View from our bedroom window - this morning at 9am.
I'm still getting to grips with this year's Chelsea, but have two major impressions thus far - simplicity and green. Last year's Chelsea had some very complex designs and structures, this year seems to be more restrained. There is a place for both and simplicity doesn't mean there's less in the way of ideas. Green is manifesting itself in both eco-friendliness and planting styles. I'm all for the former, but I do like a touch of colour in my garden too.
I'm not going to review every single garden - the link I gave you yesterday will allow you to judge for yourself. However, two of the gardens I've seen so far have a particular resonance.
Firstly the Dorset Cereals Edible Playground has put vegetables to the forefront of it's design with a mouthwatering result. I think it's important for children to make the connection with what's on their plate and where it comes from. Seeing children up at the allotment always brings a smile to my face. I also love the way the designer has used materials and techniques local to Dorset. The garden deservedly won Best in Show in the Courtyard Garden section and was sponsored by the company where NAH's second cousin is quality control manager.
Secondly, it's been interesting to read Cleve West's blog during his Chelsea build. I love looking behind the scenes and it's impressive he did this during such a manic time. The garden itself is a joy and has meaning for me as my mother-in-law has been diagnosed with dementia and has just moved into a home (a BUPA one - BUPA sponsored this garden). I can really appreciate the attention to detail - not having dead ends is so important for alzheimer's and dementia sufferers as they will just stop when reaching a blank wall and not move any further. Subtlety in colour is also needed, otherwise it adds to their confusion. I'm so pleased this garden will actually be used after Chelsea at a care home. I can imagine my MIL finding peace and tranquility here - any chance it'll go to Wakefield please?
A sneaky third garden review - any garden providing a design solution for all those wheelie bins and recycling containers has a definite plus in my view. It's great to see someone has designed a practical yet stylish garden, showing that form, function and beauty can actually go together. This garden for The Children's Society does just that.