Friday, 25 May 2007

Chelsea Flower Show 2007

This afternoon I went to the Royal Horticultural Society Flower Show at Chelsea along with a good proportion of the residents of the home counties. Once through the entrance gate and the milling crowds on Eastern Avenue I headed straight for the Great Pavilion to gawp at flaaars! That's what it's all about, after all.

The Pavilion is full of flower displays of all sorts and I'm a bit like a magpie except I'm attracted by colour and shape. Gorgeous colours and banks of flowers everywhere, the Caribbean stands win the prize for the wierdest flowers and some of the most imaginative displays and the big chrysanthemum stand wins the prize for the blousiest blooms with the huges balls of chrysanths! It's great fun just wandering round, seeing a splash of colour out of the corner of my eye and heading towards it - not a very planned way of seeing the different stands but it works for me.

I wandered round the Pavilion for an hour or so and then decided I was flowered-out and needed a beverage and a potato meal - beer and chips in the food courtyard. Then it was time to wander round the outdoor exhibitions and stalls, looking at small gardens and statury, stalls selling colourful wellies, and garden machinery, wind-chimes and watercolours. I found the Iggy Pop garden and was less than impressed after all the fuss that was made of it. The Children's Society used the theme of 'lust for life' for a small garden with a fountain that made me think of pissing against a wall and probably quite appropriate for Iggy. Is that a joke by the designer? Cardiff's 'Dr Who garden' was also a bit of a disappointment, just a rotating Tardis in the middle of a slightly minimalist garden (not sure if was meant to be minimalist).

I thoroughly enjoyed wandering round the crowded show, on the go for about 4.5 hours so it was nice to finally sit down on the bus home. I loved bumping into a couple of Caribbean ladies every so often, usually at stands with the more exotic flowers and plants and hearing them say 'we've got that at home'. Later in the day the corporate entertainment chaps started to become more obvious (suits and jugs of Pimms and the most stereotypical loud accents). It was packed and at some of the gardens you had to stand four or five deep and wait for a chance to get close enough to see the gardens, but, I suppose, that's part of the atmosphere of Chelsea. I didn't see it all by any means but it was good. Roll on next year!

Anyways, I only took 189 photos and here is a taster (click to make them bigger). I'll eventually put a selection up on my Flickr site (click on the badge to the left to be taken there).

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