Tag Archives: Chelsea Flower Show 2015

250th Blog – Thank you For Being On The Journey!

Celebrating 250 Posts With Cake, Rocking Dog

Celebrating 250 Posts With Cake

250 blogs- thank you from the bottom of my heart for being on the journey with me.

It’s hard to believe that when I did my very first blog on October 12th 2014 I had sleepless nights worrying about embracing technology. My lovely and very patient sister put me on the path of blogging. She sat with me and VERY painfully watched my first tentative steps dealing with WordPress. Exhausted and exasperated she left me sheaths of handwritten instructions to refer to. There were phone calls to her when things went wrong and there was lots of family support to keep me going when I felt overwhelmed. Steadily I made slow progress.

A one finger keyboard bod’ I still am, but posts are put together more quickly even if it’s sometimes 1am when I start a post! I have found blogging tremendously useful for the equalibrium of my mental health. At various points in my life I have suffered from depression. One particularly tough patch about seven years ago rendered communicating incredibly difficult. It was physically and mentally painful to talk. Furthermore, I found it almost impossible to write, physically holding a pen and using a computer keyboard were so indescribably difficult. Even signing a card was sometimes beyond me, and creative writing was unthinkable. With a consistently supportive GP, appropriate medication and online counselling together with support from fantastic family and friends the year long fog gradually lifted. Having to walk Real Life Rocking Dog twice a day was also so vital in my recovery.

Blogging acts like a safety mechanism. If I can write I am well. It gives me a focus, and of course if people are enjoying my mutterings that is an absolute bonus. So now that I have rather bared my soul, perhaps i’ll share the posts that I have enjoyed writing over the last 18 months or so. Please share with me the ones you have liked.

Opening my almost daily post must be rather like opening a box of chocolates- you never quite know what you’ll get. It’s a bit of an eclectic mix. I often conjure up topics to write about whilst i’m out walking RLR Dog. I always carry my camera, a Smart Phone hasn’t quite entered my world yet. The posts that I treasure are generally the ones that are very personal to me. I have the hope that they are records of ancestry or moments in history that my children and their offspring can retrieve in cyberspace forever more. To this end, The Day I Met A Holocaust Survivor (Jan 28th 2015) is probably one of the posts of which I am most proud, as I finally made time to write about a never to be forgotten meeting. Before very long there will be no Holocaust survivors left (or for that matter their captors). It is vital therefore to capitalise on first hand accounts to pass down to future generations.

Another poignant post special to me is Postcards From The Front To The Sanitorium (April 15th 2015). I wrote this post as a result of reading a batch of WW1 postcards from my great uncles and aunt serving in France and Gallipoli to their young sister. My grandmother Emily was in a Scottish sanitorium suffering from TB.

On a lighter note Rocking Dog food posts seem to have been popular, Iced Fabulous Flamingo’s Strutting Their Stuff (May 8th 2015) certainly tested my sugar craft skills! There have been lots of sewing makes along the way, quilts, crooked hearts, stockings etc.. etc.. I always love a Something From Nothing (July 3rd 2015) project be it sewing or wrapping a present, Rocking Dog Loves Manuscript Paper (Nov 16th 2015)

Travels have bought great excuses to share the experience. Sometimes you do not need to travel far to appreciate a new landscape and new micro-culture. If You’re Fond Of Sand Dunes…(April 27th 2015) and Weekend Postcard From Devon (June 29th 2015) were really enjoyable breaks. Further afield, my favourite ever blog photo’s have to be the ones posted for Arriverderci Italy- Missing You Too Much Already (Nov 12th 2015). Sometimes a day trip can feel like a holiday and this was certainly the case when I headed to my first ever Chelsea Flower Show (May 22nd 2015). I ADORED It.

Christmas always gives me plenty to gas about and there are a whole host of posts to chose from, perhaps this one sums me up…A Little Reminder From Toby & Mrs Mac

It’s great to daydream about a move to a lobster shack by the sea (and yes there really was an idyllic one to buy), but I do love My Bristol- Honest It’s A Great City (March 30th 2015) and I do love my crumbly old house –Rocking Dog Home Making Tips (March 5th 2015). So a year from now i’ll probably still be muttering on, still one finger typing and the Russian Velvet walls won’t have changed.

I still don’t quite “get” inviting friends, or sharing or retweeting or encouraging followers etc.. so I sincerely hope I haven’t made anyone feel abandoned. A blogging entrepreneur I will never be, but hopefully a semi-sane blogger with fingers crossed something interesting to chatter on about.

