The Chelsea Flower Show 2012 (Part 1)

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Posted by @NEILMUIR1 on
This years Chelsea Flower Show was very patriotic in celebration of Her Majesty's Queen's Diamond Jubilee (1952-2012).

Many people doubted as to what if anything would be at Chelsea this year, due to a winter and spring drought. This was followed and still continues with torrential rain. Although the week of the Chelsea Show was very hot, as usual the Show went ahead to plan. It was a great success and a tribute to all of the hard work put in by the exhibitors and staff.


A tribute to Her Majesty the Queen from the island of Jersey, which is a beautiful island that is part of the UK, and indeed the hottest place in the UK.

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 The Best In Show Garden was won by Brewin Dolphin and designed by Cleve West. It was done with yew topiary, a mixture of herbaceous plants, all set against a beech hedge. The whole garden was very effective and restful. I liked this garden and stood awhile taking it all in, as there was a lot to see.

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More of The Best In Show Garden.

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The Homebase Teenage Cancer Trust Garden won a Gold medal, for this very striking garden. I liked this garden a lot.

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I loved the use of water in the Homebase garden, and the planting in what is basically supposed to be an urban/suburban setting. Very clever and well done to Homebase for this one.

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Arthritis Research UK did this garden to celebrate their 75th anniversary. It is based on an Italian Renaissance theme, and won a Silver Gilt medal.

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Of course in an Italian style garden, what could be better than these majestic cypress trees, what an absolutely magnificent sight!

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M&G the sponsors of the 2012 Chelsea Flower Show, produced this garden. It is supposed to represent a new style of English garden inspired by the Arts and Craft movement. It did nothing for me whatsoever, although it won a Gold medal.

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This is the Laurent-Perrier bicentenary gardeners garden,  which was sponsored by Champagne Laurent-Perrier. This garden lived up to what it said it was, and was a true delight to look at and wonder. At long last, a true gardeners garden to stand and dream over.

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The Laurent-Perrier garden is an ornamental garden of great beauty and refinement. The purple beech are very striking indeed, and are a perfect background for the mixed herbaceous plants.

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Another Gold medal winner was the Telegraph garden. It was a romantic garden done around the British countryside, with the use of limestone and grasses, rushes etc. It was a garden you either liked or instantly disliked. Many people could not see the colour that is associated with Chelsea in this garden, which was a shame. I thought it was a stunning garden, and the idea of copper to show the mineral rich streams in some areas of Britain was a very clever idea. Absolutely superb garden in the right setting, mine springs to mind!

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The Royal Bank of Canada sponsored this Blue Water Garden, which won a Silver Gilt medal. It is a modern and environmentally great garden, for it uses the excess rainwater in bioswales.  Bioswales are a method of utilizing the excess run off water, therefore reducing the need for irrigation. They also can prevent pollutants from going into nearby streams and rivers.

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A magical garden for city dwellers, I think not! This was called that but did not live up to anything at all. It has seven different levels for greenhouses, planting areas for growing fruit and many other things. It even has a lift (elevator), and a stainless steel slide for an exhilarating ride, or so it claims.  It won a Silver Gilt medal. Now into the Great Pavilion for a real treat.

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Everyone had heard so much about the Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Gardens incredible display, and yet we had not seen it. So it was a wondrous delight to see this from Thailand; 18,000 plants were imported from Thailand, simply breathtaking.

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I loved the Thai boats on the right; it is such a glorious display.

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Many other people, and I admit myself included, just kept taking photos of this all the way round, such a joyous mass of colour after the weather we have had.

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This display soon got the name of the Thai Golden Palace, as the public were in awe with it.

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I love Elephants, and it seemed so did everyone else.

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The range of colours and plants was astonishing.

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The Thai displays are always fantastic at Chelsea, but this year they have excelled themselves.

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Everywhere you go and from every angle there is something else to see or photo, I am still amazed by it all.

