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Chelsea Show Gardens

I guess this thread or something like it will have done the rounds before but does anyone else think that too many of the big Show Gardens at Chelsea are just a bit samey? Year afte year it seems to be very similar combinations of clipped hedging (mainly box, yew and hornbeam), grasses, irises, blocks of stone, rectilinear water features and all the rest. Maybe if the use of some of this stuff was vetoed for a while we'd see more creativity and imagination at what is supposed to be the  world's premier garden show. 


  • Stevo4Stevo4 Posts: 109

    The pavilion part is my favourite. The show gardens just seem to be about architecture not horticulture.

    I wonder what self-indulgent 'work of art' Mr Gavin will concoct this yearimage

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,064

    He's doing a homage to British design eccentricity.

    Here's a guide to the show gardens this year - 

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 10,400

    Oh, for a garden with curves ! it seems to be straight lines all over the place.

    I seem to recall Alan Titchmarsh saying something similar last year.

  • As I am interested in Mathematics, I am looking forward to seeing The Winton Beauty of Mathematics Garden, with its wonderful Aloe polyphylla!

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,064

    There are constraints at Chelsea.  The plots are nearly all a uniform rectangle and have to be designed to be viewed by the public from one short end and, sometimes, a long side.   I think that's why most designers go for linear, angled designs to keep lines of sight. 

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,125

    The formal geometric gardens can be taken in with a glance. They look good in photo's and on TV. Living wih them I would find boring, even thogh they looked good.

    I like the kind of garden that can look messy or untidy because the planting hides the underlying structure and that have a wealth of interesting plants to discover. These have less obvious  visual appeal and don't mean anything to people who don't really care about plants, of whom I suspect there is quite a high proportion at Chelsea.

    I may be wrong as I have never been - distance, cost and caring commitments rule it out for me, and it has never been an event on my social calendar.image

  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 11,974

    I love Chelsea show gardens.

    I would not necessarily want one, but the plants are wonderful, the combinations are often superb, and the craftsmanship staggering.

    The smaller gardens are often more akin, to many peoples own plots.

    I have seen the plans for D. Gavins garden, and, I think it could be very good.

    Consequences, altered cases
    Broken noses, altered faces
    My ego altered, altered egos
    Wherever I go, so does me go
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,064

    I go as often as I can but then I don't spend money on football, concerts and other stuff.

    The TV coverage distorts the image in many ways.  The vast majority of people there are ordinary gardening folk who go for the plants.   I like to see a good garden design at Chelsea but don't want to bring it home - too much stone, water, concrete etc.  I'm more interested in the planting schemes and combinations.   There are plenty of ideas too for wildlife friendly features.

    It's also a great opportunity to chat with the specialist growers in the pavillion and ask about a plant's suitability for one's own garden and the seed merchants do plenty of special offers.

    This year I'm taking OH (I used to get dragged to golf dinners so he has to come at least once) and also my Felco's as one pair ended up in the compost heap and need some TLC which they'll get at the stand at Chelsea.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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