Later on Sunday afternoon, this Chelsea Pensioner (war service veteran) in his traditional uniform enjoys a glass of Fetzer Chardonnay on the Fetzer Sustainable Winery Garden. The California native annuals on this garden, grown in Britain!, are simply superb and arranged so exquisitely. And the design of the barn, using recycled timber, is both rustic and cleanly elegant.
The overall quality of the gardens this year is unusually high. This is because designers have resisted the temptation – to which they have sometimes succumbed in the past – to create elaborate buildings and other structures and give less attention to the plants. There are some impressive buildings both traditional and modern, but everywhere the plants and the planting is of a very high standard.
These two pictures show one reason why: in the first, foxgloves and other perennials which have been judged not to be of sufficient quality to grace a show garden are loaded on to a truck for removal. And in the second, buckets of cut proteas and other flowers (which seem to be of excellent quality) are waiting to be removed from the Great Pavilion as others were judged to be superior and were chosen for inclusion on the exhibit. It’s the quality of that judgement in differentiating between the excellent and the super-excellent which can bring a Gold Medal. For the quality oif the plants and flowers is not good enough, no artistry or creative design can compensate.
OK… I need to put my feet up.
My wife judy and I will be back at the show at 6am tomorrow (Monday). And tomorrow is the tenth anniversary of the day we met – on Press Day at the Chelsea Flower Show.