Chelsea 2016


So another Chelsea Flower show done. How was it? To be honest. It felt different this year. Don’t ask me how. Or why. I don’t know. It just felt different. When I understand why I’ll let you know. 

Did I enjoy it? Hell yes. I always do. It’s too busy compared with say Malvern where I went for the first time earlier this month. There’s polite and impolite pushing and shoving as only us Brits  do to get to the show gardens. Some hilarious comments about the gardens by people who pretend that they know what they are  talking about.  But even to a novice like me it sounds like …..

It’s expensive. It’s full of people because it’s Chelsea – not for the plants or the planting. There for the occasion. It’s the start of a social summer whirl. But I love it for all its many faults. 

I’m neither a gardener or a designer or a horticulturist. So what do I know. But I garden. I know what I like. I’m  a very lucky man to be able to garden two very different gardens.  I make mistakes. I don’t plant deep enough I’m told. I don’t design – just plant what I like. Where I like and I make mistakes. 

Shows like this give me ideas. Ideas of plants – of planting – the opportunity of getting new seeds and then talking to those who really know how to garden. Did I spend  money. Only on gardening gloves some seeds  and a host of plant catalogues. 


I love the gardens  – both the main show and the Artisan gardens. This year I was disappointed in the latter. Usually they are some of my favourites as they seem accessible. For me this year they lacked something. But I liked this one. Interesting. Practical. Colourful. 


The main show gardens are wonderful yet I often don’t really understand what makes a garden best in show. I know there’s a points system but to me I simply don’t understand the finer points. 

  We all have differing opinions on the planting. The plants. The structure. The colour. That’s good- isn’t it? I loved the planting in Rosy Hardys garden – I like colour. Jo Thomsons garden was beautiful. I didn’t see Diarnunds Twirling trees but I liked his  garden and the planting.  Cleeves  garden was lovely too.  They are all different and appeal to people on different levels.


Floral arrangements in the Marquee were unusual. But fab. Though not for Bruton High street. Not yet anyway. 


I love the depth and breadth of the plants and the stands in the Marquee. Hardys always puts on a great stand and deservedly had their 21st gold.  The sweet peas were awesome as usual and i couldn’t resist a few seeds . But this year there didn’t seem to be the “plant”!that was  everywhere. In every garden. On every stand. Or maybe it just passed me by. 

I talked Twitter friends with Lou Archer of Lou’s poo who I met for the first time – luckily I had two packets of poo in my bag which I’d bought earlier. Her alpacas poo. Not hers. 


Was great to put a name to a face. Especially when your talking poo. Which Ian says I do a lot. 

So it’s over for another year. Finished off with an alcoholic beverage with friends at the close of the day discussing what we liked. What we didn’t and what we bought. 

 Will I go next year. I suspect I will. I’ve been going for over 25 years. So why change a habit of a lifetime. 

4 thoughts on “Chelsea 2016

  1. With you on the Artisan gardens, I was rather underwhelmed, there were fewer of them, and they felt more like expanded Fresh gardens, without the artisan touches that so delight! As for the plant, I kept seeing Angelica everywhere!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t got, in fact won’t go.. It is one of those things in life that winds me up for no apparent reason. I think its the excess and as you mentioned the fake gardeners. And oh to have the ridiculous amounts of money they spend on my own garden

    Liked by 1 person

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