Last Saturday my husband and I enjoyed the most delicious and decadent care free day at Chelsea flower show. We dropped off our two little one’s with their grandparents with a slightly giddy feeling, knowing that we had twenty four hours at our complete disposal. Whilst we love our children dearly we realised that we hadn’t had a child free day since last October and we really did need to recharge our batteries and spend some quality time together.
From the bus ride up the King’s road, clutching coffee cups rather than little hands and taking my tiny Kate Spade satchel rather than a back pack filled to bursting with nappies, wipes, spare clothes and all manner of rescue bots and rattles, I really felt excited about the day ahead.
The weather was over cast and drizzly but I was optimistic, ballet pumps underfoot and leaving coats and umbrellas behind, befitting the merry abandonment of my mood. We decided to go plan free and just wandered the grounds, taking in the sights, sounds and unbelievable scents of the day.
I loved many of the large show gardens, particularly the Morgan Stanley Garden for Great Ormond Street, with its woodland scheme, tree canopy and beautiful pockets of colourful planting. The Winton Beauty of Mathematics Garden was simply stunning, wrapped in a copper band, etched with plant algorithms that represented growth and with its many overflowing trailing plants. I also loved the serene and simple Cloudy Bay Garden with its heathers and long grasses making me long for a slower pace in the midst of a hectic and bustling Chelsea. I enjoyed many of the artisan gardens which seemed so much more achievable in comparison to the magnificent but somewhat out of reach show gardens, and I left each new discovery clutching the planting guides for inspiration for my own small space.
The sun had kindly chosen to repay my faith and was shining quite brilliantly so we decided to stop for lunch. Stone baked pizza and ice cold pear cider sat on the grass followed by sweet fennel ice-cream, how incredibly decadent we felt! Feeling gloriously full we explored the artisan studios and I discovered the work of artist Helen Carnac, whose delicate circular drawings and etchings inspired me to re-kindle my love of drawing with fountain pen nibs and bottles of glossy black ink.
Next was the great pavilion where I was on the look out for my favourite Aquilegia and Astrantia as well as Scabious and Hydrangea and I happily found all in abundance as well as many new varieties. I loved the blousy blooms at Peter Beales rose stand, particularly the Rambling Rector but what captured my heart quite completely were the Hepaticas at Ashwood Nurseries. I have never come across these tiny spring-flowering herbaceous plants and was quite overwhelmed by their quiet perfection, my favourite being the Hepatica acutiloba.
We left the flower show just as the bell rang, signalling the start of the sales and happily walked back up the King’s road, stopping for a browse in my favourite Anthropologie to admire their Chelsea inspired paper flower adorned walk way and windows. We finished our day off in splendid fashion with lobster, chips and frozen margarita’s at the Big Easy and then walked home as the sun began to fade.
What a perfectly joyous day. I have so many pretty photographs and a head full of ideas, as well as a great pile of flower filled booklets, leaflets and guides from Chelsea to have a quick flick through with a cup of tea whenever I need a mini floral pick me up. I would love to know if you have ever visited Chelsea flower show or any of the other RHS shows, I signed up to become a member whilst I was there and am keen to visit Hampton Court in the Summer and also the London Urban Garden show in November which might be more suited to our small space.