Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chelsea Flower Show, the rest of the day

After lunch it was time to do the Grand Pavilion. One of the highlights of Chelsea, it's enormous. It took us over an hour just to walk round the perimeter of it. It's a mixture of displays from horticulturalists, specialist growers, and displays from different societies. I love it and never tire of walking round.

As always, the NFU had an amazing display of fruit, flowers and vegetables

Interflora had sponsored a display, you couldn't call it a flower arrangement, called In Perspective. It was very, very good, but I'm not sure any photo is going to do it justice. It was made up of 7 rectangles, each one decorated with flowers of a different colour, and slightly offset, so you got an interesting view when you looked down them. Difficult to describe, but stunning.

Growers of all sorts of plants have displays, and everything is all out at the same time, and all in the best condition. Daffodils, tulips, gladioli, sweet peas, cacti, passion flowers, insectivorous plants, aquilegas - all there. You can't buy plants from Chelsea, but most growers will sell you seeds, or give you a catalogue.

One of the most amazing exhibits from from Thailand. It was enormous, extremely colourful, and everything on it made from flowers. Again, I doubt that this couple of photos will do it justice, but here goes

There were lots more highlights of the pavilion, including the young florist of the year competition where the theme was a jockeys colours, and this was the winner

There were also displays of water plants, tropical plants and strawberries, the best smelling stand in the place!

Then it was off to Ranleigh Gardens, a grassy, wooded area where picnics are had, and the Artisan Gardens are. One of my favourites was the Yorkshire garden, complete with iPad like frame

And one based on a Korean outside toilet!

After several hours, we were ready for another sit down, and a jug of Pimms on the grass was called for

We sat outside the champagne tent, and watched people coming out with bottles of champagne at 65 quid a time, we even saw one guy carrying two magnums, at 125 a go.

One last look round, and it was time to catch the shuttle bus back to Victoria, and the tube to St Pancreas. As usual we had a meal in the Betjeman Arms, then back home.

It was a great day, and one of the best Chelsea's I've been to. Of course, it helped that the sun shone, but the gardens were particularly good. Definite themes this year were sustainability, green walls, green roofs and insect houses were everywhere.

When I got back I discovered I'd taken 249 photos. Too many to post here, but if you want to see more, they're here. Not had time to edit or sort them, they're just as I took them. Will get round to labelling them soon!

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