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This was a beautiful display by Burncoose nurseries that are in Cornwall. I love the way the Gunnerra manicata has been used as an architectural focus point, amongst all the other wonderful mixed plants. The nursery won a Silver Gilt medal for this.

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The Horticultural Society of Trinidad & Tobago made this gorgeous stand, no wonder they are called the Spice islands.

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I always look out for this stand and the other Caribbean stands at Chelsea. The colours and spices are amazing, plus the people on the stand are always so knowledgeable and helpful.

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Chrysanthemums are always popular, whether they are at Chelsea or simply at home.

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Another talking point every year at the show are the Chrysanthemum balls as we call them. They are so lovely to see year after year, and nobody ever tires of them, a Chelsea favourite.

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Thorncroft nurseries did this striking display of clematis, and won themselves a Gold medal. It is rather lovely and most romantic to see it done this way.

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The iris stand had every iris lover in amazement, and attracted a host of people who had never seen them like this. All these wondrous plants came from Cayeux, a French nursery founded in 1892, and run by four generations. I could not decide which one I liked best, but this one on the right would suit me.

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H.W. Hyde's display of lilies won the Diamond Jubilee Award for the best exhibit in the Great Pavilion, and was a sight to behold.

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The scent from these lilies in the heat of the Great Pavilion was intense, and quite intoxicating amid their outstanding beauty. A well deserved win for an awesome display.

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A Silver Gilt medal for the Barbados Horticultural Society for this stunning display,  also from Barbados on the display, these curious fruits of Cocos nucifera or the coconut palm. I am reliably informed these are from Cocos nucifera var. Malayan or the Golden dwarf palm. These palms are said to resist the lethal yellowing virus that is killing many coconut palms. Evidently when they are ripe they are this colour, and then once the husk is removed they become a normal brown coconut!

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Westcountry nurseries had this stand for lupins, and what a thing to see. I love lupins anyway, and to see these was such a treat.

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Another Chelsea Gold medal for the delphiniums and double begonias! After the awful year of weather many wondered if some of these displays would reach here, but they did, and what a true pleasure to see them.

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When I left to go to Chelsea it was in the high 80s in the early morning, after the previous week was freezing and wet. At just after midday when I took these photos the temperature inside the Great Pavilion was unbearable for me. Fearing my camera might overheat, I found some shade until it cooled down a little. But to see these is always worth it, and everyone makes straight for them. Another Chelsea Classic.

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Waterside Nursery won a well-deserved Gold medal for this water garden, which was very informative, and well built.

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The Iris on the left is Iris veriscolor 'Kermesina' and on the right is Iris laevigata 'Variegata.' Both of these irises were in the Waterside Nursery garden.


This is what you might get for two years of blood, sweat and tears, sleepless nights, constant worry about the weather and indeed everything else Then there is the growing, labelling and organizing it all. Transporting and then constructing an immaculate garden\display in one month despite the weather, and taking it all out as well, when finished. All this and fighting through Londons traffic as well. This then finally comes to focus on one day, judges' day for what seems like an eternity.

A Chelsea Gold medal

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After some shade and refreshment it was lovely to walk in an entrance and see this display! The laburnum in the left picture was in bloom with its lovely yellow drooping flowers plus a rhododendron and an azalea. This was all very nicely done, and eye catching.

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 The use of the large Japanese maple on the right made a great focal point, as you looked away from the laburnum. Ferns and the water were also simple, effective, and well thought out.


I'll soon share Part 2 of my trip around an exciting and hot Chelsea Flower Show. Please join me then.



All pictures are my own. 

Comments and Discussion
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Another Great!!! by Happy_1 Jul 27, 2012 10:34 AM 2
Another great year at Chelsea by valleylynn Jul 22, 2012 7:34 AM 27
Untitled by CherieCoogan Jul 22, 2012 5:51 AM 5
lovely, Neil by Kathleen Jul 19, 2012 3:15 PM 3
Thanks for the memory by Sharon Jul 19, 2012 2:41 PM 3

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