Tag Archives: Rhs Chelsea Flower Show

Rocking Dog Loved Her Time At Chelsea

Mexican Heat,Rocking Dog

Mexican Heat

Rocking Dog made a welcome return to the Chelsea Flower Show last week. Alas last year she had to give the show a miss as it  somewhat inconveniently clashed with the boys wedding! Can it really be a year ago that I cooked three courses for 120 guests, sewed table runners, cutlery pockets, and ran up a tent? Happy 1st wedding anniversary Alex & Kylie.

An early start saw me hurtling across London last Thursday to try and beat the crowds. London was bathed in glorious sunshine and I was soon enjoying planty loveliness. There were many fewer show gardens this year, and I can only imagine that the cost and time required to pull off one of these botanical and architectural masterpieces is colossal.

The show garden which won best in show was a somewhat controversial choice and I witnessed many mutterings of show goers feeling that Chris Beardshaw had been robbed! Inspired by an abandoned Maltese quarry the winning garden was dramatic. The massive stones in its makeup had been quarried, cut and transported from Malta. The planting was wild, scrubby and Mediterranean. I was intrigued by the garden and was glad that I revisited it in the heat of the midday sun. The smell of the wild fennel and other sun parched herbs was intoxicating.

The highlight of my day was introducing myself to garden designer Sarah Raven in the Radio 2 Feel Good Garden (Anneka Rice Colour Cutting Garden). Daughter Sorrel had previously worked for Sarah at Perch Hill and on events at Sissinghurst. How lovely to be invited to drink a cup of refreshing Lapsang Souchong in Sarah’s corrugated tin roofed bothy. A few photographs taken within the exquisite bee buzzing garden and then it was time to move on. Thank you Sarah it was SO lovely to finally meet you and I so wanted your delicious garden beamed up and plopped down in the Kennels’ weedy outback!

Some of my favourite gardens weren’t the big budget show gardens but the more intimate artisan and fresh gardens. “City Living” with its massive orange Anglepoise lamps and “Beneath a Mexican Sky” enjoyed being showcased in brilliant sunshine. Not a great admirer of Acers or Maples I however loved Japanese Gosho No Niwa’s “No Wall, No War” artisan garden. It contained the most exquisite naturalistic waterfall and verdigris metal framed glass house. The house had been transported from Japan and apparently it had been nerve-wracking for the designer. There was no back up plan if the large glass panes had been broken in transit.

In the Pavilion there were iris’s, cacti, orchids, daffodils, ferns, plants for sun and plants for shade. I really loved the way the humble spud was exhibited by Morrice & Ann Innes Potatoes. More colourful and definitely more scented was the David Austin Rose stand. It was a truly beautiful spectacle and how lovely to spot Cerys Matthews under the blooming bowers.

The trends I perceived at this years Chelsea – Lupins are back in fashion, the colour purple, foxgloves, grasses, copper, caring for wildlife within the garden. Many of the gardens sported quite shaggy (should I say weedy) borders. Again I was aware of mutterings about planting not being neat. When I came home I rather loved my herbaceous borders infilled with ground elder, couch grass, bellvine and the like. I am SO totally on trend! I can down tools this summer and sit back in a deck chair with a long G&T and a good book !

Much love and hope you have had a lovely bank holiday weekend.

Love Rocking Dog x

There is a Rocking Dog Creative Huddle this Wednesday 31st May 7-9pm. All welcome. Homemade cake, drinks, chat and maybe the odd bit of sewing/knitting! Donations into the teapot with proportion heading to Fine Cell Work, teaching & supporting prison inmates to sew and embroider.

Best In Show,Rocking Dog

Best In Show

Feel Good Garden-Colour, Rocking Dog

Feel Good Garden-Colour

Tin Shed Tea,Rocking Dog

Tin Shed Tea

Breaking Ground Garden,Rocking Dog

Breaking Ground Garden

Japanese Magic,Rocking Dog

Japanese Magic

5 Star Bug Hotel, Rocking Dog

5 Star Bug Hotel

The Humble Spud,Rocking Dog

The Humble Spud

City Living,Rocking Dog

City Living

Cerys & Blooms,Rocking Dog

Cerys & Blooms

Copper Loveliness,Rocking Dog

Copper Loveliness

Copper Planting,Rocking Dog

Copper Planting

Copper Couch,Rocking Dog

Copper Couch

Unlike Elvis I Want To Go To Chelsea!

Favourite Garden, Rocking Dog

Favourite Garden

As the song went Elvis Costello didn’t want to go to Chelsea. But I SO want to be at Chelsea, specifically the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The sacrifices I make for my boy! So this year the gardens will have to just be sadly viewed on the television. It’s one occasion I would like smellevision!

Yesterday I took the opportunity to give my lists an overview in the garden. The sun was intoxicating and calming. In amongst very healthy looking weeds I spotted some gorgeous Chelsea Flower Show 2015 purchases. I ended up feeling so guilty that these lovely splashes of colour were being inhibited by shrouds of Ground Elder and the like. For a while now I have actually been talking to the garden saying “After the wedding…” . How lovely on Monday (well maybe not Monday, there’ll be be beds to change, china to put back in cupboards and the family to reinvigorate and rest in equal quantities). So… on Tuesday there’ll be beds to weed, a lawn to nourish, poor Clematis plants to move and lots of tidying. There is also a fibre glass bath to retrieve from the brook. Washed downstream by heavy rains this unsightly bit of flotsam needs dealing with.

How lovely to see the L’Occitane garden win another gold medal this year at the show. It was my favourite garden last year. I wanted to sit amongst those olive trees with all the aromatic underplanting. A manicured garden it was simply not..but oh so beautiful. Talking of L’Occitane I was recently at Stansted airport and going through security on a flight to Perugia. As I came through the security gate I set off the bleepers. I was taken to one side and had my hands swabbed, again I set alarms ringing. Bemused I said to the security officer,”Is this to do with drugs” to which he replied “no, explosives!” Next I witnessed a walkie talkie conversation “we have a female suspect at Gate 12 and need a female operative”. In due course I was taken to a small room where two female officers frisk searched me. It was all very serious until one of them piped up “Is your jumper from Primark?” to which I replied in a rather disgusted tone “No, H&M!” (as if H&M was a high end label) Eventually, I escaped the room and the officers concluded it was my rather lovely L’Occitane hand cream that had set off the alarms. Be warned!

As May hurtles to its sunny conclusion I hope everything is growing beautifully in your garden or window box. Seasons change!

Marquee Iris Display, Rocking Dog

Marquee Iris Display

Divine Shed, Rocking Dog

Divine Shed

Sentebale Garden, Rocking Dog

Sentebale Garden

Cheery Auricula's, Rocking Dog

Cheery Auricula’s

Delicious Digitalis, Rocking Dog

Delicious Digitalis

Ceiling Flora, Rocking Dog

Ceiling Flora

Conservatory Soak, Rocking Dog

Conservatory Soak

Out On The Street, Rocking Dog

Out On The Street

The Other Elvis!, Rocking Dog

The Other Elvis!