Under the floral spell at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show
The Royal Horticultural Society’s annual garden show has been held every May in the grounds of the Royal Chelsea Hospital, home of the distinctive scarlet-coated Chelsea Pensioners, since 1912. It brings together a number of impressive show gardens, a series of smaller scale Artisan Gardens, a pavilion showcasing British-grown flowers and plants, and a whole host of the great and the good of British society (including the Queen, who pays a visit each year).
I was lucky enough to attend the press preview the day before the show opened to the public, and was (slightly unexpectedly) enchanted by the whole experience, my first time at the show. The weather was glorious — fine and cool enough for a jacket in the morning, and warm and slightly sultry in the afternoon, and the greenery of the hospital grounds was bathed in the kind of fine, clear, filtered light that is so peculiarly English.
Some of the highlights for me included the M&G Garden designed by Sarah Price, a romantic Mediterranean oasis; the Trailfinders South African Wine Estate garden designed by Jonathan Snow, which features a traditional Cape Dutch homestead and a beautiful parterre garden; and the Welcome to Yorkshire garden designed by Mark Gregory, with a traditional stone cottage, wisteria growing in its cottage garden, limestone walls, and a babbling brook.
Among the Artisan Gardens, I absolutely loved the Embroidered Minds Epilepsy Garden, which explores the effects of epilepsy, a neurological disorder that affected the eldest daughter of Victorian craftsman William Morris.
The M&G Garden
The Trailfinders Garden with traditional Cape Dutch homestead
The Embroidered Minds Garden
Welcome to Yorkshire Garden
Wuhan Water Garden, China
Hyacinths in the pavilion
A couple of the cutest attendees
The Artisan Retreat section, with a vintage vibe
Drinks truck collaboration between St Germain and June in March floral designer
Mens’ hats for sale