This week in London it’s the Chelsea Flower Show. I’ve only been once in 1981 and that was before I had my first garden. However, I’ve always appreciated flowers and floral displays. What pleasure there is in the delightful diversity of colour and form often enhanced by a glorious scent.
Interestingly, this year many of the show gardens at Chelsea seem to be all about green foliage, clipped box, yew hedges, and controlled spaces. Perhaps these straitened economic times together with the long winter and unusually cold spring in the UK have combined to give us a flourish of densely green gardens, but gardens with few showy flowers. For me, after viewing the photos on the RHS website, the most inspirational garden was the ‘Stop the Spread’ garden. http://www.rhs.org.uk/Shows-Events/RHS-Chelsea-Flower-Show/2013/Gardens/Garden-directory/The-Fera-Garden–Stop-the-Spread This garden, sponsored by The Food and Environmental Research Agency and designed by Jo Thompson, combines both the capture of a naturalistic aesthetic restrained for an urban space with a message about the impact of the invasion of non-native species into our local environments. Superb.
Green has come late to my garden this year in East Anglia and flowers that are normally in full bloom during Chelsea week are still only in bud. Most notably I have the beautiful, strongly scented old rose, Rosa Madame Isaac Pereire, in a large pot under my bathroom window, normally the first rose to bloom in my garden, but a couple of weeks late this spring.
Unfortunately and unusually for East Anglia at this time of year we are experiencing quite a bit of rain this week and all the full bursting buds of the old roses are very likely to ball. They will remain wet and tight and the buds will rot before they can open. Still the frogs are enjoying the weather.