Thursday, 24 May 2012
The above image shows Jo Thompson's caravan 'Doris' which was a true hit at the show. Doris, although vintage, is incredibly modern with her shiny exterior and works so well as an alternative to a garden room or shed. Jo's 'Celebration of Caravanning' for The Caravan Club also included a gorgeous little wooden dog kennel (just visible on the left of the above image) with a green roof that included Alpine Strawberries. The kennel had it's own down-pipe that harvests rainwater, which then flows in to a dog bowl. A brilliant idea.
Common Farm Flowers, also provided the cut flowers for Jo Thompson's garden.
'Homebase Teenage Cancer Trust Garden' had several features that I adored and this stone water feature (above) was my favourite. I like how the water rises up through the stone and flows rather informally along its surface before trickling over in to the rusty edged pool.
Wednesday, 23 May 2012
As I wandered through the gardens and stands I kept a keen look out for individual plants that I liked or hadn’t seen before and I’ve dedicated this post to just a handful of them.
|Meconopsis x cookie ‘Old Rose’|
|Aquilegia viridiflora ‘Chocolate Soldier’ with Geum ‘Marmalade’ in the background|
|Trifolium repens ‘Dragon’s Blood’|
|Peony ‘Clair de Lune’|
Tuesday, 22 May 2012
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.
Friday, 18 May 2012
As a first timer to the show I really have no idea of what to expect. Of course, I’ve seen Chelsea on the TV many a time and visited other shows but a show of this scale and prestige really is a different beast.
I’m particularly excited to see the show gardens and I'm eager to get some good design ideas. I’m hoping to see something new and exciting that will get the cogs turning and possibly initiate some action on my part. The Fresh Show Garden category sounds like this could just be the ticket although every garden has potential to wow. Little has happened in my garden or at the allotment since I last posted as work really has dominated my days but I have a feeling that with a newfound motivation things are about to change.
I'm hoping that the Great Pavillion will also inspire and that I'll be able to find some new plants and dual purpose plants that are both decorative and edible. I'll also be looking to see what's new and get a few tips from the growers.
Here's to Chelsea 2012!
Thursday, 17 May 2012
|Image: Jonathan Buckley|
Sarah Raven plants are known for their quality, beauty and are of course tried and tested and I couldn't be more pleased to be able to offer one reader the chance to win a selection of Chrysanthemums, which when in flower are perfect for cutting. The Abundant Collection (12 cutting) is the my choice of prize and I hope you love the selection as much as I do.
To be in with a chance of winning just answer the question below:
'Where does Sarah trial her seeds, bulbs and plants?
When you think you know the answer to the above question, leave a comment in the comments box at the bottom of this post. You can gain additional entries to the competition by retweeting @ryansgarden promoting the offer on twitter or by sharing a link from the Ryan’s Garden Facebook page (you must like the page to share the link). The number of entries will not increase if you retweet or share links more than once.
Good luck and don’t forget to subscribe to the Ryan’s Garden blog to ensure you don’t miss out on future competitions and posts.
Terms and conditions: This competition closes at 23.59 on 31.05.2012. Any entries received after this time will not be counted. If for any reason the particular prize is out of stock then an appropriate alternative will be sought. Entrants must be UK residents aged 18 years or older to enter. By entering this competition you agree and consent to your name being published and by taking part in the competition, entrants are deemed to have read, understood and accepted all of the Terms and Conditions and agreed to be bound by them. The winner will be selected at random and will be announced here on the blog.
Tuesday, 1 May 2012
Looking over the broad beans and leeks, watching the girls go about their pecking, scratching and preening I honestly think I could have lost hours. Of course, I didn't as my iPhone was in my pocket and as usual it completely ruined everything. I'm back to reality with a bump.
For over a week or so I've been glued to a computer screen. Creating and updating spreadsheets, writing articles and arguing with lots of different service providers. I've recently entered the world of self-employment, creating a new business with my partner and it's meant little time for gardening. Of course, the rain and howling winds had also put pay to this, but having endured quite some time with eyes glued to my computer I needed a little time alone at the plot.
To say I've been feeling a little apathetic about gardens and gardening lately is an understatement. My mind has been solely on the business. I didn't go to RHS Cardiff, although I'm not sure I missed a great deal, I've done little at the allotment and I've done absolutely nothing in the garden. I've found myself yawning and nodding off during Gardeners' World and I don't think I've read a handful of blog posts, which I usually consume quicker than cake. But that little moment at the allotment may have just given me that little spark I needed! We'll see.