Chelsea Flower Show 2016:
One of the first events of the London Season, Chelsea Flower Show heralds summer with spectacular floral displays right in the heart of London.
This stunning installation, not of ‘real’ flowers but of knitted poppies, creates a red-carpet effect right the way up to the entrance to Chelsea Hospital itself and is one of the must-see displays at this year’s show.
If you are there to look at gardens created from living plants, though, you won’t be disappointed. One of my personal favourites is this quirky The Senri-Sentei – Garage Garden designed by Kazuyuki Ishihara – it’s the sort of excellent design that brings to life an area housing the most mundane of modern garden spaces.
I loved the formal and traditional Chelsea Barracks Garden too; while I was there some of the pensioners were clearly enjoying the attention…
and sunning themselves in the garden itself. It’s a gold medal winning design, by Jo Thomson that somehow manages to embody the spirit of the Pensioners in a design which really comes to life in a setting just behind the main hospital building.
By contrast, the Cloudy Bay garden, a celebration of the winery’s 30 years of wine-making heritage in New Zealand is a serene, natural space, an escape. The intention – to demonstrate the value and relationship of nature to the winemaking process. The result is a beautifully tranquil area in what can be rather a frenetic show.
Another of my personal favourites – this is the Mekong Garden from Viking Cruises. The floating lounger is styled on a traditional fishing boat and the entire garden is based on water, with floating beds containing fruit and vegetables.
By contrast, the LG Smart Garden wouldn’t look out of place in any London home. Based on Scandinavian design philosophies, the garden is intended to unite naturalism with modernism. I particularly like the colour scheme of the flowers – fresh and light. The sort of garden that you’d really want to ‘live’ in.
For me, there are so many highlights in this year’s show it’s impossible to list everything you should see. Don’t miss the Artisan Area where you’ll find a group of ‘garden’ artists creating everything from hand carved woodwork to beautiful silk prints.
And, stop a moment to admire the peace and tranquillity of the St Johns Hospice Garden, designed by Jekka McVicar, with it’s “forage-able herb lawn”.
Or just indulge your inner child with this fantastic tree-house
The Chelsea Flower Show is open at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea from 24- 28 May, 2016.
Tuesday – Friday (24-27 May) 8am–8pm
Saturday (28 May) 8am–5:30pm
Although every day appears to be sold out, if you don’t have tickets yet and want to go, it’s worth checking back on the RHS site regularly as any returns are resold.
Chelsea Flower Show
Royal Hospital, Chelsea,