Around and About at Chelsea | Love The Garden

Around and About at Chelsea

John Clowes's picture
By John Clowes, Gardening Guru

I thought you might like to see some of the construction highlights from the rest of the Chelsea Flower Show on Friday. These photos were taken during my treks to the tea van overlooking the Royal Hospital. You can also view news updates on the Miracle Gro’wers Facebook page and post any comments immediately. I have almost got to grips with instant communication – but that’s another story.

I spotted Sean, the worthy winner of BBC 2’s Great Chelsea Garden Challenge with plenty to do at the southern end of Main Avenue. He seems very relaxed, with time to chat. Let’s hope that’s the same on Sunday and he still has time to spare chatting.

Although Prince Harry is still down-under in New Zealand, his team of designer Matt Keightley and landscaping experts from Rosebank in Maidenhead are well on the way to completion of the Sentebale charity’s second Chelsea extravaganza. The straw shelter of their ‘Hope in Vulnerability’ garden was first to be completed and planting was at least half done by Friday lunchtime. The bright Siberian Wallflowers added cheerful bright orange splashes in between some fearfully sharp agaves and other succulents. Thanks goodness someone had thought to protect the human team, including Nick in the picture, from spikes by putting polystyrene balls on the tips of every dangerous spike. Let’s hope Prince Harry is back for the Monday afternoon’s Royal visit.

Back in the Pavilion and opposite the Miracle Gro’wers Academy is the huge RHS/Nasa stand where the charity organiser of the whole show is promoting its own initiative to get more children gardening at school. Most interesting part is the amazing irrigation system dreamt up by Jonathan Ward (pictured up a ladder) of Ginger Horticulture.

His unique system uses common or garden mains drainage pipes filled with compost that is fitted with a self-watering system. Very Heath Robinson, but modern in a wacky sort of way! The end result for instant gardening at Chelsea is a wall of living colour but edible herbs, lettuces and saladings. Perhaps we won’t be short of our greens when next we venture into space. The only down side is the growing lights that may be good for plant growth but do make your eyes go funny when you are under them for any time!

Next post I will concentrate on the Miracle Gro’wers site.





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