Thank You again, and I hope you’ll continue dipping in and out of Rocking Dog in the months ahead

Love Liz x

Heartfelt, Rocking Dog


Therapeutic Dog, Rocking Dog

Therapeutic Dog

My Bristol, Rocking Dog

My Bristol

It's A Wrap!, Rocking Dog

It’s A Wrap!

Chelsea Holiday, Rocking Dog

Chelsea Holiday

Home & Away, Rocking Dog

Home & Away

Home Making, Rocking Dog

Home Making

Christmas Stash, Rocking Dog

Christmas Stash

Fave Photo, Rocking Dog

Fave Photo

No Excuses I HAVE Got To Tackle The Garden!

Neat Knitted Garden, Rocking Dog

Neat Knitted Garden

After a lovely weekend celebrating a happy couples perfect day in manicured grounds it was disheartening to return to a garden that needs so much TLC! No excuses the back breaking borders will need to be tackled and weed growth disrupted.

I loved this knitted cottage and garden at yesterday’s Tetbury Flower Show, though prize winning it only secured a second place certificate (boo hiss!). How lovely, a knitted garden without any dandelions, ground elder, bindweed or the like!

As ever the show tent at Tetbury was a joy, I particularly loved some velvety, shocking pink dahlia blooms.

Chelsea Flower Show unfortunately is a distant but lovely memory. I need to revive that enthusiasm and inspiration for all that I drank in that day …. and simply get down to digging, hoeing, edging, pruning and finally some exciting planting!

Oh, for a courtyard…. or knitted plot!

Idyllic Chelsea, Rocking Dog

Idyllic Chelsea

Tetbury Bloom, Rocking Dog

Tetbury Bloom

Knitted Edibles, Rocking Dog

Knitted Edibles

Herb, Vegetable & Flower Seeds Need Sowing!

Potty Potted Gift, Rocking Dog

Potty Potted Gift

I finally sorted through all the leaflets that accompanied me back from last weeks Chelsea Flower Show. Oops! I hadn’t realised I had come home with quite as many seeds. They seemed such an attractive proposition since I unfortunately couldn’t bring a greenhouse or rose arch back on the train.

I particularly love Jekka’s Herb Farm seeds. She’s literally just up the road from me and runs some informative and inspirational workshops and open days. It was lovely to meet Jekka at the show on her vibrant and busy stand. Her various salad mix seeds are brilliant and keep us going through summer into autumn with delicious baby leaves. I usually plant up two wooden half barrels and enjoy cutting the leaves every two or three days. Jekka incidentally does an efficient online mail order service. Fab!

In the Pavilion I came upon Pennard Plants with an eye watering display of beautiful planted flowers and vegetables. I loved a Rudyard Kipling poem displayed as part of their installation- “The Glory of The Garden” penned in 1911. Again, I couldn’t resist some seeds.. so… more salad seeds and woodland wildflower mixes.

One more port of call for seeds- the delightful Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants. Some shade loving seeds to make my newly dug border feel less nude a few weeks down the line. Thank you to Hardy’s for all their advice.

As for the Ikea seeds– I just simply LOVED the packaging! A bargainous £1.75 for 3 packets. I made up a present in a pot for a gardener. Seeds, twine, plant sticks, knitted asparagus, biodegradable seed pots, beet brooch etc.. No wrapping required!

I include photo’s from my daughter Sorrel and son in law Pete’s garden inspired wedding. Vintage seed packet illustrations were used for place setting tags, whilst my lovely sister and brother in law designed the seed packet wedding stationery. There were even pumpkin seeds to plant. Lovely memories of a wedding in a beautiful lush and verdant garden (unfortunately not ours!)

Have a lovely weekend. Happy sowing!

Lovin' Ikea Packaging!, Rocking Dog

Lovin’ Ikea Packaging!

Pennard Plant Seeds, Rocking Dog

Pennard Plant Seeds

Jekka's Seeds, Rocking Dog

Jekka’s Seeds

The Summer Collection, Rocking Dog

The Summer Collection

Seed Packet Wedding, Rocking Dog

Seed Packet Wedding

Place Setting Seeds, Rocking Dog

Place Setting Seeds

Over For Another Year- Chelsea Flower Show

Artisan Garden, Rocking Dog

Artisan Garden

A few more images from my time at Chelsea Flower Show. In time I hope to post some images of my garden. The last few days have been spent tackling a very deep and overgrown herbaceous border. Newly purchased plants from Riverside anxiously await my getting to grips with a sea of Ground Elder. There are Angelica, Cardoons, Foxgloves, Penstemons and a host of other green lovelies to dig in. I’m hoping today will be planting day….and then onto another tangled border.

