More Chelsea happenings
With the theme of carnival in honour of the Rio Olympics, local shop windows and streets are transformed May 23-28 with flowery events. (chelseainbloom. co.uk).
The Grosvenor Estate will be going large, with floral activities ranging from afternoon teas to exotic orchids (grosvenor london.com/ whats-on/ belgravia-in-bloom). Now five years old, the alternative garden festival continues across the UK, around the world and online, with everything from knitted plants, reimagined roundabouts and immersive art installations (chelseafringe. com).
The investment manager and Chelsea sponsor runs a series of events around the UK, based on gardening and Chelsea, including talks from Rosy Hardy (gardening. brewin.co.uk/ about). Whitewater
Growers of show plants, the Hampshire nursery will be selling off stock from May 23 (whitewater plantcentre. co.uk). Elsewhere, the New Covent Garden Flower Market make their hotly anticipated Chelsea debut with
by event florist Veevers Carter. The tunnel under the Rock Bank restaurant, meanwhile, features an installation called by award winning Joseph Massie.
When it comes to new products, there is a cheerful selection for
award, including a Floating Bench from Sitting Spiritually, upside down planters from Boskke, The Cloud Controller from Hozelock which remotely monitors watering, and a bust of an amusedlooking Capability Brown from Haddenstone (see front page). While the usual plant suspects – irises, alliums, foxgloves, achillea and salvia – are out in force, there are signs that the line-up is evolving. Following the triumph of geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ last year, designers are revisiting geums and the frequently promised peonies will be wonderful if they are in perfect condition, although that is always hard to achieve to order.
According to the plant lists, pastel colours are trending but the discerning eye will notice a subtle emphasis on rich shades of green. This is partly thanks to a surge of interest in ferns but designers are also experimenting with box substitutes, bringing clipped bay and yew into play.
It is always the species not found in catalogues and new to the RHS Plantfinder that cause excitement among the botanical anoraks.
has supplied Propagating Dan with yet-to-be-revealed introductions and, with L’Occitane,
exquisite Provencal landscape contains more than 200 region-specific plants. meanwhile, has surpassed himself in attention to detail. His Royal Bank of Canada garden celebrates water – and to get into the part he visited the dry Mediterranean pine habitat of Dibeen in Jordan and brought back seed to propagate himself.