I have lived through it all. When I was fisrt allowed to grow marigolds and nasrurtiums in my 12year-old uncle's garden I was six and he insisted I grow them in a straight line. There was no use in the thirties for anything but utility. Production was everything. As prosperity grew after the war design took a hold but then the effect of overproduction in agriculture ruined the "natural" garden of our countryside (except I think in Devon which I have just visited and it is beautiful) and we gardeners have to push design aside and help our native flora and fauna survive. I try to do it in my own garden and think the birds, bees , butterflies, "weeds" and all the other wildlife that consoders it their home as well contribute to that beauty.
In a way Chelsea has less to do with gardening as most of us know it and far more to do with theatre. The designer gardens are stage sets more than anything else. And as such they are very succcessful. But as something the vast majority of us could either afford, or want, well I am not so sure.
My beef with Chelsea is that all the gardens are staged. Half the plants that are seen in the borders would never all be in bloom at the same time normally. But I guess the show is a stage for the garden designers. I agree it would be nice to see some more rather than mainly modern spaces.
That last comment was supposed to link through to an article I've written to help you create you own cottage garden but i think I did it wrong.
Chelsea gardens are a lot better at seasonal planting now than when I first went in teh late 80s and, as Berghil says, they are stage sets but that deosn't mean there aren't ideas and plants to stimulate us to try new ideas and combinations. It's ot all about teh gardens either. The floral marquee is full of world class nurserymen and women from whom you can order top class plants - after chatting about whether they will suit your situation.
There are also seed companies, garden art and architecture, tools, machines and alls orts of garden accessories to see and buy. It's a great day out and great value at £55 for a possible 12 hours of entertainment. Like any fashion show, you just have to adapt the ideas for normal folk.
Agreed. But for those of us who will never get there, it is a shame the TV shows the same rubbish over and over and over again, but spends next to no time on the things which make a garden, the plants.
It’s been interesting reading everyone’s thoughts on Chelsea. I suppose if you likened it to London Fashion week where designer explore the realms of design and to many of us come up with completely un-wearable pieces of clothing, some may see Chelsea a little like that. However many of the clothes that find their way onto our highstreets have taken inspiration from those catwalks. So for me Chelsea is about inspiration, and it never fails to provide. So maybe Diarmuid Gavin's tower was not to your taste, perhaps it was the glorious blooms of the Rhodo’s in the Furzey garden, or the soft herbaceous planting in the Brewin Dolphin Garden - geraniums, euphorbias highlighted so simply with red poppies. Surely there is something for every gardener at Chelsea??