Saturday 26 May 2012

Gardening is for life - not just for Chelsea

The roses are at their best!
Had a great last day at the show. The morning seemed cooler and more pleasant, the afternoon hot and sticky inside, windy and dusty outside. The team have done a great job keeping the display looking good. We try to keep everything as fresh as possible so that Friday and Saturday visitors have as good an experience as those that visit on Monday and Tuesday. When the weather is as hot as it’s been that can be quite a challenge! As few of the rhododendrons and azaleas had been in cold storage and the roses carried more buds than flowers the blooms have become more and more flamboyant as the week has gone on.  Some of the cherries were still in tight bud at the beginning of the week, these were really coming up for being at their best on Friday and will be fabulous on Saturday. When I started doing Chelsea no one considered that the end of the week was worth bothering about: all efforts were for the great and the good at the beginning of the week.  Today every day is equally important.

Our last live fencing demos finished at 11 a.m. followed by some filming for Friday night’s programme with Andy Sturgeon.  I am pleased we got this – I would have been disappointed to leave Chelsea without a mention on the main Chelsea coverage.
By Friday afternoon visitors were wilting and resting on the walls at the front and rear of the exhibit.  I really have not got the heart to move them on.  I join Owen and Rob for a last jug of Pimms in Ranelagh Gardens – the Plane trees are really seeking their revenge, irritating throats and eyes with their dusty, prickly cast offs.  
I manage a few goodbyes and make my way through the crowds towards the London Gate. I wish I had another day, another week, but then maybe there’s another year.  This has been a great Chelsea in many ways. I loved the exhibit; I love what we’ve achieved.
I resist buying another Panama from my friend Mark, then cheer myself up with a little retail therapy on Sloane Square. Once again Planet Chelsea fades into the distance and my real garden appears on the horizon: long grass, plenty of weeds, fading tulips and a million jobs to do. After all gardening is for life – not just for Chelsea.


  1. As ever, your exhibit was one of the best in the show, always look forward to seeing it. All those lovely plants fill me with enthusiasm. Congrats on Gold once again, richly deserved.

    1. Thanks so much - we had so many lovely comments from visitors - that's really what makes Chelsea worthwhile - much more important than the medal!