Yesterday I got up exceptionally early (actually an hour earlier than I needed to because I couldn’t read the clock) to head down to London for the Chelsea Flower Show. Despite an hour of extra time to get ready I managed to leave my phone at home so all the photos here are courtesy of the lovely Caroline who acted as my official snapper.
I was rather disappointed with the show gardens. I appreciate that everything comes in cycles and that fashions change, but I got rather bored of endless firs, sparse plantings and large blocks of concrete and metal. I mean, I took one look at the metal slabs in the Best in Show Telegraph garden and the first thing I thought was “of course, mountains”?? Meanwhile I rather liked the comment I overheard at the L’Occitane garden “I might like it when it’s finished”! Indeed, it was an excellent reproduction of a pretty and arid scene somewhere in the south of France. But it wasn’t a a garden. Certainly there were precious few that I would say, “oh yes, I’d like to sit out in that.” But then I suspect I am rather old fashioned.
This came to be proven when we came across the Harrods Garden. Plentiful and stunning planting, we weren’t the only ones to think so, it was one of the most crowded gardens I have seen in Chelsea for years.
It was rather eccentric as every 15 minutes the topiary began to whirl and bob, the garden spun around the folly, and the window boxes rose up to the second floor (I rather liked the idea of being able to take your window boxes to bed with you). But the planting, it was a dream.
The other garden I loved, was similar in style, the RHS Greening the Gray garden, again plentiful planting (I particularly liked the idea of planting roses amongst the annuals, so often they are made to stand alone). This was unusual as you could walk through it and enjoy it as a garden rather than merely spectate. Vegetables in pots on the roof of the sheds, traditional mixing of veg and flowers and plenty of bee friendly plants. In both gardens I was so impressed by the lupins, delphiniums and foxgloves so tall and straight!
We are fortunate enough to have enough space to grow pretty much what we want, north of England weather and chickens permitting. I am very keen to build a physic garden and really want to do the Foundation Course at Dilston Physic Garden. I wanted to do it this year, but I can’t make the dates so have blocked out the dates for next year already!
In the meantime I need to start to plan the plants and compare to what I already have and where I have them. At Chelsea I saw these by Bacsac
They are lovely, but more than I can afford. So this bank holiday weekend the Boss and I are going into design mode. Actually the design is less of a problem it’s the material, but we have an idea. Watch this space to see if it works.
One thought on “potagers, physic gardens and whirling topiary”
Lovely – reading your post is the next best thing to being there. And lucky you to have real dirt (not just clay and rocks like we have here)