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I would love to get in Friday evening from 5.30 but appreciate all the tickets to Chelsea sold out months ago! Has anyone tried the suggestion of arriving and trying to get returns in person at the gate? I don't know whether it is totally unrealistic and I'm likely to be met with a queue of hundreds. I would have to travel for an hour and a half - realistically, am I likely to get near the gate from anyone that has tried?

and once again last night... the same old gardens on show.. where is the coverage of other gardens there.. it is very bad this year.. or is it just me..

Gardeningfanatic and others, I believe the last few years coverage of all the major shows on BBC has been abysmal. How many stands in the grand marquee won gold and how many of those have been seen? With the amount of time devoted to coverage of the Chelsea show (red button coverage included), there would be enough time, I suggest to cover all the show gardens and a lot of the marquee stands at least once, if only so much time wasn't spent focusing on the presenters and so called celebrities. I am disabled and living in Cornwall, and so visiting these big shows is not only difficult but beyond my merans financially, so I used to rely on tv coverage to show me as many new ideas and plants as possible. Please BBC change your emphasis and give us all who don't get the chance to see it for ourselves what we're missing.

The BBC go on and on and on showing the big show gardens whereas most gardeners would also appreciate ( and probably more ) the wonderful stands in the pavilion where nurseries put on a brilliant exhibition of how to combine colour and shape with the perennials that we all have in our own gardens. But this on the red button and how many go to that. I went to Chelsea on Wednesday and it was the pavilion that I kept on returning to.


The Beeb always shows the same gardens over and over and ignores some.  It's been complained about year after year on the old Beeb boards but we never get an explanation.

I went on Tuesday and had a thoroughly enjoyable but exhausting time having got there at 10am and stayed till 6pm.   I go to see what's new, what's back, what's gone, what can inspire me in my garden and yes, I do accept it's all completely unrealistic for the average gardener in the average plot on the average budget but it's still excellent quality and plantsmanship - mostly.

I found there was too much hard landscaping and water in nearly all the main gardens and got irritated that none was child/dog/family friendly.   Cleve West's garden had lovely planting combos and NO ornamental grasses visible.  Joe Smith's garden looked fab at first glance but was very short on plants  from some angles and that red cedar would need an awful lot of maintenance to keep it glowing red like the Tibetan cherry bark and once those copper irises and verbascum's go over it would be very dull.  I loved Chris Beardshaw's garden but unfortunately cannot grow acid lovers but it was lush.  Diarmuid's was just mad but the ground level planting was lovely.    I liked the planting in the Blue Water garden but it didn't go with the blue water.   I liked the sculpture in the water in Andy Sturgeon's garden but too much water and hard stuff and not enough plants, as in the Renaissance inspired garden. l I did not like the dry garden and it stank of curry plant.  I didn't get the Fresh gardens but loved most of the Artisan gardens.  Most of the "naturalistic" planting looked like it needed a good strim and weeding session and was short on flowers and with no foliage structure to compensate.

The floral marquee was a joy with some lovely displays from nurseymen and women.  I didn't bother with the flower arranging or boys toys.

Photos here if anyone wants to peruse -  





Obelixx thanks for the review, it is always good to hear from someone who was there. Also good to see the photos, several of which I have not seen on the tv( but I did give upafter 2 days)

Shrinking Violet

Obelixx - lovely photos, thank you.  I have watched very little of Chelsea this year, having found it to be colourless and dominated by hard structures.  The honourable exception has been the Lauren Perrier Bi-Centenary Garden (at least I think that's what it was).  It had the pleached beach trees (and I normally loathe beech, having had a long and hard battle with a double-planted hedge from the previous owners) but lots of subtle planting. 

I garden for the plants.  The over-emphasis on hard landscaping detracts from the gardens that I suspect most of us hanker after.  I may, of course, be wrong, un-reconstructed and "of a certain age"


A big thank you to obelixx for your appraisal and sharing those wonderful photos!

