After one rather long train ride and an uncertain tube journey, I found myself in a slightly grubby, if not generous guesthouse, with views to the London Eye and Big Ben. I had made my pilgrimage to London for the annual RHS Chelsea Flower Show – the pinnacle of the UK gardening calendar.
A quick walk was all it took to get to the show yesterday morning and after collecting my pass and meeting up with the delightful Emma Bond I made my way in to the show.
I must add at this point that I’m a complete Chelsea virgin. I have seen bits and bobs on TV and followed the progress of many a fellow tweeter or blogger but attending the show in person was a completely new experience and one that had fostered much excitement and expectation.
I rushed past the big show gardens on the way to find the press tent so that I could drop off my now shoulder destroying luggage. On my mad dash through I noticed that everything looked rather splendid, although final touches were still being made. There was a lot of light coloured stone on show and rather similar planting schemes and colours but at this early point nothing on the main avenue immediately caught my eye. Of course, there was one rather unmissable structure - 'The Westland Magical Garden' by Diarmuid Gavin (pictured above), which from the screams of people coming down the slide and the large queue, appeared to be a great deal of fun.
My day started slow as I tried to make sense of the mass of gardens and information competing for my attention. As the day progressed and I found the time to digest things away from the many distractions I started to find my way slightly. The gardens above are just a few that caught my attention with Jihae Hwang’s: ‘Quiet Time: Korean DMZ Forbidden Garden’ being the star of the show and Willmott White's: 'The APCO Garden' standing out as a garden I could see being used in an urban setting and offering some inspiration for my garden at home.
There's still more to come on my Chelsea adventures so keep an eye on the blog for future posts and don't forget to enter my latest competition in association with Sarah Raven's Kitchen Garden.