May is Chelsea Time

The Chelsea Flower show will run from May 25th to May 29th and it’s the highlight of my gardening year, along with the publication of the NGS Yellow book.

If you’ve never visited Chelsea and enjoy watching it on the television, then do consider going. The RHS added Saturday as an extra day, but they don’t sell any more tickets, in order to make the show less crowded and more comfortable for visitors.

It’s a great day out, and the garden designs are really worth seeing. The innovation and planning that goes into such a small space, for just one week, is so exciting to witness. Plants are grown months, or even years, in advance. Huge trees are brought in from Italy and Holland to make gardens look mature and established. Walls are built, buildings are even constructed, and the weather will play a key part too. Wet and windy weather in the critical build up weeks will cause no end of problems for the poor landscape contractors trying to lay blocks, bricks, lawns and plant borders.

There will be exhibitors covering every aspect of the garden, from gorgeous furniture and pots to greenhouses and conservatories with each stand competing for a medal too.

The huge floral marquee has blooms of every type and size to see. Once, when we were finishing off a show garden late at night, I wandered around the marquee at midnight watching the exhibitors put the final touches to the displays. All sound was muted beneath the huge sheets of canvas. The scent of the flowers was overwhelming. The Caribbean display team were all humming softly to themselves. The company setting up their daffodils were using tiny paint brushes to clean the petals. It felt spiritual in there. Chelsea. It’s wonderful!

Easter weekend was the start of something wonderful in the garden. The weather was great, spring was in the air and there was the opportunity to get so much done. I dragged ‘him indoors’ into the vegetable patch and we dug over the beds and planted all number of things, like Tom and Barbara from the Good Life.

Suddenly there seemed so much to do. Finally all the dead things from the winter could be cut back; the new growth has started to envelop the old. I pruned all the roses and tied them into the pergolas. We cut the grass for the first time this year and I planted small pots of herbaceous things into the gaps caused by the losses in the snow.

If you have the money and opportunity to do just one thing in the garden this year, then think about planting a bed around your patio or terrace. So many patios look as though they just landed from Mars and are stuck in isolation up against the house and in the lawn.Dig a big wide bed all around the terrace and plant it with lavender, rosemary and alliums, interplant with verbena bonariensis or add a box hedge to finish the edge.

If you’d like ideas for your garden, then please call or ask for our brochure.

Back to Press Articles Back to Press Articles list