Gardening Magazine

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 - the Damp One

By Ozhene @papaver
RHS Chelsea Flower Show is one of my favorite events of the year.  I always look forward to it hugely, I follow the show gardens' and exhibitors' progress on Twitter and generally watching one or two of the BBC television programmes (can anyone watch them all?) This year I set off on a wet and cold Monday morning tightly clutching my press pass and probably even more excited than usual. There were a several gardens I was really looking forward to;  ones that I was hoping would be that little bit more special.  Last year the gardens were good, I enjoyed seeing them, but they didn't make me really go wow.  This year I had high hopes.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 - the damp one The Laurent-Perrier Chatsworth Garden, designed by Dan Pearson was clearly designed to make my heart sing.  I am very fond of Chatsworth having visited there many times as a child and as an adult with my own children. I am also a bit (lot) of a Dan Pearson fan.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 - the damp one The rain did not do any of the gardens many favours but to be frank, North Derbyshire gets its fair share of rain and the rocks looked rather good wet.  The wild planting also looked superbly lush so the rain was not a great disadvantage.   RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 - the damp one The Sentebale - Hope in Vulnerability Garden is also a must-view garden.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 - the damp one I loved Matt Keightley's garden last year so was very pleased he was designing for this year's show.  I actually think the apricot wallflowers in this garden are the star of the whole show.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 - the damp one This one plant has been used to great effect and all you nay-sayers who dislike orange in the garden will, quite frankly, have to think again.  Or not, just leave the orange plants for me.   Did I mention it was raining?
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 - the damp one Thankfully when the rain did finally stop I managed to get one photograph of the sun making shadows on the veranda. I was pleased to get this as the garden does shine in the sun. RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 - the damp one The M & G Garden, The Retreat, designed by Jo Thompson, one of the few female designers this year, is also a triumph.  RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 - the damp one Again it has resonance for me as I enjoy Vita Sackville-West's writing and have been to Sissinghurst and hope to visit again later this year.  The swimming pond is rather wonderful but you cannot see it very well from where the public have to view.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 - the damp one This garden also did not suffer too badly from the rain though the colours were better when the sun came out.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 - the damp one It has very beautiful romantic planting that was full of roses. I liked this a lot.
The Royal Bank of Canada Garden, designed by Matthew Wilson was a very wet dry garden (I can't be the only person thinking of 'drink Canada Dry can I?)
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 - the damp one This garden actually had some benefit from the rain as the red cedar decking looked incredible in the wet, the color just shone out.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 - the damp one It was a very impressive garden with very good planting. 
But actually my favorite was none of the above, I was surprised at which one really caught my eye as it was the Homebase Garden, The Urban Retreat, designed by Adam Frost that on the artists impression looked a little underwhelming but in reality just popped with color.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 - the damp one This garden also featured red cedar and the rain made this stand out.   RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 - the damp one It must be good as James Wong gave it the thumbs up.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 - the damp one I am going to write more about other gardens and other parts of the show later.  If you want my top tip for if you are short of time and cannot get around all the Artsian Gardens then just go to see The Evaders Garden, designed by John Everiss and sponsored by Chorley Council.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 - the damp one It is, in my opinion, the one not to miss.  I did a quick google for Mr Everiss and found that I have liked other work I have seen.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 - the damp one I have to say I think his work is a bit special and would call him one to watch.
The medals will be announced tomorrow, I am useless at making predictions but I would be very surprised if any of the above did not achieve gold. 
I leave you with two additional memories from my day: a driftwood dragon, RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 - the damp one and a woman having a very bad hair day whilst being stalked by a unicorn.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 - the damp one Some days are ever thus.

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