Garden Designer from Bury St Edmunds visits Chelsea Flower Show
As always I visited the Chelsea Flower Show this year. It's the highlight of my gardening calendar. As always it didn't let me down. Needless to say i'm particularly interested in the show gardens but the floral marquee is full of mini show gardens and definately wasn't left in the shade. I couldn't decide on a favourite main avenue garden, I was stuck between Tom Hobblyn's, Andy Sturgeon and Joe Swift. Cleve West's arts and crafts garden was very good but reminded me too much of the Hidcote garden Chris Beardshaw did a recently. The main thing that stuck in my mind from this garden was Papaver 'Ladybird', a really vivid red poppy with black blotches, even looking at the other planting I always seemed drawn back to the intensity of this flower, I think this wow factor plant was my favourite of the whole show. I was kind of rooting for Tom Hobblyn, being local to Bury St Edmunds and missing out on a gold last year for a fabulous garden, his water arches between the two hedges was inspiring. Again he missed out on a gold but did get the people choice award. I loved Andy Sturgeon's copper sculptures both in the water with snippets of the same throughout the garden. If I had to choose a winner it would be the Homebase garden designed by Joe Swift. Now i'm not a lover of that burnished red sort of colour but the garden was linked throughout with the colour of the iris's, to the bark of the Prunus serrula and ultimately to the cedar frames which were the main structures/sculptures in the garden. This is one way to draw the eye around the garden as the brain likes things that are familiar, i.e. repeating a colour theme or a particular plant. I really think it should be public knowledge why a garden hasn't received a better medal and also what the cost of the gardens are. It's rumoured that Diarmuid Gavin's garden in the sky cost 300000 euros! Eye catchers of the floral marquee for me were the displays of Heucheras and one particular tree on the orchid display, the tree was a mass of yellow flowers, I just had to know what it was, on closer inspection it was hundreds of yellow orchid stems in individual tubes all tied together in the form of a tree! So that's another Chelsea over but the planing is already under way for next year, I wonder what delights the designers will come up with for the Centenary of the Chelsea Flower Show.