I have been to Chelsea before – I have always loved it and I’m sure I always will. Never before have I felt so excited about going as I did this year. The last time I went to Chelsea, it was the second day and I went with one of my best friends, a florist who runs a fantastic florist shop in Berkshire called Green Parlour. My friend Emma had got the tickets for us and we had a wonderful day looking around the show together – looking for inspiration for her floral designs. This year was quite different. I had been lucky enough to be accepted for Press Day and I was so excited to be able to see the showground, whilst it was still quiet before the gates opened to the general public the following day.
Walking around the grounds so early in the morning was wonderful, and gave me the chance to speak to the garden designers and exhibitors as they were putting the finishing touches to their displays. You could tell how much work had gone into their exhibits and although they were clearly nervous waiting for the judges to come around, everyone was so friendly and keen to speak to me about their gardens.
There are so many things that I love about Chelsea – I love to see what medals have been awarded and I love to listen to the opinions that people have of the gardens as they speak to their friends. Every garden will divide opinion and it’s easy to see why. There is such a range of different gardens that they will never be to everyone’s taste. For me, the larger show gardens are hard for me to get passionate about. It’s not that I don’t think they are beautiful – I do! I find it hard to draw inspiration from them though, as they are so different to my own garden. The artisan gardens are a different matter though, they are about the right size for my garden at home. I can find so many things in them that I would like to bring home to my own garden.
The wonderful “Get Well Soon” garden by The National Botanic Garden of Wales was fantastic – full of things to show us that gardening is good for our health. I chatted to the ladies who were putting their finishing touches to the garden, who were all very friendly and I will definitely be going down to visit them in the garden in Wales.
The Grand Pavilion is another fantastic part of Chelsea – there are displays from nurseries from up and down the country. It’s a great way to look at plants that you might want to order as bulbs. The scent is indescribable and hits you as soon as you walk in.
I’m already counting the days until next year!