Generally it’s the large show gardens at Chelsea which make the headlines, as that is where most of the razzmatazz can be found and where some serious money has been spent.
And although these gardens are indeed impressive, when it comes to cost this year is a little different…
The world’s most famous flower show has exhibited its most expensive garden to date, and it’s hard to see this being rivalled in the future to be honest, a garden costing a staggering £20 million pounds. And it’s not even one of the large show gardens that has come in at such an eye watering amount, the garden responsible is the aptly named Ace of Diamonds in the much smaller Urban Garden category.
Well, that’s an awful lot of plants you might think, but although the planting was very pretty, and there were some attractive seating and landscaping, it was hardly worth millions. It was more to do with the walls of the garden sparkling in the sunlight due to them being fashioned from £100,000 semi-precious stones. Even the mulch was worth a small fortune, as it was partly made up from shards of diamonds. No wonder it attracted rather a lot of attention!
The whole point of the garden was to celebrate the link between plants and precious stones and there were plenty of other gardens making equally interesting, although a lot less costly links.
One at the other end of the scale from the bling of the Ace of Diamonds was the Rain Forest Garden, a leafy mini paradise made in part by Cameroonian women, and which won a much deserved gold medal. This garden was one of the Courtyard Gardens, always popular at Chelsea as they are the ones that you can really relate to, you can imagine having a ‘go’ in your own garden.
My particular favourite was Music on the Moors a really pretty, semi-wild garden framed within a Gothic willow arch, this not only won gold but best Courtyard Garden as well. Designers can also have some fun with the smaller gardens, as the giant wooden spoon seat in the Rhubarb Crumble and Custard Garden proved.
The gardens are great, but I’m really here for the flowers, and to see the best flowers at their absolute peak then the Great Pavilion is the only place to be. Whatever your favourite flower is, you can find it in here, from stands of perfect blue delphiniums, the most gorgeous scented roses and every type of tropical flower, it’s a plantaholic’s paradise.
And there is no end to the showmanship either, one exhibit, the Nong Nooch Tropical botanical Garden, which was stopping everyone in their tracks was a large dragoon flanked by elephants (yes elephants) all made out of orchid petals, it must have taken weeks and weeks to create.
Take a look at the video of the spectacular Nong Nooch garden below.
Almost equally impressive was a replica scale model of half of the Tyne Bridge completely covered with a sea of pansies – if there’s one thing for sure, it’s that the Chelsea Flower Show is never boring!
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