Chelsea In The Rain | Love The Garden

Chelsea In The Rain

John Clowes's picture
By John Clowes, Gardening Guru

Planting has started in earnest throughout the whole show and we have started a new Facebook page so you can be kept up to date on progress more easily. It’s called Miracle Gro’wers – no hyphen - and you should easily be able to see what is going on.

planting broccoli

Outside in Main Avenue the huge show gardens are well on their way and lorries are all day moving through the grounds to deliver thousands of plants every hour. All the gangways in the Great Pavilion are stacked with dutch trollies of plants waiting to be positioned. None more so that in the walkways surrounding the Miracle Growers Academy.

miracle growers archway

Luckily we are dry and protected from the rain that fell all day and well into the night. Miserable for some but of no consequence to us lucky exhibitors under canvas (well nylon really, but you know what I mean).

To give you the background, our designer Barry has remembered the old adage that ‘eye-level is buy-level’ and positioned some really tall plants within our edible garden, so everything is not at floor level. We have two ancient espalier Conference pears, shaped like upturned garden forks (think giant gladiator’s tridents), that are 6ft tall; two metal arches, about the same height, that carry amazing runner beans (Snowstorm and Firestorm) plus a couple of new Fuchsias ‘Pink Fizz’ framing the door to the Kitchen Laboratory area.

These tall plants are not as dominating as you might think from the description. Instead the eye is drawn to the lower planting of brilliant lettuce, succulent cabbages and some stunning curly kale ‘Reflex’. My favourite happens to be pot leeks ‘Cumbria’ that look so pretty with leaves that curl down in repeating half-moon shapes.

The garden isn’t complete by any means, but you will get the idea when I point out that the utility of fruit and vegetables is going to be softened with pretty flowers and attractive herbs. There will be strawberries, nasturtiums, calendula (pot marigold), tuberous begonias and violas. Favourite herb, so far, is the deep purple leaves of Basil ‘Crimson King’ – a right royal winner, if ever I saw one!


The pictures above are all from Thursday’s visit. We hope you like the garden. I will give you a rundown on the Kitchen/ Laboratory tomorrow when we ask that the weather is a little warmer and definitely a little drier.


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