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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Chelsea Flower Show 2016 Preview: The Cloudy Bay Garden

In just 11 days the Chelsea Flower Show will fling open its gates to an expectant crowd of RHS members and their guests. Until now my Chelsea 2016 coverage has been rather lacking, so over the next few days I aim to put that right with a series of posts describing some of the most interesting gardens […]

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The Very Best of 2015 – A Year in Pictures

The moment I sit down to write my review of the year my mind goes completely blank. How do I sum up the year that was 2015? What happened of any note? Nothing there. A gardener’s optimistic outlook means I am always looking ahead, not back, which in this instance is unhelpful. Thank goodness I […]

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An Eye for Irises

It’s a case of eat, sleep, work and repeat this week. The weekend cannot arrive soon enough. Considering what to write about tonight I realised that I had never shared the photos I’d taken at Chelsea of the ‘fleur du moment’ – bearded irises. It was not just Cayeux from France, but also Claire Austin, Kelways and […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2015 – The Hidden Beauty of Kranji

In 2005, Singapore announced plans to distinguish itself as a ‘City in a Garden’. The projects that followed, such as The Gardens by the Bay, have attracted global attention, rivalling our very own Eden Project in terms of scale and ambition. The city’s long established botanical gardens have always been one of my favourites, brimming with lush […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2015 – Stars of the Show: Edo no Niwa by Ishihara Kazuyuki

I changed my plans this year and instead of dashing headlong for Main Avenue when the show opened on Tuesday, I hung a left and made for the Serpentine Walk where Chelsea’s Artisan Gardens can be found. These gardens are built on a smaller budget and are frequently sponsored by councils, tourism authorities and charities. Their themes […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2015 – Stars of the Show: World Vision and Dark Matter

Big budget show gardens are all well and good, but it was two of Chelsea’s smaller gardens that really impressed me on Tuesday. The ‘Fresh’ category is where the RHS loosens its corset and affords designers a little more freedom, provided they remain on the right side of good horticulture. Designers are permitted to choose the shape and size […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2015 – Stars of the Show: Laurent-Perrier Chatsworth Garden

At about 10.30am yesterday morning a small crowd surrounded Monty Don and RHS Director General Sue Biggs as they prepared to announce the prize for ‘Best Large Show Garden’. Their position, next to the island site at the bottom of Main Avenue, left little doubt as to the winner – the Chatsworth Garden designed by […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2015 – The Dream Ticket

Generally speaking I am not the kind of person who wins lotteries or ballots. I don’t even come out of tombolas or raffles particularly favourably. I am the man that walks away with the cider vinegar or the oversized tea cosy fashioned from yarn that looks like it would induce an electric shock. But today […]

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