Sunday, 27 May 2012


Always lovely to get to go to Chelsea on the Monday before the masses when you can actually see the gardens. Probably tripping over celebs but I don't recognise them .... This year the gardens really showed that you just cannot and should not reinvent the wheel. But they were a bit dull, possibly. My favourite was Arne Maynard's Laurent Perrier garden which was a perfect late spring garden, all soft and muted and a mass of closely planted plants, a beautiful and muted selection with everything beautifully ordered but not clinical.  With pleached hedging for sophisticated elegance. I wouldn't mind my garden looking like that.

I certainly wouldn't want it to look like Joe Swifts for the teenage cancer trust - why have great slabs of stone shaped like coffins at either end?

The M and G Caravanning garden was rather like the garden round my caravan, quite a mess. What was that all about?  Perhaps to show you can go caravanning and come back to a nice mess rather than a ghastly mess.

And as for Diarmuid's pyramid, well I'm sure it's very clever but can't the bloke be kept away rather than paid to do stupider and stupider things? There was one lovely shepherd's hut, a stone cairn like hut from I think Hungarian but might have been Slovak designers, reinforcing sustainable planting, it resembled no artificial Country Living tarted up nonsense overpriced pseudo hut but a real little shelter.

But otherwise, ifI saw another shed I was going to scream. And as for the artisan garden sheds, give me strength...... though I was rather taken with the self publicity for one woman's who described herself in her blurb as internationally one of the most influential floral designers..... I am not a fan of the trend for cluttered twee.

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