Well Chelsea’s over, we’re all knackered - exhibitors, visitors and press alike – and there were some great gardens, some great plants and some great silliness. I posted thirty four pieces for the Royal Horticultural Society's New Plants coverage, nine pieces here starting with this one, did a guest rant over on Garden Rant and was interviewed by BBC radio.
Main awards? The Daily Telegraph Garden won the top award for a show garden, fair enough. The dahlia exhibit (in May!) from Winchester Growers won top floral exhibit although Jekka McVicar’s herbs must have pushed it close. There was another silly manufactured “gnomes at Chelsea” outrage and the designer of the Plasticine garden was rewarded not with a medal (well, he did get a Plasticine one) but a “Special Letter” from the RHS.
The Queen visited, Rod Stewart visited, several bikini-clad models with snorkels were seen as well – unfortunately not at the same place at the same time. The twice daily BBC TV coverage was again condemned as ignoring plants and including far too much irrelevant twaddle. (“twaddle” - an old fashioned English colloquialism meaning nonsense or irrelevance.) Pretty much as usual.
And in the Great Pavilion the overall standard was superb and although there were fewer large show gardens this year as a number of sponsors had pulled out – well, it didn’t really matter as the quality of smaller show gardens was so good. Top plant? Well, this amazing Puya chinensis on the Burncoose Nurseries display was pretty smart.