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Chelsea Flower Show


Having watched all the programmes so far, including the afternoon ones, when I should have been out weeding, I wondered what other people thought of the coverage on the BBC.

I thought it a bit repetitive in the evenings, some of the afternoon ones covered a more varied programme, but do we really want to listen to Celebs talking about anything else other than gardening?

With the acreage that is Chelsea it would be interesting to see more, even if only fleeting, of the grand pavilion and the exhibits, the artisan gardens and other exhibits.
I know that the 10 show gardens are the stars, with huge budgets, well known designers and messages, but it’s the smaller exhibitors that keep a show like this on the road.

It was lovely to see the smaller growers and exhibitors who worked all year at their businesses and went to Chelsea to show off their work. Thorncroft Clematis was especially interesting as he has given a talk at a garden club near here and is so enthusiastic about his Clematis that it’s catching!

Lupins seem to be at the fore this year, each year seems to have one plant that all the gardens incorporate, one year it was grasses everywhere, another Verbena bonariensis, then the dark form of the wild parsley was everywhere. This year it seemed to be Lupins, which is great, an old-fashioned flower which has gone out of fashion, but makes a stunning show and grows without any bother. I wonder how many other old-fashioned plants will make a comeback? Some of the colours of the Lupins were lovely and make you itch to get out and buy one.

It was also interesting to see some of the growers of perhaps less popular plants, like the Eucalyptus from last night. Not something which most people would find fascinating, as she said we all think of the monsterous trees that loom over gardens, but perhaps some of the small ones would be fitting for a smaller garden.

The item on trying to keep out tree pests and diseases coming in from overseas I found a bit confusing. She stated that the trees in future would be inspected to see that they were healthy, how do you inspect a thirty foot tree and deem it free from pests and diseases when the importer is anxious to get it moved on to the show? In future they were talking of quarantining plants for anything up to a year, how do you quarantine a plant and prevent any flying insect from moving on, let alone the cost of doing so? It is time this country did try to keep foreign insects and diseases out, but we’re back to the cost of setting up this type of system which I can’t see happening when there isn’t even enough money to cover Customs services, let alone one to cover plants.

Bit off topic there, but back to the Chelsea Flower show, spectacular as usual, not that i would fancy struggling through the 40,000 people that they said were there yesterday! I will be interested to see what other people thought of the show and the coverage.

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I agree with what you said and I think one program a day would be enough they are repeating to much of the same things but it’s lovely to see the gardens and plants from the armchair don’t think I could cope with those crowds of people coming towards me worst than a busy supermarket ?

25 May, 2018


We visited Chelsea Flower Show once, never again, far too many folk trying to vie for the best viewing position of the gardens, both main avenue and the artisan ones!

In a couple of the programmes, features on plants have already been shown on Gardeners World programme last Friday. For people like myself, who watch GW, it was too repetetive!

There are so many stands selling garden items, from ornaments to tools, new and innovative ones, but these are rarely given a showcase on the coverage.

Give me an NGS Open Garden any day of the week ... :o)

25 May, 2018


I agree with you Shirley,Chelsea is lovely, but give me NGS open gardens every time.

25 May, 2018


in a word disappointing. I lost interest in it a couple of years back if I am honest. Too many celbs who probably have gardeners to keep their own patch tidy. cynical? probably but it is way out of my price league now.

25 May, 2018


Well, I've left my OH watching CFS programmes while I post this. Seen enough for a while.

Crowded venues I now find claustrophobic. I like NT properties with lots of parkland and walking areas,

Some beautiful flowers and gardens at the show though.

25 May, 2018


I have to agree. The coverage has been poor. I haven’t been able to follow a whole programme yet...its just not interesting. Too many celebs, too much blah blah blah.

I think the piece with Rachel De Thame about her Breadt Cancer, and the refuge and healing she has found on her garden was good. I liked the Eucalyptus nursery..something different.

I do seem to be influenced by gardening fashions...I have Geums, Lupins and Alliums which have all been ‘fashion’ plants over recent years.

I’ve been to Chelsea three times..I enjoyed all my visits very much. But I can’t see me going back soon. Actually, I’d like to go to the Chatsworth floer looks beautiful.

25 May, 2018


Thanks Kidsgran, like you I think the armchair would be best, providing we had a bit more coverage. Fighting through crowds is not my favourite hobby these days. We went to the Birmingham Gardeners World 50th Anniversary and though it wasn't as packed as Chelsea, more than enough people for us to contend with!

