Thursday, 22 May 2008

Chelsea Flower Show


I have tried desperately hard to get excited about today’s planned post. For three nights in a row I have watched the coverage on TV with disinterest and wondered how I will muster enough enthusiasm to write about this annual gardening show! I warn you now that I have failed before I’ve even started writing!

Therefore, not wishing to put you off, I will quote the official description of what has become something of an event in London’s social calendar:

“The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is the ultimate event in the gardening year. It sets the latest gardening trends, features the newest and most desirable gardening products and creates an explosion of colours and scents.”

I appreciate that this is an incredible exhibition of horticultural brilliance and innovation but it simply does not float my boat! My family all love gardening and I think this is probably one reason for my aversion. As a kid, we had a massive garden which took all my parents spare time. In retrospect, I can tell you it was beautiful but the garden often came before me in their priorities so I hated it!

When I lived in London I missed the garden for one reason only – homegrown vegetables. I didn’t miss the grass or the flowers particularly though it would’ve been nice to sit outside on a warm day. My mum gave me a window box with baby tomato plants in it and I occasionally sat outside the front door (Mediterranean style!) in a deckchair so I was happy enough.

Anyway, back to the Chelsea Flower Show which runs until Saturday. Held at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea since 1913, there are approximately 600 exhibitors from around the world. The most popular exhibits are the show gardens which are put together (not sure if that is a correct gardening term!) in the days running up to the show. In the last four years alone nearly 250 new plants and flowers have been given their debut here and awards are presented to the best exhibitors. During the five days, 49000 glasses of Pimms, 5000 bottles of champagne and 54000 cups of tea and coffee are consumed!

If you are not a heathen like me and your appetite has been whetted then I must now disappoint you; tickets for this years show are all sold out! But you may like to visit one of London’s great gardens which are all part of the London Pass package including the Chelsea Physic Garden, the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew (aka Kew Gardens) and Hampton Court Palace.

I am doing my own bit for British horticulture this week - my parents are on holiday and they’ve entrusted me to water their garden… fools!

1 comment:

Lana said...

Amazing.... London Pass provided me 2008 passes at 2007 prices.