Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Chelsea's traditional Summer charm

The Chelsea Flower Show has to be one of the ultimate occasions of the Summer season. Although it’s very much an international event, attracting landscape gardeners, growers and sponsors from all over the world, the setting and style of the show are quintessentially British.

The Royal Hospital, home to the Chelsea Pensioners, is as full of character and charm as its curiously colourful occupants, whose bright red jackets vie for attention with the exotic floral displays. Of course, they’re always on hand to give directions, perform on the bandstand, or simply have a little chat about whatever takes their fancy - which often seems to be a pretty young girl!

The State Apartments make the perfect venue for an authentic English afternoon tea, where ladies in hats find it hard to resist the temptation of pastries that look as magnificent as the works of art adorning the walls.

The traditional English country garden, with a slightly wild and overgrown feel about it, is the variety I often find the most appealing – and there are plenty on display this year. Incidentally, you can vote for your favourite garden design on the Royal Horticultural Society website.

There seems to be an even larger selection of merchandise on sale too, from a multitude of specialist retailers. You can buy all sorts of products, from packets of seeds and gardening gloves to garden furniture and rather impressive looking tractor type things.

However, of all the gadgets I saw, the one I most coveted was this chap’s mobility bike… perfect for getting about the sprawling site - and for carrying all those heavy information packs.

Most of the clothing stands at the show are geared towards outdoor types: there’s an abundance of brown and green accessories like wellies, oilskins and cloth caps. This contrasts with the stylish dress of many of the visitors.

Anyway, if you’re looking for something that’s appropriately understated, yet still rather unique, to jazz up an outfit for a Summer garden event, I can recommend this vintage polished natural stone brooch from ShopCurious.

By the way, someone left their specs behind - I was wondering if anyone happens to know who these belong to…

Do you?


Jan said...

I can picture you zipping around on that bike :)

Susan said...

Ah, you obviously haven't heard about my driving..