Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Chelsea Re-Boots; Britain's Most Famous Flower Show Is over for Another Year, but the Memories of Spectacular Displays Will Help Give Gardeners Some Fresh Ideas for Their Own Backyards

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Chelsea Re-Boots; Britain's Most Famous Flower Show Is over for Another Year, but the Memories of Spectacular Displays Will Help Give Gardeners Some Fresh Ideas for Their Own Backyards

Article excerpt

Byline: With Carol Klein of TV's Gardeners' World

Carol noted a happier feel to the displays this year Picture: John Alevroyiannis TALKING to visitors and exhibitors at the recent Chelsea Flower Show, everyone was in agreement that this has been the most ebullient spring in memory.

A floral fecundity has pervaded not only parks and gardens across the country, but also the show itself.

Main Avenue - the principal road through the Chelsea Flower Show, where most of the big gardens were sited - was awash with flowers and foliage.

The big gardens were happier than usual and though they had a fair share of the usual unattainable perfection, flowers were to the fore.

There was a mutuality about the planting.

Just like fashion designers who agree on specific colours and themes, so there was a general agreement on the "in" things.

There was a meadowy feel to much of the planting. Blues, lavender and white played a leading role.

In Matthew Childs' garden, blue and purple violas were contrasted with the vivid lime green of Euphorbia amygdaloides, our native wood spurge. Here is a designer who knows his plants - no mean feat for someone so young.

Cleve West's Contemporary Paradise Garden was a delight. There were two contrasting yet seamlessly joined parts to the garden. Cleve used as his template the Persian paradise gardens, which offered sanctuary in the desert. He used water and stone to enhance his central theme of tranquillity.

One day I'll visit Kirstenbosch, the superb botanical garden in Cape Town. Its Chelsea display is always breathtaking but this year the designers excelled themselves. The stand was divided into four segments describing South African habitats, such as the fascinating structures created when plants and weaver birds' nests get woven into thorn trees.

On Avon Bulbs' stand, the diversity of bulbous plants manifested itself in one of the most glorious displays I've seen. Mixed in with the bulbs were annual flowers, including huge opium poppies and a plant that seemed to be the flower of the show - Orlaya grandiflora.

Its creamy frothiness seemed to adorn almost every garden. …

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