Chelsea Flower Show gets greener yet something sticks in the back of the throat.

May 28, 2008

The Chelsea Flower show gardens were fabulous. Most of the gardens concentrated attractive and interesting planting of shrubs, trees and flowers rather than ornate structures. Various shades of exotic green seemed to be the main colour, with several gardens featuring rich tapestries of foliage punctuated with subtle or sometimes vibrant splashes of colour.

My favourites were the smaller gardens as I could relate to them more compared to the elaborate main show gardens.

Saying that Andy Sturgeons Gold award wining garden, which he designed to raise the profile of cancer research, was stunning.

Andy Sturgeon Gold winning Chelsea Flower Show Garden  Andy used black water pools on three levels that pulsated making ripples on the surface; the pools were surrounded by plants for texture and subtle colour.

Chelsea Flower Show Gold. by Andy SturgeonI was pleased to note that we had 25 of the 26 plants he used in his garden on the latest multi plant list 3,500 plant CD-ROM.

Andy was kind enough to allow me private access to the garden for a closer look. Andy Sturgeon Gold winning Chelsea Flower Show Garden

I think that Andy’s garden is the only one that I’d also liked to have seen when it was raining as I could imagine the raindrops running over and falling from the circular rings mounted to the wall plus the sound of  the rain as it hit the mirrored black water would have added another dimension.


The other garden that really impressed me, with a theme that I support, is the Edible Playground featuring vegetables grown in schools to encourage youngsters to learn about plants and how they grow.

Edible Playground Edible Playground

Joane Myram I had the pleasure of meeting Joanne Myram who was delighted the garden won Best in Show for the Courtyard Gardens category.

 The garden was beautifully constructed and tastefully planted.


The flower show is spread over 11 acres in Chelsea’s Royal Hospital gardens, where over 500 exhibitors spend a month getting ready to create this incredible display of blooms. At the end the gardens are dismantled. It’s a great opportunity to buy a piece of Chelsea to either transplant in to your garden or a memento of your visit.


Complete Gardens CD-ROM Ltd launched its latest multi list 3,500 UK plant advice and pruning guide CD-ROM. The multi list version as its name implies allows the user to make various plant lists.  The majority of the plants used in three Gold winning gardens including Andy Sturgeons’ were included in the latest interactive plant database containing 9,000 photographs. This will be a useful plant resource for budding gardeners and garden designers.


Most people seemed very happy with the show. The weather was kind and the garden inspiring but the one element that spoilt it for many visitors and exhibitors were the millions of seeds and pollen falling from the mature 300 year old Plane trees.


Plane tree seed

The seeds have hundreds of hairs which act as a parachute and distribute the seeds over a wide area. These hairs break off when the seed lands and then fill with the lightest breeze.  People were coughing as they inhaled the hairs which stuck in the throat or causing a great deal of discomfort when they got in your eyes.