Sunday, 22 May 2011

Eat, shop, garden: Chelsea Flower Show trends

The Chelsea Flower show is always something of a mixed bag of grow-your-own meets meets country house gardener. There’s also the fiercely competitive element of corporate landscape design, where worlds of finance, media, retail and eco-aware business vie for publicity on their highly prized patch of Sloaney turf.

Every year, working like a well oiled machine, the show sees long snakes of people through narrow entrances into bustling alleys of market stalls and stands, selling all manner of garden related wares from packets of seeds and wellies to bronze statuary and quirky gypsy caravans.

Those fascinated by frost and fertilizer form orderly queues for lunch, tea and the loo. In this colony of cultivation, earnest devotees swarm like ants to and from their chosen attractions, occasionally stopping to indulge a Chelsea Pensioner in the odd spot of friendly banter.

Last year, I noticed there was rather an Eat, Pray, Love feel to the occasion, with many of the gardens displaying Far Eastern or spiritual influences.

This year, along with strange new varieties of plants and flowers (see below), I’ll be looking out for urban farming and living walls (as promised by B&Q's entry), and curious trends like edible art. The cleverest of designers will presumably have created rain gardens, not for collecting, but for making rain…

Meantime, all things horticultural are happening in interiors – with an abundance of fabulously floral home accessories. I spotted plenty of these on Friday, when I visited’s cool Chelsea showroom for the first ever Dabbler Summit – see the photos in my latest post at The Dabbler.

And do check out the curiously collectable vintage flower paperweights at ShopCurious too. At least they won’t need any watering.

Will you?


Len♥reNeverM♥re said...

The bed frame is such a witty idea, Susan!

Profoundly Superficial said...

Yes, I love the bed frame too. If only I had a garden to fit it in...