The Chelsea Flower Show 2011 (Part 4)

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Posted by @NEILMUIR1 on
This year's Chelsea was a resounding success, both for the visitors and exhibitors alike; a truly captivating array of colour and wonderful horticultural skills, in what are unfavourable economic times. All I saw were smiles and looks of disbelief, as people met old plants they knew, and new plants they had never seen before. So join me on a last trip around Chelsea, before I can put my boots away for a short time.

I am going to start with some of the Show Gardens you did not see in Part 1. Some were lovely, others imaginative and a few appalling! One was very controversial indeed. Let us start with a lovely creation with rock, water and lots of Japanese maples that I liked.


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The way the water dropped down through layers, and came out of tunnels was clever.

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Here it is easier to see with the water running through the plants in each layer, and then down to the next one.

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Then a beautiful, final waterfall, before the water goes down to these wondrous maples.

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Another Show Garden with water, however is it practical at all?

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I called this the 'round the world garden'; it did not appeal to me at all.

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The bottom of this most unfortunate attempt!

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I have no idea what the first garden is supposed to be. The idea of walking across a pond on red water lily pads, did nothing for me. The Old Forge was very well done and I did like that!

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I liked the bottom of this Show Garden, however the large white plastic seating canopy is a matter of taste!

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This Show Garden won the people's choice at Chelsea. It also caused a lot of controversy as it cost £2.5 million to build! A lot has been said about it in the newspapers, so I will leave it at that! It is the Irish Sky Garden. The idea came from the film Avatar, and the rest from the designer and Cork City Council. To me it looks like a crane with a hanging steel chassis and some plants dangled underneath it! The next Show Garden looked like three air conditioning units set in a bit of garden near an outhouse! This won an award, although to me it looks like the back of any restaurant, without the wall!

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Now you have seen some of the Show Gardens, let us see what we can find for your own! Fountains are both modern and more to my taste.

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How about more formal?

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A nice courtyard to entertain your guests would be nice! Or how about just a lovely conservatory for you to enjoy.

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These copper or bronze fountains are quite lovely!

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Gazebos or outside rooms have always been popular. I liked this one a lot, and the outside area with nice planting if more guests should arrive.

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This folly would be lovely in my garden, or maybe a modern bubble chair for drinks.

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I really liked this little lizard climbing up to the fountain, but there is another reason I was struck by it! These wonderful metal mirrors were very popular this year at Chelsea and they reflect the garden. So I saw this fountain reflected in the mirrors, how nice.

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Some of the ideas for the small gardens were very good as well. I did like the colour of that heuchera.

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A lot of people go to Chelsea to get their dream garden ornaments, and I admit to seeing some lovely ones. This fish was very good as it reflected the water! It does not come with the tank; you put it in your own pond. I would also advise you to have a medical check up before you ask the price! This otter was to me beautiful, I really wanted this one.

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I thought they were good until I saw these two hares boxing in a natural environment! This bull was to me the star, what a beauty.

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Of course some people like their ornaments a bit different!

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It was the Victorians who loved grottos so much, and so do I! Either underground or above the ground, these secret little places with running water are enticing to say the least. A modern lion's head wall fountain, I prefer the old ones.

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You simply cannot go to Chelsea without going to the Hilliers stand! This amazing company that has every sort of tree, shrub and other plants is always a highlight of Chelsea to me. Water and wonderful plants combined with knowledgeable and most helpful staff make this a must.

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A wander through Hilliers, oh what a joy!

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Just so stunning, I wish I could go back!

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This was beautifully put together and relaxing. The water at the other end of the bridge was heavenly!

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This is without a doubt either a joke, or the worst garden I have ever seen at Chelsea. The plants are fine, but that blue stuff is awful!

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Some people have asked if there were any herbs at Chelsea, apart from lavender. The answer was yes there were plenty. Here are two from the herb stand, first Moroccan mint that is very popular over here, and the picture on the right is borage in flower!

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These two stunning bonsai maples were breathtaking.

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This is the formal art of Japanese flower arranging. It was amazing to see it done.

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Strawberries anyone? If I had known these would be here, I would have taken some cream with me.

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To some other queries I have had regarding the show, yes there are cactus and succulents on display at Chelsea.

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Now the tool stands for the men, or the ladies to get their partners something.

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There are a lot of these aisles at Chelsea that sell absolutely anything to do with Horticulture, or remotely associated with it! Here is one taken both ways with a wideangle lens.

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I remember the majesty of the elms, and the sadness as they succumbed to Dutch elm disease and were cut down by the thousands. Seeing this has brought new hope to us, with the Universities and the Botanical Gardens working together, and private people as well. Lo and behold an elm that is said to be resistant from the dreaded disease, at last. If they do prosper, what an amazing sight to see elms back, in England's green and pleasant land!

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They always have lovely music playing live in the bandstand at Chelsea. It is also a meeting point, somewhere to sit and go to the all-important Pimm's tent for the ladies to get their jugs of Pimm's. Pimm's is an alcoholic drink that also contains the herb borage! It is normally put in a jug with ice, lots of different cut up summer fruits and lemonade, with a sprig of mint on the top. However there are a lot of ways of making it! Here is the Bandstand and the Pimm's tent at Chelsea!


Finally it is time to say goodbye! My many thanks to all of you who have been through the legend that is Chelsea with me this year! I still fear I have missed out on somebody's favourite plant, and for that I am truly sorry, but I will try harder next year. Now it is finally time to put my boots away till the first week in July, when it all starts again, with a much bigger show, but not at Chelsea!




Part 1.

Part 2.

Part 3.




Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (JULY).

For Nancy. 

To Jon and his lovely family in Japan, who like many people in Japan have suffered with the horrendous earthquake and its aftermath. We wish you all the very best, my friend. Sorry, my friend, I did not get a picture of the beer tent, I did get a beer though!

Comments and Discussion
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Very good! by Ridesredmule Jan 15, 2013 8:22 AM 15
Truly wonderful!!! by Happy_1 Jun 29, 2011 5:52 PM 2
Waterfall by CajuninKy Jun 26, 2011 9:43 PM 14
Chelsea 4 by murielw1 Jun 24, 2011 2:21 PM 2
Beautiful, Neil! by Petalpants Jun 23, 2011 11:55 PM 1
A Winner again by kareoke Jun 23, 2011 11:31 PM 3
An Encore! by Seray Jun 23, 2011 11:28 PM 1
You did it Neil. by magga Jun 22, 2011 4:40 PM 5
Beer tent by pajonica Jun 22, 2011 4:25 PM 1
this one is my favorite by cececoogan Jun 22, 2011 10:38 AM 7
Well said! by okus Jun 21, 2011 4:25 PM 1

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