Chelsea celebrities
Chelsea postscript - Spotty Dotty correction

Chelsea - the party's over

Graham-Rice-Chelsea-Flower-Show-3753 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 – Puya chinensis. Image ©GardenPhotos.comunfortunately 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.


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Phillip Brown

I enjoyed your coverage because you concentrated on the plants and designs. As for the Alan Titchmarsh show - it gets worse every year.


Podophylla 'Spotty Dotty' was the one for me :)

Graham Rice

YES! The TV coverage has not been greeted with uniform enthusiasm. My feeling is that we need fewer "off site" visits, for whatever reason, and more on the show itself - especially on the plants.

YES! 'Spotty Dotty' was great - what we need is a picture of it...


It never ceases to amaze me that everyone comes back from Chelsea raving about the plants, yet the TV coverage concentrates on the show gardens and off-site visits. I suspect it's the quest for the 'human interest story' behind the exhibit that makes it so.

Graham Rice

Yes, more criticism this year of the lack of coverage of plants. I think perhaps it's that the producers in charge are not gardeners and concentrate on what they feel most comfortable with themsleves - gardens.

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