Spring weather has briefly visited Britain, British Summer Time officially starts this weekend when the clocks go forward by one hour, it must be time to start planning that trip to the Chelsea Flower Show, which this year takes place from 23-27 May.
Organisers’ the Royal Horticultural Society have begun to release details of some of the attractions, particularly the themed show gardens. These range from the Tracy Foster-designed ‘Welcome to Yorkshire Garden, bringing the rugged beauty of Yorkshire’s coastline and countryside to SW3, whilst Laurie Chetwood and Patrick Collins looked further afield for inspiration. Their Silk Road Garden showcases many of the plant species found in Sichuan Province. The theme also references the Su-Embroidery masters of Chengdu, incorporating the symbol of the 3,000-year-old Sun and Immortal Bird, the logo of Chengdu City and Chinese Cultural Heritage.
Probably more a-kin to what you or I can achieve at home are the Artisan Gardens, designed for smaller plots. Particularly eye-catching will be the contribution from last year’s ‘Best in Show’ winner, Gary Breeze. His IBTC Lowestoft Broadland Boatbuilder’s Garden has been created around the replica of an 800-year-old oak boat which was found on the Norfolk Broads. Appropriately, the garden has a marshland theme.
Of course, you will need refreshment whilst at the show, and official hospitality is in the care of renowned French chef Raymond Blanc. You will find Jardin Blanc tucked away in a quiet corner of the show where hospitality options are available. Once replenished you will no doubt want to buy something for your own garden and a variety of trade stands will be there to tempt you with everything from garden buildings to jewellery.
The show will be open from 8am-8pm Tuesday-Friday (23-26 May) and 8am-5.30pm on Saturday (27 May). Tickets are on sale now and can only be purchased via the RHS website: https//www.rhs.org.uk
The event takes place at the Royal Chelsea Hospital, Royal Hospital Road, London SW3 4SR.