Friday, 17 October 2014
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Tuesday, 2 September 2014
I had been wanting to go to the show for years. It is on each spring, and feels so very essentially British to me. It is certainly a well-loved institution. The BBC covers it extensively on TV, showcasing the landscaping designs and treating the gardeners like rock stars. There will inevitably be talk on the news about which celebrities have been spotted amongst the crowds, and I think this year Benedict Cumberbatch was the most photographed one, spending a day at the show with his mom. Sadly, this was a couple of days before I made my visit. I did not see anybody famous, but the stunning horticultural arrangements were extravagant enough in my book.
I don't really know anybody over here who is into gardens, so I went by myself and was able to spent as much time as a wanted marvelling at my favourite displays and taking pictures. I hope you get a good impression of the floral abundance that greeted me there.
This is a detail of one of the botanical dresses that were made out of hundreds of blossoms.
Gorgeous, gorgeous lupins in fiery colours. This was one of the displays that I just had to stop and look at for several minutes, trying to let my brain process how perfectly exquisite it was.
While the main focus seemed to be on traditional garden flowers, there were a few exotics like poinsettias, pineapples, and cacti.
South African proteas and and a portrait of Nelson Mandela made from seed pods and plant husks.
It was definitely not daffodil season anymore, so I was surprised to see all different kinds on display. I overheard one visitor telling another that in order to coax them into full bloom, the producers place the bulbs in freezers to simulate the warming up at the beginning of spring when they are taken out. Another thing I read is that some gardeners use hair-dryers to create a warmer climate around their blossoms, so that they can get them to open just in time for the opening of the show. Craziness.
If I was more green-fingered, I'd definitely get a bonsai tree.
Alpine garden and peonies.
I usually find chrysanthemums quite boring, but not when they have been arranged into globes that represent the planets!
Some edible floristry.
Delphiniums and begonias.
Foxgloves seemed to be a big trend. Lucky me, as they are one of my favourite wildflowers.
A life-sized water-feature-tree and water feature with reflection.
This enchanting mossy Japanese garden won gold.
This garden was inspired by the Tour de France coming to England later in the year. It won a silver medal. I particularly liked the bicycle rim detail in the wall. You had too look twice to realize what the material was.
Detail in the silver-gilt-winning topiary garden.
This traditional potter's garden won gold.
I was smitten with this spacey light-installation-cum-flower pots.
Another award-winning garden, with upside down plants reflected in a mirror at your feet, making you feel like you were looking at the top of a lush forest. I think I missed a few gardens, but would you just look at the amount of people that were trying to get a glimpse themselves. My head was bursting with sensory overflow after a whole afternoon of beauty, I wouldn't have been able to take in anything else.
I am glad that I decided to splash out on a ticket. I had a brilliant time, and next year I will no longer wonder what I am missing.