I agree Shirley about the stands, new bits and pieces and ornaments, glimpses in the backgrounds show some things which would be lovely to explore a bit more. And about the NGS which you and Callie both mentioned. I am promising myself a visit out tomorrow - if I have into gear and do a blitz on the remaining badly weeded area of my own garden!

Now I thought it was only me Seaburn who thought like that about the Celebs (not being a follower of fashion, TV, media mags., half of them I haven't a clue who they are!) not really being into gardening like us mad people on here and being able to afford to pay someone else to do it. Don't know the price of entry these days, but it's probably an expensive day out with all the extras - travel, food, impulse buys etc.!

I agree Eirlys about the NT properties, acres to wander in with not huge crowds, immaculate gardens to admire with the knowledge that at least part of them could be transferred to your smaller space - much more realistic.

I'm sure we are all influenced by fashions in flowers Karen, whether we realise it or not, partly because the Garden Centres will be full of the current fashions and we can all be swayed. I thought Rachel De Thame was very good, very sincere and brought across her message with feeling. I wish her well in her recovery. I've never been to Chelsea so I suppose I am moaning from a point of view that I know nothing about, but it was mainly about the BBC coverage. Chatsworth does lot lovely from the bits I've seen of it.

26 May, 2018


I completely agree with you, I watched last night's on BBC2 & wondered what on earth Mary Portas added to the programme, I think that's true of most celebs - must be difficult to interview such people.

So much is geared towards big ticket items or impractical ideas that it was refreshing to see Mark Gregory's Yorkshire design which appeared to be simple, realistic & a wonderful place to have a quiet moment in.

Perhaps the designers & organisers will take note.

I did enjoy seeing the eucalyptus nursery & also Vicky & Richard's Plants a Go-Go heuchera nursery & new plants.

26 May, 2018


I don't have TV so haven't seen any - but I did read in a magazine that there was a stand of plants/flowers from a cooperative of small gardeners here in the UK, growing the traditional flowers that are surprisingly not usually among the mass imported supermarket flowers that are often devoid of scent too from the preservative treatments they get. They want to make these more of our scene again here as well as try to get flowers back onto hospital wards by focusing on ones that won't need to take the time from the caring teams there. I found that interesting and something I hope will happen.

And I am growing lupins this year :) I tried from seed years ago and got some small plants but no flowers but hopefully this year the bulb things I got will do well. I also got one hollyhock. Once I have one established maybe I will get more too. Could only afford the one :D

26 May, 2018


ONe of my 'bug-bears' is the construction site footage, which is far too prevalent and gets more so each year. As a gardener, watching landscapers grapple with muck, mud and concrete is of absolutely no interest or relevance to me. And I certainly don't want to watch a 15 minute piece about it. we all know that the gardens are temporary, but we want to see the GARDENS!

26 May, 2018


Just for info, Mark Gregory won the construction award too.

27 May, 2018


My thoughts exactly:

*Horticulture Week.
Actress Alison Steadman was interviewed by presenter Monty Don about plant pest risks, when there Defra the chief plant health officer Nicola Spence, RHS head of science Professor Alastair Griffiths and RHS plant health head Dr Gerard Clover, Kew head of arboretum and gardening services Tony Kirkham, Defra secretary of state Michael Gove and a host of other experts were at the show but were not interviewed.
Other celebrities expounding their views on the Chelsea coverage include comedians Rob Brydon, Jennifer Saunders and Nick Frost, cook Mary Berry, Strictly Come Dancing’s Rev Richard Coles and DJ Jo Whiley.
Garden designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin said: "It would have been good to use the world experts who are on site rather than celebrities to talk about important issues. There is a well-educated gardening audience that wants to see and hear expert information."

27 May, 2018


I tuned in yesterday, but it was mostly repeats of what I'd already seen. I got bored and went back in to my own garden....which is not a bad thing. :)

27 May, 2018


For me there's just far too much talking and not enough looking at plants and gardens. I couldn't care less who's designed it or what famous people have visited, - or even what medal it's got. What I want from the BBC coverage is a chance to look slowly round the gardens as if I was there with time and space to make my own observations and judgements. The commentary is just endless and I never feel I've seen the gardens properly.

25 Jun, 2018

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