The Chelsea Flower Show 2012 (Part 2)

Posted by @NEILMUIR1 on
The Chelsea Flower Show is an eagerly awaited event after our long winter. It is the first time everyone gets together and can see the new plants as well as creations of sculptors and artists. A lot of gardeners use it as a social event, or to order sensational plants for the coming season in whatever variety interests them. On the final day a lot of the plants are sold off and London is awash with a sea of plants. It is a truly amazing sight!

Thank you if you are rejoining me from Part 1; I hope you enjoyed Chelsea at its best, despite the hot weather.

This is a tribute to the farmers and horticulturists for their hard work.

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This amazing stand was made by Waitrose, a supermarket chain, and the National Farmers Union. It was just superb and simply called "The Best Of British."

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For those with a keen eye and into flower arranging, there are even vegetables in the floral displays, brilliantly done and very clever.

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The Jersey Farmers Union did this quite amazing (for the month of May) stand. It takes a lot of work to get sweet (bell) peppers to be that perfect in May, on an island off the UK mainland. The asparagus was also stunning as we have a very short season for it. I cannot believe how they can get everything on this stand the same size, the same ripeness and then to display it in such a delectable way. No wonder they won a Gold medal for this.

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This is the Williams Formula One car for this season with pit crew, made out of the box plant or Buxus sempervirens. This was made by King & Co. (The Tree Nursery) Ltd. Their efforts won them a Chelsea Gold medal for this. On the right is a stand of box.

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Plants in Gold frames you may ask, yes, and they even had theaters for auriculas. There is only one Auricula theatre left and that is in the Welsh Botanic Gardens. In 1633 Tradescant, the gardener to King Charles I, had these growing in his garden in Lambeth (London), and started improving them. But the real explosion in growing and showing these amazing plants was in the late 18th and 19th century. The big houses would have them on show when they were at their best (April-May), and competitions to grow and breed them were intense. They do not even look real but they are. I have not seen stage auriculas for a long time and the judges must have agreed, for this won a deserved Gold medal.

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This stand had heuchera, heucherella and tiarella on it. It was as usual of the standard that Chelsea expects

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I liked the one called 'Gunsmoke,' as I have a perfect place for that.

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Of course with the work that went into this you get a Chelsea Gold medal.

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Alium and hippeastrum in a mass formation. Alium are very popular and are always a Chelsea favourite. Hippeastrum are much loved at Christmas to give as a gift. You can buy them in a box in most colours, and it comes with a bulb, pot and compost, plus instructions. Children adore these as gifts, as they can plant them and soon they are in flower.

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I fell in love with these two! On the left is the dwarf date palm Phoenix roebelenii, and the amazing plant underneath it is Senecio kilimanjaro 'Provence Passion.' On the right we have the Japanese sago palm or Cycas revoluta, and underneath this we have Begonia sutherlandii 'Papaya.'

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Now for some hostas; Chelsea always comes up with beautiful plants.

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The Hosta on the left caused some amusement all round! A member of the public was heard saying "we should get one of those white ones, as the slugs might not eat it!" I somehow think not, for slugs and snails love them, whatever the colour.

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Here are roses that I could get near, as rose ordering is manic at Chelsea. Trying to get near a rose stand is sometimes near impossible.

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This Papaver commutatum 'Ladybird' is just such a stunning poppy. It even looks like the insect the Ladybird, which is every gardener's friend and delight to see. I have some of these poppies and would not be without them now, as the bees adore them. That is a glorious colour for tulips, what a delight it would be to see them after the winter.

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Let us cool off from the Great Pavilion and see some fountains and stone.

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That fountain is really lovely, and yes I do have a place for it, somewhere! On the other hand I had to think about this gorilla, but as he does not need feeding, I suppose someone would love him. Is it Garden Art? I am not sure about that one!

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The trouble when you go to Chelsea is always that you see so many lovely things you would like to have. Then you have to think, can I make room for them, no. Are they going to bankrupt me, in this case it is a definite yes!

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I did not even ask the price of these!

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Of course the wooden horse is a fantastic piece of work, but this bronze one, well, what can one say about him?

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Each year these troughs, although I call them sinks, get better if that is possible! The people who design, plant and make them astonish me.

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As you can see, if you like sempervivums then you are in for a treat here.

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Sempervivums like growing in these troughs and dry stone walls, plus you will often see sempervivums used for "Green Roofing" nowadays.

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The bonsai at Chelsea just have to be seen to be believed. My camera can do no justice to them at all.

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I think cacti and succulents are somewhat underrated and not quite admired enough! They are gorgeous, and who would not be proud of them! Actually they are quite logical for me to grow since the flowers would not get cut off and end up in a vase as a flower arrangement!

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Dibleys Nurseries for streptocarpus and foilage begonias have produced a scented streptocarpus variety, and it is fantastic!  Dibleys Nurseries also have a habit of winning Gold medals wherever they go, and they did here.

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A sarracenia and nepenthes of course.

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From a drosera and a nepenthes to a host of sarracenias.

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Chelsea would not be the same without lots of fuchsias!

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Thes two plants are stunning! On the left is Choisya X dewittena 'Aztec Gold.' It has aromatic leaves and almond scented white flowers. For shrub lovers like myself, this medium sized shrub exbited by Hilliers Nurseries is a winner. The other plant is Nepenthes 'Linda' this special hybrid has been produced for the beginner as it is easy to grow! It was shown by Hampshire Carnivorous plants, who also won a Gold medal here.

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Ornamental grasses are popular in the UK, and are quite beautiful. They make a fantastic contrast in borders, or as a specimen plant.

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The glory of ferns!

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Garden rooms with a difference! The glass room has internet connection as well!

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Antiques to artists.

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Bands to birds.

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Chelsea, why do we go there? Well, to see things like this and to dream.

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Orchids anyone?

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Clematis like a fountain? Wisteria, and yes the scent was amazing.

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Hats for the men at Chelsea as the ladies make their own; plus, of course, our National drink, beer!


Our thanks must go to the Chelsea pensioners, each one a war veteran. Every year they give up their wonderful gardens for the Chelsea Flower Show. As you can see they also guide and help people around the grounds of the Royal Hospital where they live. Their other duties include collecting money for our military charities with their coin boxes. I, for one, always put coins in, and buy them a pint; each one is a hero.

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Thank you for being with me on a hot tour of Chelsea, and I do hope you will join me again when I tackle the world's biggest Flower Show at Hampton Court Palace.



Comments and discussion:
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Chelsea by murielw1 Sep 9, 2012 12:29 PM 1
Neil, you have done it again. by Happy_1 Sep 8, 2012 2:31 PM 7
Running out of superlatives... Spectacutlar by CDsSister Sep 5, 2012 12:59 PM 25
Wonderful Article!! by Petalpants Sep 4, 2012 1:39 AM 1
chelsea 2 by murielw1 Sep 2, 2012 8:03 AM 6

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