Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Royal Chelsea Flower Show 2014 - Part 2

As there was so much material to show you at the flower show,
 I have tried to post the highlights but please remember that if you are a gardening enthusiast you may want to read further and browse on the official website here.

The flower shows off the best of each type of plant such as these amazing lupins.  
My imaginary garden has loads of these.

But I can't help but feel sorry for some other plants.

Nothing wrong with topiaries and the lovely plants below 
but it is like being a vanilla pod in a chocolate convention.

There were a few stands that were a bit barren and 
lacked star power like the one below.  
Mind you if I had a garden that looked like this 
I would be ecstatic but this is THE show.

Long tall grasses and the bluey/purple color was seen everywhere and very much the trend this year.

I don't want people who haven't attended to think 
that every single stand is awe-inspiring.
Some stands didn't really have a theme and 
were just a combination of their best and healthiest plants.

Some stands were extraordinary such as this garden of irises but it doesn't translate so well in pictures as they aren't a dramatic flower like tulips. This stand was better appreciated in person.

The flower show is such a big event that the BBC did nightly one hour broadcasts about the various events and stands.  
So there was filming everywhere and you weren't to use flash photography near recording areas.
This was Carol Klein doing one of her segments.

There is the main BBC media and press stand below where they were broadcasting live every night.
Ironically it was across Alan Titchmarsh's garden.
Don't think it made news outside the UK but 
here in the UK the fact that Alan Titchmarsh was no longer part of the BBC presenting team was quite the story.

So instead he did a garden...
Sorry I couldn't get great pictures due to the crowd.
Interestingly, this was one of the few gardens that was not being judged.  
It was probably too political.
To watch Alan talk about his garden and get a better view -
 please click here.

The flowers with the strongest scent in the whole show 
were these lilies.  
This stand was one of the most impressive.

The blooms were full and healthy unlike some stands 
that were rather sparse perhaps due to the excessive rain 
we had over the winter.
Case in point was this one and only peony stand.
Through no fault of its own this stand won a silver gilt.
Peonies are hard to grow so while it was beautiful 
they didn't manage to win gold.

Another stand that was amazing but didn't quite match the standard last year and only won silver gilt was the tulips from Bloms Bulbs. 
I say "only" won silver gilt.
But last year this was probably one of the most popular stands 
there was always a crowd next to this but 
this year it was a bit sparse.

Despite going down one ranking, I still would have happily queued up to see if I could have nabbed a bargain 
on the Saturday where they sell off the plants at bargain prices.

I know that when people think of roses the automatic go-to nursery is David Austen but Peter Beales roses are also a superb quality.
Isn't that frilly cuff just so striking?
I love the mix of rose and peony like qualities.
As you can see, the stand was chock a block and
 I really thought traffic lights would have come in handy.

Don't you think these pink roses suit their name?

I will be frank and say that I am not convinced by this shrub rose below due its absence of rose like characteristics.

Now you tell me if a rose by any other name is apt now?
So many types of roses it is hard to choose!

It's funny because I actually stated that I would not take any pictures of anything cactus related and yet I had to eat my words.
Desert flowers are so pretty.

I hadn't seen bonsai trees with flowers before so took a snap.

I adore calla lilies.
Depending on culture, it can be a flower for weddings or funerals.
But calla means beautiful in Greek.
But did you know that despite its name it isn't actually a lily?

The most photogenic backdrop was this fairy tale door where so many people took selfies.

Did you know that not only is there a best show garden award 
but there is also a plant of the year award?

See all the people examining the plant up close.
Any guesses what it is?

The winner was the hydrangea macrophylla Miss Saori.

The second prize went to a rather less than photogenic iris 
called Domino Noir.

I took about twenty photos of it and it just doesn't show its beauty.
Apparently the unique quality was that it was black and white with a gold beard.

Third prize went to this Gerbera Gavinea Sweet Glow.

Well I shall now leave you with more random pictures of my highlights of the show.
Please enjoy.


  1. Thanks for the photos! I SO appreciate them! Do the lupins grow wild on the side of the road as they do here in Canada? Love those tulips near the bottom!!! I really must get there someday. sigh...

  2. Gorgeous photos! Eight years living in SW London and I still can't believe I have never been to the Chelsea Flower Show yet :(

  3. I don't need to go to the oficial website as these are lovely photos and you've provided us with a great commentary. Those lupins are stunning, as are the hydrangeas and of course the roses!
    I love it all!

    1. @hostess - I am glad you enjoyed it and perhaps you might add a few Peter Beales to your collection?

      @LJuice - I was like that too but finally got my act in gear last year so please buy your tickets early next year!

      @Wendy - I know you would go crazy at the show. But lupins don't grow that much here unless planted - it must be such a sight to see!

  4. HI Naomi, neither of my thumbs is green but I really enjoyed your photos! I saw some of my favourite flowers - hydrangeas, gerber daisies, those calla lilies are lovely too. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Looks like I'll be gardening this weekend. All these beautiful pictures are very inspiring.

  6. what an excellent post! this landscape designer will not get arose the pond and to chelsea until i retire, we are smashed this time of year. but your peak filled my soul til then

    1. @debra - you never ever know - but as a landscape designer you will probably need a two day ticket! there are so many types of gardens and stands and shops. I go in half a day bc I just go by pretty bc I know nothing but someone like you would need time to appreciate everything!

