Chelsea – the Last Gasp

Wednesday 29th May 2019

I didn’t take Chelsea Flower Show Press Day this year, owing to being in the Far West, which is far from Chelsea. So there was nothing for it but to attend on a public day with the public. Not encouraging that the first sight was my favourite Museum Head still wet from swimming (he swims any river from beginning to end), equipped with champagne, actually ‘on’, as they say only at Chelsea, the Best in Show garden and not so much in the mood for waving at me. Crushing to be fenced out as a member of the public.

I was wearing an Instagram girls dressed-down look for brunch in Beverley Hills – light grey jeans by Replay, a brief Tiger of Sweden black jackette and a cream Prada shirt with double row of blue stitching. Laura Malcolm homed straight in. She’s an eye for quality of stuff, always has had. ‘Look at that stitching,’ she said. ‘One row is slightly different from the other. And the fabric – the weight! ‘ Matt Driver was in an unstructured black suit by Folk, with white shirt with extra-broad button strip feature by Margaret Howell. But not even he, despite a salary exceeding Robin Smallmeal’s (who is Head of Refuse for the entire Nation), is not permitted to spend £175 on a shirt, which is what mine cost in the January sale. Poor Little Rich Gays whirl in a vacuum, with minimal dependents and only themselves to think of, no heirs, the future a blank after death, so all resources able to be drained in advance.

Laura Malcolm said, ‘Every time you wash that shirt, you’ll be thinking how it’s declining little by little.’

We quite liked the Best in Show garden. It wasn’t without flowers in fact despite promotion claiming otherwise. But a pleasant rill, with varied textures but not a mess and an interesting tree like a hawthorn called a Southern Beech. The slabs of burnt wood were quite attractive although in a real garden they’d look silly and have to be removed. But at Chelsea you’ve got to have something like that or everybody will say, ‘But it’s just a garden.’ As they did about the Lock garden, which was just a copy of any lock but at a cost of £1 million. The garden opposite the lock was perfectly horrid – great lumps of garish flowering plants and shrubs. The usual ghastly ‘hard landscaping’. One of the other efforts had only scored ‘Bronze’ which apparently means ‘Poor.’ Laura Malcolm was full of how disappointed designers being given their rubbish medals had spiced up the Chelsea coverage on TV.

There were only 5 show gardens in Main Avenue this year. The other one we liked was the Dubai Garden. It was dusty and Bedouin, in orange and silvery grey. The designer was a friend of Aunt Lavinia’s son and we struck lucky. Aunt L was taking an interest in some Frink-like sculptures ‘on’ the garden. ‘We must get a closer look,’ I said. ‘There, isn’t that the friend?’ Before I knew it, Aunt Lavinia in the fray. ‘I’m Laver’s mother,’ she was saying. ‘Now those sculptures… I’d really like to see them close up. Do you think…?’ Already the rope was being lifted. We were in! Or ‘on’. We were ‘on’ a Chelsea Garden. Just no champagne.

So that was the main thing at Chelsea really.

By the way, we decided not to wait 30 minutes to get inside Kate Middleton’s caring environmental complex. You could see enough from the outside.

One of the Artisan gardens round the back (where I met Sir Timothy Lawrence with Royston King on Press Day one year) was the third thing we liked. It was made of old bits of scrap iron and rubbish with orange flowers. Very touching and loved it.

After two and a half hours bolt upright at Chelsea, it was a relief to get the weight off for a private supper at Laura and Matt’s mansion home. Aunt Lavinia was very taken with the lentil and salmon salad with red onion and wrote to the Gay Mother describing its every aspect.

Best in Show: Andy Sturgeon with Burnt Wood Dividers

Best in Show: Andy Sturgeon with Burnt Wood Dividers: Nice 

Morgan Stanley Garden. Chris Beardshaw, What were you Thinking of?

Morgan Stanley Garden. Chris Beardshaw, What were you Thinking of?

Morgan Stanley :Chris Beardshaw: Prison Horror Booth

Morgan Stanley :Chris Beardshaw: Prison Horror Booth

The Dubai Garden: Loved It

The Dubai Garden: Loved It

The View of the Public while 'On' the Dubai Garden

The View of the Public Penned Out while ‘On’ the Dubai Garden

The Public: Without Hope behind Rope

The Public: Without Hope behind Rope

Display of Lupins Doesn't Look Real

Display of Lupins Doesn’t Look Real

V Bad Planting in the Trailfinders Garden: Berberis just Makes it Look a Tangle

V Bad Planting in the Trailfinders Garden: A Tangle 

Forgotten Quarry Garden: Artisan Garden: Loved It

Forgotten Quarry Garden: Artisan Garden: Loved It

Forgotten Quarry Artisan Garden: Great

Forgotten Quarry Artisan Garden: Great

An Interesting Shorts Suit at Chelsea

An Interesting Shorts Suit at Chelsea

 

Posted Thursday, May 30, 2019 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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