Why My Gardening is Like My Cooking: A Visit to Chelsea Flower Show 2012

If you watch and read the press coverage of the Chelsea Flower Show you may get the impression that it is all about grand designs, complicated planting scheme and unusual plants. Whilst these are a major focus of the Show and they were great to see and be inspired by when I visited last Wednesday, for me it is the small points of detail that are important.

My gardening can be a little like my cooking. Most of the year I use the same tried and tested recipes, occasionally using slightly different ingredients. I tend to buy the same style of plants and think about my garden in a similar vein each year. I am highly unlikely to ever completely re-design my garden in a totally a style, but small changes can make a big and cumulative difference to how my garden looks.

So here are some of the snippets and ideas I took away from Chelsea this year.

Roses over willow
I just loved the way this rose twists and turns over the willow. This concentrated mass of blooms is a lovely way to see a climbing rose.
The Perfect Garden Shed
We do have a shed at the back of our garden, but it doesn’t look as romantic as this one.  I have seen metal chains in tropical countries to direct water flow.  Using it in the garden instead of a plastic downpipe works really well.
Fairy Door


I might not create this Fairy door found in the Furzey Gardens Garden , but imagine you were three and came across this little dwelling.  It’s a true reminder that it’s important to create magical scenes in our gardens for all members of the family.
Trainer Planters
Move your garden up the walls and recycle what you have in the house out into the garden is the message that this wall of trainer planters sends to me.  It make a change from welly boot planters
Alys Fowler

One of the bonuses of a visit to Chelsea is on such a small site you are bound to spot a celebrity or two.

Runner Beans
The use of Shepherds Crocks to grow runner beans up make my bamboo poles seem rather tame.
So I came away from Chelsea motivated to keep working at my garden.  To let it evolve with me and my family.  Even though unlike the other RHS shows they don’t sell plants, seeds and bulbs are for sell.  Unusual foxglove seeds and lily bulbs were in my shopping basket.
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