It’s the day after my visit to Chelsea Flower Show! My feet are still aching, and my mind is still spinning with new plants and fresh garden designs. The whole of the gardening world tends to be at Chelsea too, so it can be difficult to walk a few feet without seeing someone you know! I think I’ll need 2 days next time!
There’s always such a buzz; this is the showcase for the gardening year. When talking to some of the designers, I came to realise just how much work goes into their displays. Paul Hervey-Brookes has a garden on the main avenue, it took him and his team 19 DAYS to put together! From a bare piece of land to a fully grown garden; that’s some wizardry! Thompson & Morgan had a hand in the Virgin Roof Gardens artisan garden too; donating vivid red geraniums and citrus dwarf marigolds! Most of all, I’d say that I enjoyed the ‘Help for Heroes’ garden, but I’ve always got a weak spot for Iris!!
Inside the floral marquee, most types of bloom are well-represented, from gladioli to chrysanthemums, sweet peas to geraniums. These specialist nurseries are vital; the owners have such an in-depth knowledge and enthusiasm, which can be seen in their displays. It takes skill and dedication too; after all, daffodils don’t usually flower during late May! This marquee is a plant hunter’s dream; if you’ve got a new plant, you show it off at Chelsea! This is why they introduced the exciting Plant of the Year contest a few years ago!
Over the last few weeks, Thompson & Morgan had fluffed, pimped and preened our entries ready for the day; our hopefuls were our fragrant cascading begonias, the new hardy Gerbera series, a dwarf, large-flowered alstroemeria and the show-stopping double black petunia. But, when I arrived at the show, a certain plant caught my eye, and I got a hunch this might win. That plant was Hydrangea ‘Miss Saori’; a gorgeous hydrangea with two-tiered, picotee-edged blooms, which looked absolutely fab. And, I was right, and this was crowned Plant of the Year, with Thompson & Morgan’s Gerbera ‘Sweet Glow’ in 3rd place, so that was quite respectable!