Meanwhile Andyman who is not a gardener, is repairing Compost Cottage. In 1988 we bought a wooden playhouse, as it was put on the site of an old compost heap it seemed apt to call it Compost Cottage. It has moved with us, and numerous children have played in it. I remember one or two uncomfortable nights sleeping in it with our three! Now with young Noah living next door Compost Cottage is getting a spruce up ready for the sunny hazy days of summer.

Over the last few days I have thought of tips for going to a show such as Chelsea (lots of RHS shows yet to come in 2015)

1. Get to a show early. When I arrived at Chelsea at 8.30 am it was quite bearable, by 11am life was pretty frenzied!
2. On getting there early, visit show gardens (or indeed anything you desperately want to see) first. You will be three or four people deep later on.
3. Wear flat comfortable shoes!
4. Take your own picnic or time visits to food/drink kiosks early. There were long queues for many eating places.
5. Take a few minutes to plan your day. Sit with a catalogue and work out what you want to see and create a rough plan.
6. Take cash. One or two of the trade stands only took cash or cheque. There were Cashpoints, but there was a £2 charge per transaction.
7. Take a notepad or phone to jot down info you want to retain. Growers are incredibly knowledgable and helpful in recommending plants for your own garden. Additionally many of the Show Gardens, artisan gardens etc.. were handing out planting lists which were helpful.
8. Accept that you probably won’t see or remember everything!
9. Book tickets early (Put them on a Christmas/Birthday wish-list). Chelsea was a sell out.
10. I can recommend the Purbeck ice cream. Truly delicious!

Apart from the Show itself many of the shops in and around Chelsea had wonderful window displays and plant installations which spilled out onto the street. Therefore it’s lovely to spend a little time around Sloane Square and Kings Road viewing imaginative visual display and enjoying a coffee.

Chelsea Done and Dusted!

Aquilegia, Rocking Dog


Iris, Rocking Dog


Jack's Beans?, Rocking Dog

Jack’s Beans?

Breakthrough Garden, Rocking Dog

Breakthrough Garden

Pavilion Iris's, Rocking Dog

Pavilion Iris’s

In The Purple, Rocking Dog

In The Purple

Evaders Garden, Rocking Dog

Evaders Garden

Alexandra Of Kent, Rocking Dog

Alexandra Of Kent

Out on The Street, Rocking Dog

Out on The Street

Rocking Dog At Chelsea Flower Show.

Perfumer's Garden, Rocking Dog

Perfumer’s Garden

I was incredibly fortunate to be given a last minute free pass to Chelsea Flower Show yesterday. I had a truly amazing time and the weather was absolutely gorgeous.

Having never been to the show before, I was rather like an excited child in a sweetie shop. A particular highlight for me was the wonderful L’Occitane show garden
“A Perfumers Garden in Grasse”. I could really imagine myself sitting down amongst those olive trees, soothed by the smell of Lavender and herbs in the dry heat of Provence. Of course seeing the garden in baking sunshine really helped with that visualisation.

I also loved a greenhouse trade stand (Alitex) styled with vegetable pottagers, cold frames and dramatic purple hue flower planting. I especially adored the greenhouse with slipper bath and a seemingly endless trailing Stephanotis.

Trends seem to be for lots of foxgloves, cow parsley, and generally quite wild un-manicured planting. Yippee! There’s hope for my garden yet!

Have a lovely weekend and happy gardening!

Love Auricula's!, Rocking Dog

Love Auricula’s!

Divine Digitalis, Rocking Dog

Divine Digitalis

Sentebale Garden, Rocking Dog

Sentebale Garden

Beautiful Borage, Rocking Dog

Beautiful Borage

Hanging Floristry, Rocking Dog

Hanging Floristry

Happy Bee, Rocking Dog

Happy Bee

Peony Gorgeousness, Rocking Dog

Peony Gorgeousness

Greenhouse Bathing, Rocking Dog

Greenhouse Bathing

Space Age Planting, Rocking Dog

Space Age Planting