I especially appreciated the photos because some of the gardens appear differently in stills to what the Beeb allow us to see, Chris Beardshaw's garden really did look well planted! Whilst The renaissance garden by Tom Hoblyn looked slightly better in stills but appeared very sterile and bland on the telly regardless of using the Golden ratio!

but my undoubted favourite this year was definitely Kazuyuki Ishihara's Satoyama Life garden. I could copy everything into my garden eagerly! Simply stunning.

Gary Hobson

obelixx - that was very interesting. I enjoyed seeing the photos.

My favourite snap was actually the close up of Joe Swift, talking to a man holding a cup of coffee (146). The expression on Joe's face!


@obelixx.. many thanks for you pictures and overall review of chelsea.. although i am very disaapointed with the coverge this year.. the gardens that i have seen are good, though the planting theme has been quite loose this year.. more on structures rahter than plants..

i have to admit i am loving the use of dry stone walling this year.. it is so beautiful to look at and so natuarl... i do not like the red wooden structures on Joe's garden at all.. too dominating for me.. and Andy's garden is very good.. love the use of different materials yet all tie together.. the structure in the water is growing on me alittle.

i love the water feature in thte garden i can not recall.. it is black and just pops up with a ring of ripple and spreads out.. that is very good.

the cacti stand and carniverous plant stand are great.. not been showed them on tv and love the arranged flower photos.. not seen any of them on tv either except one alans litle table.. my also love the big snail ornament.. great!

but overall it does seem the buddies of Mr Titchmarsh are getting a very lot of coverage..  it really has been the worst coverage this year..


Glad you've enjoyed the photos.  I snapped what I liked or what intrigued so it's not a complete collection.   For instance, while the concept of the Korean war garden is interesting it didn't work as a garden for me precisely because it looked untended and weedy and plants like the clematis just looked hungry.  The only photo I took of that was a corner with water dripping from a bit of old wood. 

I loved the colours on the carniverous plants but they're not hardy enough for me so I'll have to settle for bronze grasses, irises and verbascums and so on.

Did anyone else spot Nikki Campbell telling Goldie the tree ferns in the ripple garden were palm trees?   That woman has to go - even if she did air her doubts at the end.

Thank you for the pictures Obelixx which although I have watched the coverage each evening gave a better insight to the gardens.
My way is to say could I live with the garden without too many changes, this year no, I would be in there dropping plants in and taking theirs out so none of the gardens lit my wick for me.
I think most of my time would have been in the Marquee to see the perfection of the plant growing especially the vegetables, there were some very colourful displays, mainly Carol, apart from the night she wore her pyjama's and a house coat. I could listen to her talk plants all day and even Christine was good and I was never a fan. Probably anything to get away from Tich and co.
Oh well it is over I envy you seeing it Obi, I may make it to one of the coming shows.



Thank you Obelixx for the lovely photos, which captured the essence of Chelsea.


Glad you liked them Yakram.  Are you gearing up for Tatton?


I hope to do a stint on the Tatton info stand Weds morning; depends if I'm chosen.  OH is on the Show info stand that morning.  The 'Lads' are keeping their plans close to their chest at the moment.  Was very hot in the glasshouse today, but I should be let out soon!



I hope your wish is granted.   Hot and steamy here today with cracking thunder storms late afternoon and early evening.    I wouldn't have fancied being in a glasshouse.  It was uncomfortable enough just pottering round a friend's garden and explaining the Chelsea chop to garden group members.

Have a great time if you do go and give my regards to Trillium please, if you see her.


I went to Chelsea last Wednesday. Got there at 8.15am and stayed until 4.30pm. It was great. Joe Swift's and Chris Beardshaw's gardens were lovely. On the whole, the gardens were too green for me - I love vibrant flowers. There were lots of buttercups and cow parsleys on show - I've been trying to eradicate them from my garden  The Great Pavilion was as sumpuous as ever, but I do wish there were places in there to sit down.

I enjoyed the tv coverage too - roll on next year 

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