      @BB - you have sooo much land that you must be spoiled for choice to what to plant - lucky you!

      @Patricia - I don't know if I have green thumbs bc I never had a garden - well I did once but I was too young to care!

  7. Beautiful. I just love that Hydrangea, although in my garden it would grow blue, rather than the pink due to the soil ph. Plus as my other hydrangeas have not done well it would be a miracle if it actually produced a flower... Loved all your CFS pics, plus commentary... I almost feel like I've been there. Maybe next year... xx

  8. Oh boy I just loved all of those roses!

    1. Yes Peter Beales should not be ignored lady jicky!

      @Heidi - that hydrangea is amazing like icing on a cupcake but like you say how the heck are you suppose to control the ph? I mean I have heard of people who do things to the soil but still talk about high maintenance. I hope you come soon and next year you could do shopping for your garden??? xx

    2. We had a beach house with hydrangeas in blue. Apparently, you can do things like stick nails around the plants to give them more iron... guess they have to be iron nails. It changes it from acidic to basic.

    3. Yes I have noticed certain gardens that have pink and blue ones right next to each other and I used to wonder how that happened!

  9. Hello Naomi:

    In our gardening days Chelsea was always the highlight of the year when, for reasons not to be disclosed, we were always able to attend on the evening before the official opening which meant that it was possible to see everything without the distraction of the crowds.

    Like you, we always thought that not everything was so wonderful, as it is sometimes made out to be, but it is exceptionally good for gleaning ideas, seeing the latest trends and improving one's plant knowledge. And of course some of the show gardens really are stunning.

  10. Fabulous post! I love all your insights and hope I will get the chance to go back again and see the CFS one day! It was nothing how I thought it would be.

    The crowds were mad when I was there.

    Love all the hyacinths and lilies x

    1. @Hattats - very true that some stands were there out of tradition and etiquette dare I say! I would love to go on the VIP day not so much the VIP part but just to be able to walk without bumping elbows...But your undisclosed reasons sounds like the beginning of a novel!

      @FF - Of course you will be back - ps it was so funny because there was a bromelaid stand and he was saying that people are scared of them here because of the bright color - isnt that funny?? x

  11. Oh what a treat - Thank you so much for the glorious post. Had to laugh at your non rose quality rose. I didn’t like them to begin with but now I love the open flat petal roses. Those hyacinths! And Delphiniums…Adore lilies as they perfume the whole house and look amazing. Pity winter means all mine have gone for now. Only flower I don’t like is a Gerbera for some reason. Not that mad on carnations either come to think of it. Can’t wait for CFS! Tonkath

  12. Another great post - almost as good as being there as you managed to capture the highlights and more! The lilies were spectacular - a shame we can't have them at home but they make me sneeze! The hyacinths in the wicker baskets also caught my attention and the lupins too. We have always had purple and white lupins in our garden but not sure what's happened as there is no sign of them this year. I must buy more. I remember reading somewhere about Alan Titchmarsh not presenting this year.

    1. @miss b - those hyacinths in wicker is a great combo - they did it last year but I prefer the color blocking rather than the mixed baskets. So fresh too. But yes I must admit I felt a bit wheezy there after a few hours!

      @Tonkath - funny carnations aren't very popular but have you seen the post about carnations by Carolyn Roehm? If you havent please go to her blog on my side blog roll and search for it - she made them look amazing and rebranded them. Then again she is a bit of a genius. There is sometihng about lupins that seem fairytale like that I absolutely adore. To be frank I was surprised a gerbera won third prize too!!

  13. Love your narrative of the flower show. I SO wanted to go, but was too late to buy tickets. Then, my husband was offered some after we made travel plans. It was not to be this year. I did watch a lot of coverage on TV. We don't have Lupines on the east coast, so they are amazing to me! Next year I'm going!!!

    1. Great thing is that every year is so different bc of mother nature! But you really need to get tickets safely march or april. And remember that the saturday is the sell off day where the stands want to get rid of the stuff cheaply. You could get some lupins really cheap!

  14. What a beautiful post, I did go, but got lost in the crowds and rain so headed for tea.
    I think you have to be a fully paid up RHS member to get tickets, unless you are invited by a corporate.

  15. Pure, colorful, natural beauty at it's finest Naomi. What a gorgeous event to attend each year (I believe I followed your post last year on this event). It's so different here in Northern California. We have green in the winter and spring, with lots of blooms and it gets dry and very golden in the summer and fall. Your pop of color flowers are eye candy for me. I always go a little snap happy in a flower mart and these are beyond. Gorgeous post!
    Happy weekend my darling friend,

  16. How much fun was this? Lots of fun! So cute that you feel sorry for the less showy plants. Gosh I wish they could incorporate scent into blogs! Thank you for the thoughtful comment on my latest post. XXXXOOOO

  17. I love it that they give news updates on TV about the Garden Show:)

    1. @Alexandra - The crowds seemed more intense this year and if I have to be a member I might go that route!

      @Heather - it's like the chelsea flower show all the time in Cali though right? There are times where I dare say I would forgo green for less rain but then I must be careful what i wish for...x

      @Connie - Yes the scent app is definitely waiting to be invented!

      @LPC - the BBC also televise snooker live on primetime sundays sometimes!!!

  18. More lovely insights into the Show. Thank you. Especially good for those of us who don't get the nightly one hour specials from the BBC. I love the hydrangea


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