Sometimes, taking a little time out from the humdrum of everyday life can do wonders for the soul, as Miranda Avis found out when she visited the Chelsea Flower Show for the first time...
Last week, I went to the Chelsea Flower Show. I’ve never been before and despite previously being told just how magical a place it is, Chelsea isn’t something that has ever really been on my radar. You see, I’m not a natural gardener; I tend to leave the outside space to my husband – and whilst I’d love to boast about my bodacious borders, the reality is quite simple; I just don’t have the time these days. One day maybe, one day…
Chelsea is possibly the most famous flower and garden show in the world, attracting a real mix of people; from die-hard gardeners and flower fanatics to a whole host of celebrities and Royals. It has been an established event in the social calendar since 1912 and, in recent years, boasts more than 150,000 visitors during the six days that show runs. As I walked in through the entrance, everywhere I looked, people were happily milling about, chatting and smiling; there was a veritable 'buzz’ in the air! Whilst the show’s exhibitors were busy prettying their stalls, the display gardens, a real feast for the eyes, seemed to cry out to their passing admirers, “Look at me, look at me!” And the aromas, ohhh the aromas, it was like walking around a super-sized Jo Malone; exotic, intoxicating and quite simply delicious. As I sauntered past the floral displays, myriad scents carried on the breeze…why had it taken me so long to make the trip to Chelsea, this place was something else!
For those looking for inspiration for their own gardens, the possibilities at Chelsea are limitless and advice from the experts is most forthcoming. In fact, if you’re in need of anything for the garden, this is surely the place to come; seeds, pots, tools, flowers, tips and ideas– it’s all at Chelsea, in abundance.
Naturally, the beautiful May day weather only added to the atmosphere, and I imagine a rainy day could impact quite considerably on one’s enjoyment, given the fact that so much of the show is held outdoors. However, in the centre of the 11acre site is a huge pavilion, bedecked in floral majesty and you could easily spend several hours mooching – as I did!
I’d say that a day spent pottering around the Chelsea Flower Show is the perfect gift to give a loved one – indeed, I imagine there are many green-fingered mumma’s out there who would love to receive a ticket to Chelsea as a Mother’s Day present – mine included! As you can imagine, tickets are in high demand, and you can only buy in advance, so getting your order in early is to be advised.
As I trundled home on the train, in a state of happy exhaustion, I can honestly say that I felt replete – a day spent away from my normal life, surrounded by colour, happiness and scents to die for, and all in the heart of our bustling, crazy capital city, how lucky was I?! Why not chalk up ‘Chelsea’ on your 2019 to-do list, it really is a rather special day out.