Remember the Miner’s Fortnight? Well, my equivalent is the Chelsea Monday. I was lucky enough to be at Chelsea Flower Show again this year on the VIP Day, recording for Radio Wales. I absolutely love the day – the people are great, the Show Gardens fresh and of course, there is room to move!
This year I spoke with Dame Judi Dench, Alan Titchmarsh, David Walliams, Mr Motivator, Anneka Rice, Nigel Havers and Mary Portas. And rubbed shoulders (literally, as they brushed past) with Jerry Hall and Rupert Murdoch.
The King of Chelsea this year was undeniably the laddish Diamuid Gavin with his garden sponsored by Harrods. You could say that the Chelsea Flower Show ‘revolved’ around his garden, as he had enormous bay trees rotating, box balls popping up amongst the herbaceous perennials, window boxes going up and down like little elevators and an incredible rotating flowerbed that revolved around the little garden building. It was all very ‘Willy Wonka’ and hugely entertaining. He may be like Marmite – you love him or hate him – but he had everyone smiling.
Nigel Havers told me that the garden looked like it was on drugs – and added, so was Diamuid Gavin, probably!
Alan Titchmarsh confessed to ‘loving Wales – because everything grows so well …. due to all the rain! And also told me that his own garden was in a bit of a mess at the moment because he has been so busy and everything is growing so fast, he said he has never known lawns grow so quickly and a lot of people are mowing twice a week at the moment. (I know my brother, The Lawn Ranger, is as well).
I was also delighted to see that some of the gardens resembled my own plant-wise, as ‘wild planting’ was a recurring them! And as always, I coveted a lot of the opulent statuary and garden furniture, although I have yet to justify spending in excess of £10,000 on a swinging chair, even if it is made of copper.
Great ideas, lovely people, perfect plants – all in all it was another bloomin’ lovely Chelsea Flower Show!