Posted: 29/05/2016 at 23:30
It's a great day out and showcases excellent garden design but, more importantly, the skills of the growers who provide all those plants in perfect condition and also the landscape teams who construct them and make it all work. What's more, you can talk to people about their gardens - see pic of Matthew Wilson chatting to a spectator - and ask the experts on their stands about the plants and thus pursue something likely to succeed in your conditions.
Lots more seating for picnics thus year and the new artisans area was interesting.
I thought Diarmuid's garden was great fun, very clever and beautifully planted. i though Andy Sturgeon's planting was desperately dull and most of it not hardy so not inspirational. Cleve West's garden was gorgeous apart from that silly globe. Chris Beardshaw's was very calming and sublime but full of interesting textural detail.
I liked the Berber/Jordan garden which had texture and form and colour and life giving water, despite representing an arid region; The arid provençal garden was just a stony mess with sparse weedy plants - the sort of place that if you liked gardening and plants you'd ship in loads of muck and compost and then do a Beth Chatto dry garden inspired scheme. Most of the other gardens were buzzing with bees but not that one.
I loved the Greening Grey Britain garden which had loads of interesting ideas and plants but my favourite was the Yorkshire garden and I'm very pleased for Matthew Wilson.
The pavilion was, as always, packed with fabulous plants in perfect condition and cleverly displayed. Loved the Hillier stand which was very different from previous years. Loved all the specialists showing just roses, just clematis, just irises, just hostas and so on.
The Chelsea Flower Show is just great.