Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Chelsea Flower Show 2017

This was the Maltese Quarry Garden that won both gold medal and best in show this year at Chelsea.

It was the first garden one saw as one entered but then it went downhill from there.

Like wine, 
I think Chelsea has vintage years 
and those that don't fare so well.

All those stones on the lake beach will be taken back to the Yorkshire beach it came from.

It was a bit worrying when trade stands were inspiring me more than the actual show gardens.

Plus, I was extra anxious as I took my reluctant husband for the first time so I wanted him to enjoy it and see why I went every year.

It wasn't so much the quality of the gardens as frankly most of us would be lucky to have any one of the gardens and trade stands they have at the flower show.

It was the lack of the show gardens this year on the main avenue.

What should have been a show garden was a driftwood sculpture show stand.

Brexit was to blame apparently.

Applications closed just after the Brexit result 
and many of the big spenders and corporations were so shocked by the result they had put non essential projects on hold 
so there weren't as many applications.

Or so they tell me as I found nothing Chinese about it.

Monty Don found this garden jarring and I agree.
I was hoping it would look better in real life and it didn't.

One of the highlights of the show was a paper menu at one of the venues in the show that could be planted afterwards just to cover with soil and water.

You can see the black seeds in the paper.

This is my star plant of the show and will plant next year.
Meconopsis is her name.

Gladioli were a star in the Great Pavilion.

Peter Beale always has a great stone backdrop for the roses.

There was a show attraction of a traditional carriage belonging to the Queen.

I like these and my husband said I should plant these.

Old strain potatoes are still popular this year.

On my way out of the pavilion, 
this was one of the spaces that should have been a show garden...

Luckily the weather has been forecast for sun all week so visitors will have more places to drink but I would have preferred a garden.

that won yet another gold medal this year. 
Please click on link for better pictures.
People at Chelsea call him moss man.

This is a horse made from horseshoes.

This was one of the nicer artisan gardens.

But this poetry lovers garden only won silver.

But this boat won gold.

I don't know what this disused mine won.

But one of my least favourite gardens I have seen in the past several years I have been below won gold.
I am not talking about taste and preference, 
I was confused to why technically this won gold?

Was I disappointed?
Yes, but mostly because 
I wish my husband would have seen the show in a better "vintage" year because I doubt he will come again.

I wish there were more show and artisan gardens but then again I did enjoy the nurseries showing in the Great Pavilion a lot more.

But either way, 
I still intend to attend next year so I won't let one quiet year sway me.


  1. as a loandscape designer in the states, i dream of attending chelsea. as a landscape designer i could never get away in may! so i love stories & photos of the show.
    your blog inspired me to go to the website and you were certainly correct, very uninspiring. had i come to visit i would have been devastated. sadly, i only liked the salvage garden with plants from malta.....nothing else.
    thanks for the share!

    1. Of course May is peak time for yourself. There are so many pictures now available on IG to let people see what the mood is like in and around the show. But Debra, this year you really didn't miss much at all and hopefully next year will make up for this year!

  2. Although some of the gardens were charming, it seems that the object of garden design has merged with that of recent architecture--to provide a sculptural freak show; anything to catch the eye and make people say, "What the heck?"

    The situation reminds me of the Lantern Festival in Taiwan--lately there have been far fewer traditional lanterns, and more "fillers" and "bright ideas" that water down the effect even more.

    1. "Architectural" is a huge buzz word when the BBC do their nightly show in discussion with the gardeners. The Maltese quarry doesn't really translate to most of us and there was nothing to really take home. Once again in the need for being photogenic it sometimes seem to get lost with the original purpose Jim doesn't it?

  3. Thanks for posting this! I love the Japanese planter with the moss and equisetum. I could do this in my shady yard. It does seem disappointing –– a boat? a horseshoe horse? a mine?

    1. I wish the show would highlight more plants that does do well in shade as we are in the UK after all! Designers are going so visceral with the gardens that as a complete amateur like myself I have nothing to learn from it...

  4. I saw Bogie in Maltese Quarry Garden.

    1. What is a Bogie - as in bogie man?

    2. He was also good in the sequel with Mary Astor, Sidney Greenstreet & Peter Lorre.

  5. Loved this post, but how disappointing it wasn't a gold year for Chelsea. I'm personally not sure about that Maltese garden - It kind of has a disused quarry look to it, as if weeds are growing everywhere. Perhaps the planting looked better in the flesh??!
    The Glads made me laugh, I always associate them with Dame Edna! x

    1. To be fair, last year was so so but there were 2 or 3 things that blew my mind but this year I saw 2 gardens of the - but why - category so I suppose I still learned what i like and don't like in gardens so I will be positive. I have a soft spot for glads bc they just grow so easily and I thank them :) x

  6. I am hoping to have my own flower cutting garden this time next year. was also wanting a greenhouse but boy are they pricey...gotta save. Still inspired by your pictures. The driftwood animals look cool. Were they?

    1. Are greenhouses dear? In Korea, the farmers used to just put plastic over the plants like a cloche. The driftwood were cool and my husband liked them but boy were they expensive!!!

  7. Chelsea must be a wonderful event...would love to see it one day.
    Garden shows inspire and excite me to try different plants and arrange things in more creative ways...unfortunately we have very few of them here in our small city but the fundraising garden tours are plentiful in the summer months.
    Looks like a lovely day.

    1. You really must come to Chelsea one day! You would love it - especially the David Austin roses stands.

  8. Oh, it does look more bleak than in years past. Still, it seems much better than anything we have in the colonies. Love that blue flower too. A must have for your garden! xo

    1. I will order the blue flower this weekend too xx

  9. I feel for you as you finally got your husband along and it's a very average display. All that effort for what, you ask? He'll probably never come along again. Have suffered same here but luckily, last play we saw was a big✅.
    Personally would love to go to see the show, but can already see the eye rolling from the family & can hear the cries "but you make us go to the botanical gardens all the time". Den xx

    1. Isn't it always the way that if you try too hard to show someone something or a place then it rains or something?? You gotta bring someone who loves a day out and garden geek stuff and you will love it Den xx

  10. That Maltese Quarry garden looks like it needs a good weeding.... or maybe I just don't get it.
    Meanwhile the colour of that Meconopsis is sublime. Never seen a flower with a colour like that.

  11. Chelsea must be a wonderful event...would love to see it one day.
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