Posted: 25/05/2012 at 16:12
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 - http://s211.photobucket.com/albums/bb262/Obelixx_be/1205%20Chelsea%20Flower%20Show/