23 May 2013

Chelsea Flower Show 2013: The Gardens

So I quickly learned that on Press Day 
the international media
is mostly there for the celebrities

which was good news for me as
the garden designers were hanging around their installments, ready to chat :)

Birmingham City Council exhibit

So here were my top picks...

'A Hebridean Weaver's Garden'

To be set in the 1950's on the Outer Hebrides islands of Scotland,
this installment shows the traditional making of Harris Tweed
with hand dyed and hand spun wool

Notice the crooked tree you would see on the islands due to high winds?

I love the little brook and
the traditional blackhouse with its aerodynamic roof line and rocks to hold it down 

The original theme and attention to detail are magnificent

Another favorite was
'The Garden Of Magical Childhood'

Raise your hand if you'd like to see this in your backyard :)

So loving those wooden mushrooms and 
the little pond in the grass with hand painted wishes on rocks
- so sweet -

The garden depicts a tea party taking place under a tree house,
designed to encourage viewers to reflect on the preciousness of childhood

Unlike the Show Gardens section,
the Artisan Garden designers cannot excavate
so they placed a horse chestnut tree in the middle of the fort
and built the slope around it

The ivy growing up the tree house was planted first 
to give it time to grow and look more natural

I think any child would love to spend a few hours in this lovely spot
and this magical retreat looks like it has been there forever
(which is tricky with only 5 days to put it together)

As to the only flower requiring guards,
the Lady's Slipper orchid was hiding in the corner at
Le Jardin De Yorkshire

This beauty is a success story of scientists at Kew Gardens 
bringing this girl back from the brink of extinction

The orchid continues to be the rarest wildflower in Britain
and is being reintroduced in the north of England, including Yorkshire

Like the Chelsea Flower Show,
the Tour de France is celebrating its 100th year too
and teamed up with Welcome To Yorkshire
to promote the Tour de France riding through Yorkshire next summer

two guards protect orchid (see arrow)

Let's now go inside the Great Pavilion,
where I was particularly taken by the unusual hanging amaryllis display
by W.S. Warmenhoven (Holland)

Attached with metal cuffs and secured with wires,
these hollow amaryllis stems will be hand watered just one more time this week
from above

Wouldn't this be a fun idea for a wedding or garden fete?

And for something really different,
check out this red poppy from China
 - Meconopsis punicea -

which is related to the gorgeous and rare blue poppy
(seen in background)

But wait, there's more!
I'm just getting warmed up :)

Check out this carefully excavated apple tree

And as always, a stunning display of orchids
by Thailand's Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden

Working with 50,000 orchids, lots of Oasis and wire 
this amazing display came together
with the help of fifteen people over five days

Paignton Zoo showed their version of past and future gardening
A classic English garden on the left contrasts with an artificial biome on the right

At Paignton Zoo in Devon, crops are grown hydroponically (soil-free) onsite to feed the animals
Sounding futuristic, trays of crops are placed on conveyor belts to sunlight and feeding stations

But for me, here was the show-stopper...

This dress!!

Just look at the exquisite detail,
made from fresh flowers, foliage and ferns

So dreamy

Okay, I will let your floral heart have a rest
Such deliciousness, no?

I have one more Chelsea post coming your way soon
Don't miss it :)

- photos by me -

More 2013 Chelsea Flower Show posts:


Anna-Marie Field said...

Hi There, WOW,WOW,WOW!! Such loveliness!!!Can't wait to see more!!!!Thank you for sharing this with us!!!

Ali Honey said...

Thank you so so much. The photos are fabulous!

Marina PĂ©rez said...

Wow, Amazing, wow.


Vintage Sheet Addict said...

Wow, what a fantastic day! :) x

Kay G. said...

I love this post!
My sister and I went to London in 1981 for the first time and we wanted to see the Chelsea Flower Show! (Didn't know we could not see it if we had not gotten tickets WAY in advance.)
Also, one of my followers of my blog sent me a Harris tweed wallet from the Isle of Lewis, so I LOVE the display you have shown here!!
Thank you for this post, now I HAVE been to the Chelsea Flower Show!!

greenthumb said...

Wow wee so many lovel gardens, just so very pretty. Can't wait to see more.

Linda Metcalf said...

Just beautiful...the Scottish offering is my favorite...well they are all my favorites!

Joyce said...

I am loving all your pictures. I went to the show when I lived in the UK. The crowds were huge and it was a hot day, but I loved the talent and creativity and all that beauty on display.

Annie said...

After reading your post I am even more excited about your visit this afternoon - I have pm entry from 3.30pm. Unfortunately I am less enamoured with the weather forecase for this afternoon. Traditionally, I prefer the gardens to the pavillion, but I fear I may be spending quite a bit more time under the canvas this afternoon - so thanks for your pictures of the gardens!

Liene said...

Wow!!! Blue poppies, rare orchids, dresses made of flowers... Someday I will see it all, but hopefully by that point the Lady's Slipper is a commonplace sight in the countryside...

Holledayz said...

Today was my first trip to the Chelsea Flower Show even though I live just around the corner. I am amazed at the transformation! I am envious of your Press Pass - your pictures are fantastic! Most of mine will have people in them ..... much too crowded to see the details you were able to capture in your photos. Thanks for sharing!

Sarah said...

Magnificent! I love the dress. My mum was there yesterday and said she enjoyed going round in the SUN! Yes, that yellow orb that's been missing for months. Last year I think she viewed it all in pouring rain. :)

Jeanie said...

I am gasping all over the place because this is so beautiful it simply takes my breath away. I love the Outer Hebrides garden -- it's magical. But I'm also wild about all the color elsewhere. How creative and how detailed!

Excellent coverage of this and if you have more, I'm sure no one will mind!

And three cheers for Le Tour -- can't wait for it and thrilled it's taking a Brit bent this year!

Egretta Wells blog said...

Fabulous! thanks for the tour! I am in love with that fern and flower dress!

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Thanks, Jeanie! The Tour will be through Yorkshire in 2014 - I don't want you hanging out in the dales looking for it this year :)

Gillian said...

Fantastic! Thanks for sharing your photos of CFS with us, I've really enjoyed reading these posts. It looks like a lot of fun. x

Down by the sea said...

Your photos and insight are wonderful,you get a different view from seeing it on TV. My favourites are the deckchair,Hebredian Garden and that amazing dress. Can't wait to see your next installment.
Sarah x

paisleysummer said...

Looks fabulous Laura. I would love to go one day x

Tina in CT said...

Amazing and Wow!!!!!

That dress is the highlight, I agree.

If my daughter moves to London, I will make sure to visit during the Chelsea Garden Show time.

I love your pictures and prose.

ann said...

I rally want to go next year. You will have to blog about how to get tickets, etc. Thanks for thinking of us as you share your adventure.

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Good suggestion, Ann. I'll mention it in my next post :)

Alison said...

Absolutely stunning! Spending a day wandering through all of Nature's glory like that puts life a little more into perspective. We get fed so much bad news on a daily basis, we forget how beautiful the natural world continues to be.

And plainly all that nature hasn't rubbed off on one of those security guys. Geez, he looks grumpy.


Brandi said...

Wow, what a gorgeous display. So many beautiful flowers.

Willow said...

Clapping wildly ! Thanks so much for sharing !

Joy said...

I would love to go one day. Mind blowing. Thank You. Joy

Barb said...

Be still my heart! Fabulous photography - I felt I was there with you. Love the poppies!