Chelsea - just the one controversy this year
Chelsea celebrities

Plasticine garden update!

Here’s the thing. Great outrage from the horticultural elite at the Plasticine garden at the Chelsea Flower Show. No plants, nothing but Plasticine: “shouldn’t be allowed”, “disgraceful” etc plus a finger wagging letter from the RHS.

The thing is, an RHS insider tells me that the RHS approved the proposal for the garden in advance – knowing it would be 100% Plasticine and with not a live plant to be seen!

My guess is that on the committee that gave the approval, and doubtless following appropriate consultation, the demands of extra publicity trumped the demands of horticultural excellence.

Well, I thought it was amazing.

BTW My round up of all the new plants seen at the Chelsea Flower Show continues over on my RHS New Plants blog.


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I thought it was amazing too. And as you say, it wasn't as if the RHS didn't know it was going to be a Plasticine garden. It was done in a very sincere way - there was no suggestion that Plasticine was "better" than real flowers, it was just a tribute to a great invention. James May has probably got more non-gardeners interested in Chelsea than anyone else this year.

Graham Rice

Peter Seabrook, veteran TV gardener and gardening columnist - much respected, by me and many others - said to The Times, unfortunately

“Can you think of a better way to dumb down what was the world’s finest showcase for horticultural skills than by introducing Plasticine plants?

“What next in this crazy world — an everlasting flower show of plastic flowers and Plasticine plants to meet life-suffocating health and safety requirements.”

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