Taken from Lynne’s weekly column ‘Ask Lynne’ for the Western Mail. 28th May 2016
A bloomin’ marvellous Chelsea Flower Show.
I have been fortunate enough to attend the Chelsea Flower Show on the VIP day for the past six years and I have to say, or write, that this year was undoubtedly the best Show. Several other people, from celebrities and designers to trade exhibitors, also agreed although none of us could quite pin point why.
I loved the planting – informal and wild-ish but some lovely colour combinations like orange geums growing through blues and purples of forget-me-nots, scabious and everlasting wallflowers. It was understated but effective and I think maybe made you feel that it was achievable in your own garden unlike some of the more formal and exotic schemes of past shows.
There was of course the designs that had me scratching my head a little and wondering ‘why?’ or indeed ‘how?’ and as a designer and landscaper for over 30 years I always question (and usually despair with) the practicality of most of the designs – water features in particular.
My absolute favourite garden this year was Diamuid Gavin’s Eccentric British Garden – and that’s not just because I share a double page with him in this newspaper. He said his main purpose was to get people smiling and it most definitely did that with his revolving plants.
I thought the Artisan Gardens were especially strong this year and my favourite, the Garage Garden won a Gold medal. I also loved the Acoustic Garden, which ‘played’ music via water and upturned clay flowerpots. It was completely mesmerising.
And of course there were the celebrities. Like the gardens, some were more appealing than others and they all reminded me of various plants. Mr Motivator was very enthusiastic and colourful – a bit like nasturtiums; Nigel Havers was very charming and a little seductive – like honeysuckle; Rob Brydon reminded me of daffodil and not just because he’s Welsh but he is reliable and uplifting. Dame Judi Dench was serene and totally engaging and just beautiful like summer jasmine.
And then there was David Walliams – definitely a rose –popular but prickly; Jerry Hall, who reminded me of clematis, beautiful but often difficult. And last but not least Diamuid Gavin who was definitely mint – fabulous but hard to contain!