Here at the Chelsea Flower Show it’s the day before Press Day, judging and the Royal Visit. The rain fell, the wind blew, and an announcement was made that all garden sunshades and patio umbrellas should be folded because of the risk of damage.
Inside the Great Pavilion there were none of the dramas of years ago, before it was a modern prefabricated building, and the three acre canvas marquee rattled and swayed and a huge timber beam fell from the roof.
Many nurseries in the Great Pavilion were flaunting their new plants, which I’ll be reviewing for the rest of the week over on my Royal Horticultural Society New Plants blog, and this seems like to good time to mention just a few of the stand outs so far. When I’ve posted this I’ll be going to bed, sitting up compiling the full list.
A new rose named for the home of Prince Charles, ‘Highgrove’, featured on the stand from Peter Beales Roses and Prince Charles will be at the Show tomorrow to launch it. Two pink flowered hardy geraniums also stand out. Geranium sylvaticum ’Hilary’ from Hardys Cottage Garden Plants and the pink and white bicoloured G. phaeum ‘Mottisfont Rose’ on the Hardy Plant Society stand which also features the first silver-leaved form of the American native doll’s eyes, Actaea pachypoda – it’s called ‘Pewter and Pearls’.
I was very taken with a huge new picotee Oriental lily from Hart’s Nursery called ‘Melissimo’ in white with a bright picotee edge as well as new bicoloured form of Pacific Coast Iris called ‘Broadleigh Fenella’ from Broadleigh Gardens. There was also a superb Cornus, raised at Rutgers University in New Jersey – of which more another time.