RHS London Early Spring Plant Fair 2017

  The RHS London shows ought to be a pleasure for me to visit; they take place just five minutes from my office and are genteel, polite affairs, quite unlike the scrum of Chelsea or the hassle of Hampton Court – just how I like my flower shows. However, they are timed in such a […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2016: The Viking Cruises Mekong Garden

  For some reason the woodland ride that connects the Chelsea Flower Show’s Artisan Gardens seemed particularly quiet this year. On previous visits this pleasantly shaded route has been thronged with visitors, to the extent that the grass bank opposite has needed to be reinforced to protect it from wear and tear. This year there […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2016: The M&G Garden

  And now for something completely different, a garden that should appeal to those of you with more freestyle sensibilities. There are always one or two show gardens that linger in the mind from one year to the next and they are frequently conceived by Cleve West. His 2016 design for Chelsea Flower Show sponsors […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2016: The Vestra Wealth Garden of Mindful Living

Despite the unpredictability of the British weather, the idea of outdoor living has always appealed to me. In another life I’m convinced I lived somewhere tropical; the Caribbean or South East Asia perhaps. When Country Life International drops onto the doormat I ogle at the mega-bucks houses in Sydney, Barbados, Marbella and Thailand, their sumptuous […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2016: Best in Show – The Telegraph Garden

The problem with writing about The Chelsea Flower Show is that there’s so much to say and so little time to say it. And then there’s coming up with a new angle to share. The BBC’s coverage is so fulsome that one overhears almost every visitor to the show quoting little facts to one another […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2016: The Show Gardens

The Chelsea Flower Show opened yesterday, showcasing the best clutch of show gardens in many years. Visitors were treated to magical woodlands, gracious urban formality, alien abstract sculpture, planting inspired by Provence, Japan, Jordan and the Mediterranean and a big dose of contemporary outdoor living.   Inspired by Dan Pearson’s superlative Chatsworth Garden for Laurent-Perrier […]

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Keeping Chelsea in Perspective

Every year, in about the middle of May, my eyes, previously amused by any new flower or shoot as if it were a new-born baby, start to view my garden more critically. They spy dark, unplantable corners; leaf edges nibbled by unmentionable pests; jobs that I’ve put off for months; and design shortcomings consistent with […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2016 Preview: Royal Bank of Canada Garden

This will be my final post before the lucky few (who include HM The Queen, but not me this year) are granted early admittance to The Chelsea Flower Show. The weather has taken a distinctly Chelsea turn, reverting from warm, dry and sunny to cool, showery and unpredictable. As I write, Tuesday and Wednesday look […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2016 Preview: The Winton Beauty of Mathematics Garden

The more I explore what’s in store at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, the more excited I get. On reflection I was disappointed by last year’s show gardens, very few having stuck in my mind a year after the event. This year will be different. Back-to-back with Sam Oven’s Cloudy Bay Garden will be Diarmuid […]

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