The PR Files: Getting the Chelsea 'Look'

My inbox is currently flooded with press releases exhorting me to 'get the Chelsea look' by choosing from a set of products they've put together to cash in on present alongside this week's coverage of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Here's my shortlist of 'must haves', chosen from various emails ;)

#1 Water Features

Separated at Birth? Trailfinders waterfalls vs a slate fountain

"A key element [in the Trailfinders garden - Ed] was waterfalls and natural stone to create a tranquil and relaxing garden. These slate monoliths (from £139) are undrilled from quarries and each one is unique, standing from 2ft to 8ft." 

#2 Bedding

Actually, this look from the WaterAid garden is very achievable, but Tagetes wasn't available in the selection on offer. A surprising amount of bedding was seen at Chelsea this year - the WaterAid ones symbolise the income Indian women are able to earn from growing and making ceremonial garlands, once there's a reliable source of clean, local water

"Why not add some Chelsea style with xxxxxxxxx’s Geranium. Alternatively choose from a Begonia, Impatiens New Guinea, Dahlia, Petunia or Osteospermum."

#3 A Greenhouse

There were a lot of greenhouses to choose from at Chelsea, but I only saw one of these two. Gnomes are optional.

"Every budding garden expert needs a greenhouse to maximise the protection for their plants throughout the year. This large walk-in greenhouse is simple to build and doesn’t require any tools to assemble."

#4 Topiary Balls

Now, which one shall I have? Roger Platts' or...

..."Artificial topiary balls are perfect. They are UV and weather resistant, can be used in pots or as a hanging decoration and never need watering."

I suppose in its widest sense, anything you do in the garden this week could be interpreted as 'getting the Chelsea look'. For instance, any plant you choose to grow is very likely to be in an exhibit or show garden somewhere if you look hard enough. Actually, the easiest transformation you could do is to sweep your patio. They do an awful lot of that at Chelsea ;)

Are you getting the 'Chelsea look' this week?

Update 24/5: 'News' just in from a major supermarket - "W
e have found that the nation have been inspired by the Chelsea Flower Show and decided to get green-fingered with sales of hanging baskets set to flourish by 700%."


  1. We had a number of those emails too, typically filed in the spam quite quickly!

    Nice post to compare their view on the Chelsea "Look".

    1. Hi Gaz - I had to fish mine out of the Deleted box so that I could have a play! I met up with Naomi yesterday and it's a conversation I had with her over coffee which inspired this post :)

      I've enjoyed your Chelsea posts too - particularly the floral marquee. Sadly a migraine meant I could only stand being in there for short 'bursts' before I needed to come out again, so it's been good to catch up via your post.

  2. Nope. Though I wouldn't mind lifting that Greenhouse - the one on the left. On the other hand . . . I'm wondering what my garden would look like if I filled it with plastic flower balls. Quite interesting methinks. Perhaps that way I could open it as part of the National Garden Scheme? Purple balls for the yellow book.

    1. Hi Esther - I like that greenhouse (and a few of the others at Chelsea) too. A garden full of plastic flower balls sounds rather like one of the gardens I saw at Westonbirt Garden Festival years ago!

  3. Definitely not as I'm not a Chelsea fan. As for items like the artificial topiary balls...! Flighty xx

    1. Ah, but Flighty my tongue in cheek suggestion at the end says that practically anything we do gardening this weekend can be interpreted as getting the 'look' ;)

  4. Love the comparison. What do you think "set to flourish by 700%" means? Does that mean they've bought 700% more baskets than usual and are priming the market to sell out with special offers?

    1. I know Helen, isn't it a weird thing to say? Looking further at the survey they conducted, 33% of customers have said they'll be gardening this weekend - where that fits with the uplift in hanging basket sales...

      ... well they say 'there's lies, damn lies and... statistics'!

      I like your idea they're priming the market though - you could be on to something.

  5. Yikes, there are some truly terrible things out there. My brother-in-law was telling me that his neighbour bought some heathers spray-painted bright colours over Christmas, and was shocked when they all grew out and were identical! I am fortunate enough to have the sea rather than a billabong, not exactly in my garden but close enough for a swim (if the weather ever warms up), but I do like a nice bit of rock in the garden... I will be ignoring Chelsea, trends etc and planting some new plants in my front garden this weekend, and crossing my fingers that it rains here so that my water butts refill. Cold and dry seems mean, somehow!

    1. Hi Janet - I hope you're OK after this morning's 'shake up' on the Llyn Peninsula. Judging by yesterday's rain, I expect your water butts are full by now!


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