guess what!!!!!!!!
Hurrah for Heucheraholics! And hurrah for RHS Chelsea - it wasn't the best of years for the show but you wouldn't want to miss it!
Oh.. nearly forgot. The Press and other assorted riff-raff get chucked out at 3.00pm on Press Day so that Her Majesty doesn't have to trip over them when she wanders round. I just caught this last picture before I left....