Stories from Chelsea

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.


  1. Hi Chelsea fan, great photo and info.Whats this did you say -- 1st prize in the country Garden ? great post.

    Pop and see my R post.

  2. HI VP,
    Interesting to read your "take" on Chelsea so far. I have not had much time to catch up with all the interactive stuff ... yet.
    I liked Cleve's Garden. Have to say I had to look twice to see if your picture at the top of the post was a Chelsea Garden - but no it is your own. Nice shot.

  3. Hi VP,
    Interesting comments on the show gardens.

    Lovely photo of your garden - your alliums are fwinging already. Mine are only nearing take off.

  4. I do agree with you about colour, I like nice restful green gardens but on TV they do get a bit monotonous. My favourite is the Bupa garden it is nice an restful and uses colour!

    Best wishes Sylvia (England)

  5. Lovely view from your bedroom window. I'm going to check out the Chelsea show when I have a little extra time. Interesting, though, there was even an article in our local paper about it last night. The main focus of the article was about the garden in memory of George Harrison and the fact that Ringo Starr visited the show to see this. Did you happen to see Ringo?? (I was a big Beatles fan.)

  6. Lovely entry and better than watching it on TV! I really like the Cleve West garden and glad that he won a well deserved gold. Like you I've being reading his blog. xx

  7. What a lovely window view. No painting could ever radiate with so much beauty. And to think it's your very own masterpiece !

  8. IMAC - thanks for the compliments! Everyone - you must checkout IMAC garden in the rain, it's beautiful

    Karen - you're too kind. I'm still in catch up mode with all the Chelsea stuff too

    HM - thanks for the fwing :) Just you wait until the others are out, it'll blow your socks off ;)

    Sylvia - the BUPA garden seems to be getting the garden bloggers vote :)

    Rose - I'm a big Beatles fan too. Yes, Ringo was featured on Monday's coverage as 1 of the regular celebrity visitors

    Flighty - thanks! xx

    Viooltje - having seen your garden, I have some great standards to live up to!

  9. How I wish we something not completely unlike Chelsea here in the US. Following it seems like a national sport. Thanks for your impressions & the link to that garden with the cabinets for hiding bins & other stuff.

  10. MMD - you're welcome. At least with the links to the RHS and BBC, our non-UK gardening friends can still see a good lot of what it's all about :)


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