My first ever visit to the Chelsea Flower show did not disappoint. The day was filled with colour, style, emotion and tranquility all conveyed through epic displays featuring myriads of plants and flowers at their finest.
I’ve attempted to capture the highlights and key moments in our day, as well as the essence and the spirit of the Chelsea Flower Show
Eco garden – this fabulous garden combines style and substance combined with its sunken seating and living area which featured a on the wall tv screen and inbuilt speakers. The yellow cushions popped and replicated the yellow colour that dominated the densely packed square planting. The water around the main landscaping added to the tranquility that the sunken garden achieved. The fundamental eco aspects – a fully functioning kitchen all powered by the solar panels in the roof kitchen, goldfish waste providing the nutrients for the vertical herb wall, and all the plants selected as they provide maximum CO2 release, meaning that a garden like this erplicated on scale on an apartment bock design would be completely carbon netrual giving balbnce in a city centre environment. The eco credentials aside, this was truly a space you would want to spend time it.
Lemon Tree Trust Garden – this one was truly astonishing, for the clever use of everyday objects as plant containers (plastic bottles, rain guttering, concrete breeze blocks,) which conveyed the story behind the garden, that of refugees who are resourceful, creative and industrious. The innovation wall makes use of limited space and the plants feature drought tolerant species, with the water feature emphasizing the importance of grey water re-use. The meditative space at the back of the garden reflecting the eastern religious themes. We were given recipe cards with Middle Eastern recipes, featuring the stories behind the individuals that had provided them. Tranquility through adversity was the message that came to me from this garden.
This garden was created by the Lemontreetrust.org, an organisation that supports gardening initiatives in refugee communities and drew on ideas from Domiz, a camp which houses 26,000 refugees of predominantly Syrian refugees.
With some exhibits its really exciting to talk to the designers and growers. We had a lovely chat with Morgan Douglas Nuth – a London based florist who as an ambassador for Floral Fundamentals led the team of volunteers in designing this creation. A 7 foot tall tower covered in 4000 flower heads and cascading Phalaenopsis orchids to create a massive column. The concept reflected the essence of Floral Fundamentals with an outer ring showing a ‘field’ of foliage and flowers combined with seeds to reflect the outdoors growers. Upright frames represented the glasshouse growers with suspended domes of flowers with root trails to show the whole life-cycle. We loved the engagement and passion and meeting Morgan and one of the growers from the team.
Floralfundamentals are a not for profit aimed at bringing together florists, growers and suppliers.
The Windrush Garden – I found this garden really emotional as there were placards placed throughout with black and white photographs or individuals that came to the Britain on the Empire Windrush from the Caribbean, telling their stories, the roles and jobs they undertook while they settled. This gave the feeling of the excitement, the nervousness, and the scale of the challenge to relocate to a new continent and country, with no family, friends, or sometimes money in your pocket to get started. The sheer hard work and resilience of those individuals seeking to make a better life in a strange environment was a testament to their strength of character.
The garden featured a model of the Empire Windrush, with one half of the garden showing life in the Caribbean and the other showing the roles and jobs undertaken while the Windrush generation settled in Britain.
Designed by Birmingham City Council– this garden actually won gold!!
Other picture highlights featured below:
All in all it was an amazing day and I can thoroughly recommend the experience. I have come away uplifted and inspired to be more creative, adventurous and bold in my own garden and with floral artistry.