The Sun Shone Briefly

Monday 20th September 2021

The forecast was for grey but suddenly the sun burst forth before lunch and beamed down on Chelsea Main Avenue. Everybody was there. Lucky for Vanessa de la Feltz whose frock was flimsy. Sophie Raworth had a plastic bag for her trainers which she swapped for her killer clucks in between takes. Otherwise, Alan Titchmarsh, Victoria Coren and her husband who is also well-known, Ben Fogel (good green tweed suit, obvs made to measure), Craig Revel Horwood, Carol Klein, Monty… all the usual crowd.

Royston wondered if our party was sufficiently diverse. We decided definitely yes. One Landed Gentry, one aristocracy (the Lady E), one Black, one under 40. The Black and the LG both ‘Gays’. What more could you want? I wasn’t in the main Royston party which was lunching with the President, then taking Tea with the Royal Family before an Evening Reception.

Jackettes and tiny trews are still going – but oh dear the population has stoutened during the Time of Wrong and evidently not re-frocked. Titchmarsh looked very much the worst for wear, I’m afraid.

As for the Show – Main avenue, one really good garden – it turns out the designer known to me vaguely through Matt Driver and Laura Malcolm, who are also associated with Keith Weed, the President of the Royal Horticultural Society. So, as usual, an incredible rich web of connection. This garden is the M&G Garden, intended to be an industrial site re-purposed for various public uses. This meant no awful hard-landscaping, although there were stylised pipes to give the idea of the previous use. I fell to bantering with an visitor who said, ‘I’m a chemist and I can’t imagine what these pipes would do but there we are…’ Otherwise this was a proper garden rather than an installation. Plants beautifully arranged with a haze of grasses but robust contrasts, something not achieved in any of the other Main Show Gardens.  The smaller stands made more impact – the Bible Society Psalm 23 Garden and the Balcony Gardens, for people who live in flats, with very good notions of what to do in tiny spaces –  in a nutshell, put very big, rectangular planters all round the edges, with maybe two large shrubs or trees, then underplant with perennials, bulbs, annuals for colour and seasonal interest. My favourite border for colour was in the NHS Tribute Garden. The artisanal and container gardens in the woods at the side of the main show  – a first for Chelsea, ideas that you can actually put into practice at home: can you believe it? The emphasis on up-cycling, making do and having a small space.

The Tree of the Show is Heptacodium Miconioides: never heard of it before. Very good tree with white foamy flowers in September and good dramatic leaves. Was on many stands.

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Vanessa de la Feltz: Complaining of Cold

Vanessa de la Feltz: Complaining of Cold

Dear Precious Carol Klein

Dear Precious Carol Klein

Craig Revel Horwood from Strictly

Craig Revel Horwood from Strictly

 Mother and Daughter: Mother is Famous Model, 77

Mother and Daughter: Mother is Famous Model, 77

A Classic Suitlette

A Classic Suitlette

Sophie Raworth: Those Clucks straight into a bag and Trainers out the minute the Take Done

Sophie Raworth: Those Clucks straight into a bag and Trainers out the minute the Take Done

Ben Fogel: Made to Measure, for sure

Ben Fogel: Made to Measure, for sure

Tree of the Show: Heptacodium Miconioides: Flowers in September

Tree of the Show: Heptacodium Miconioides: Flowers in September

Crazy Container Garden

Crazy Container Garden

My Favourite Colour Border: NHS Tribute Garden

My Favourite Colour Border: NHS Tribute Garden

Queen Bee on a Balcony Garden

Queen Bee on a Balcony Garden

The Bible Society Psalm 23 Garden: I Lay Down by Still Waters

The Bible Society Psalm 23 Garden: I Lay Down by Still Waters

The M&G Garden: Best in Show for Me

The M&G Garden: Best in Show for Me

M&G Garden: Superb Plant Arrangement

M&G Garden: Superb Plant Arrangement

M&G Garden Actaea: like Insects Floating in the Air

M&G Garden Actaea: like Insects Floating in the Air

M&G Garden: Can't have Enough of it: So Well Modulated

M&G Garden: Can’t have Enough of it: So Well Modulated

M&G Garden: Superb

M&G Garden: Superb

 

 

 

Posted Monday, September 20, 2021 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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