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It’s May, which for the last few years in our household has meant Chelsea Flower Show. The weather forecast wasn’t looking too promising for the Monday, but nothing could dampen our enthusiasm. We were in the showground by 07:45, and the rain was yet to hit. Being on photography duty I focused the morning on getting some nice shots of the main show gardens and then any specific shots that my wife needed from the floral marquee. Despite the weather I preferred the show this year compared to last year. This was mostly due to the quality and variety of the main show gardens. Not too many of the ‘corporate city banker’s garden’ look on show.

The first garden you hit when you arrive is Jo Thompson’s M&G Garden.

_MG_6403smallThe planting on it was absolutely sumptuous. Being a big fan of cottage garden perennials, this was right up my street. I also love the idea of a natural swimming pool, although I did feel sorry for the 3 women who had to perform a synchronized swim in the rain for the expectant paparazzi. Having read the releases beforehand I thought I’d like this garden and I wasn’t wrong.

_MG_6399smallI wasn’t expecting to like the Adam Frost Homebase Garden, as on paper it looked too corporate and too hard landscapey (is that a word?). But actually the colours in the planting really lifted it._MG_6279small

This was the first of what turned out to be MANY!! sightings of the orange Geum. Last year you couldn’t get stirred for Lysimachia atropurpurea ‘Beaujolais’. This year the nurseries clearly had a job lot of Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’. Seen below under-planting some Cirsium._MG_6285 copy

Yesterday the medals were announced and Matthew Wilson was clearly disappointed with his silver-gilt for the Royal Bank of Canada Garden._MG_6267small

I have no idea about the judging process but I know I loved some details on his garden such as this Verbascum._MG_6263 smallOne Designer who was not disappointed with her silver-gilt was Kamelia Bin Zaal. Her striking white garden really stood out as something quite different._MG_6297 small

On the artist’s impression released before the show she had drawn in spikes of purple flower dotted throughout the garden._MG_6299small

Fortunately in the planting up she had restricted herself to a pallet of white and green._MG_6303 smallAnother garden that stood out from the ‘norm’ was The Hidden Beauty of Kranji by Esmond & Uniseal._MG_6320 small

The walls of water created by the waterfalls made a nice backdrop to the exotic planting._MG_6325small

One of the gardens that wasn’t being judged was that of Sean Murray. He won the opportunity to make a Chelsea garden through a recent BBC ‘reality’ garden design show. Normally reality shows get slated in the press or nowadays on twitter, however this one did seem to be well received._MG_6331 smallThis design was meant to represent a front garden which could allow a car to be parked, yet still fit in some planting._MG_6339 smallThere were some nice details on it. We are not averse to a bit of rust in our garden, so I wonder if we need to start collecting old cans….._MG_6333 small

Finally we came to Dan Pearson’s Laurent-Perrier Chatsworth Garden. More a landscape than a garden. This was a tour de force. It rightly won Best in Show. The attention to detail was incredible._MG_6356 small

I had a chat with Dan and he explained that the ground plants were grown in mats, however you really would not know this. It looked like it had been there forever. He said that the garden had turned out better than he had hoped._MG_6367 small

I don’t think he put a foot wrong._MG_6351 small

I hope you have enjoyed a quick look at some of the show gardens. In my next post I am going to show some more, and highlight the processes I went through in photographing the show; including some shots that didn’t make the cut…..