On Saturday my Mama and I along with 24,000 other people visited the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. It's been somewhere my mum has wanted to go for as long as I can remember. After last years show she started saving money up every week so she could afford the tickets and travel and by the time Christmas got here she had enough to book our tickets. It was one of those events that you count down and look forward to and the day really didn't disappoint.
The day started for us at 4:15 am. We had to get up, get ready and walk down to the coach by 6 am so it was a hideously early start. It took us just over 4 hours to travel down from the East Coast and we arrived in sunny London around 10:30. We were dropped off on Chelsea Bridge Road and walked around the corner, passed beautiful cars with hood ornaments, to the entrance. Our tickets were scanned and we were there. It was an overwhelming feeling of " Wow we are finally here".
It was busy. Very busy. I'm not a fan of crowds and being 23 weeks pregnant as well meant that being squashed wasn't an option. Luckily there were only a few times when getting through the crowds felt impossible. We went into the Great Pavillion first. The beautiful floral scents hit you as soon as you walked in and all the beautiful colours were a feast for the eyes. I knew that I would end up taking photographs of everything. There's so much inspiration not just for how to style your gardens but colour combinations, shapes and wedding inspiration. We wandered round for an hour or so and then made our way round the Fresh Gardens. Both of us were suprised that the gardens aren't all in a row, show gardens, fresh gardens and trade stalls are all mixed in together. You really don't get a sense of that when you watch on the TV.
We made our way round the show gardens and then went off into the picnic area for our packed lunch. We settled for a grassy spot where others had settled down too. It was great spot to people watch. Once we finished our lunch we headed into the Artisan gardens. It was really busy and we had to wait for people to move out of the way so we could see the gardens. The Artisan gardens were so beautiful and much more achievable for your own garden. As we wandered through the woodland area the heavens opened. Luckily we came prepared with raincoats and it wasn't too bad. Seeing people walk round in their white plastic ponchos made up for the fact we got a little bit rained on.
We sat down at the bandstand for a little bit to rest our
my tired feet. Baby girl must have been enjoying the loud music as she was kicking away. We worked out what gardens we had left to see and where we needed to go. We ended up finding the ones we had missed and even spotted a few "Gardening celebrities" along the way. We then went back into the Great Pavillion, which was much quieter to catch up on what we had missed.
At 4pm the bell rings. That indicates the end of Chelsea and the plant sell off. This is where things got really funny and really heartbreaking at the same time. Seeing people carry around huge displays of lillies or trees that were far too big to carry was hilrarious. But heartbreaking to see the once perfect displays broken up and ripped to pieces. You can see why the designers choose not to be there, it's really sad to see.
We finished our day with a final wander of the grounds to catch up on anything we had missed and then we headed back to our coach stop. Watching coach drivers lose their temper with the sheer amount of plants people wanted to bring home was rather funny. Our coach arrived just before 6 and we started the long journey back home. We arrived back on the East Coast at 10:30 pm, got into a taxi and headed our separate ways home. We were both exhausted but had such a fantastic day and we both left there with lots of ideas we would love to recreate! It really was worth the early start and I'd recommend it to gardeners, flower lovers and photographers!
Did you go to the Chelsea Flower Show or see it on TV?