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Yes, it’s that time of year again and here we are at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Whether you are joining the throngs in leafy central London or sitting on your sofa drinking in the surfeit of floral riches on the television, this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show looks set to inspire, entertain — and educate.
I am honoured to be invited by Wedgwood, who is one of the sponsors at the show. Wedgwood is celebrated around the world for its design, quality, and craftsmanship. With a rich heritage of over 250 years, Wedgwood is considered a true British cultural icon. Wedgwood and the RHS share a fascinating history and vision. John Wedgwood, the eldest son of English potter and entrepreneur, Josiah Wedgwood, had a great passion for horticulture. On 7th March 1804, John founded the RHS in Piccadilly, London. Over 200 years later, the reunion of two iconic British brands is working together to celebrate nature, champion sustainability and enrich healthier and happier lives.
It is very much like summer here, with the sun beaming down on a truly amazing explosion of flowers from all over the world, filling the air with their exquisite fragrance and there is the continuing sound of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ all around as we wander through the myriads of different flowers throughout, both on the ground and in the stunning floral displays. I have never seen foxgloves so tall, even taller than me, and I am overwhelmed by the abundance of different species of peony in every hue imaginable. The garden ambience feels so very homely amongst the Chelsea Pensioners at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
Taking full advantage of the warmer weather, I’ve chosen to wear a thin floral shirt from Liberty’s, along with a cream linen suit to combat the heat. The classic Tana Lawn Cotton Liberty London shirt features an all-over Emma and Georgina print, with a bright floral design. With its classic straight cut in soft printed cotton, this iconic style looks effortlessly dapper with a suit or jeans along with Liberty’s silk pocket square and magically fits into the floral background. How ‘Chelsea’ do I look!
Many of the gardens have taken recycling and saving the earth as a theme. LG Electronics has one of the most ambitious plots, an Eco-City garden offering a “vertical forest” to encourage greenery into our urban lifestyles. The Wuhan Water Garden, designed by Laurie Chetwood and Patrick Collins, is another complicated build, with a stylised forest. Other gardens on the 11-acre site include the Pearlfisher’s garden, which has an aquatic tank hosting ocean plants, coral, and fish, to highlight the catastrophic impact of plastics on our environment; and Tony Woods’s Urban Flow Garden, sponsored by Thames Water.
The 2018 Wedgwood Garden, created by the multi-award-winning UK designer, Jo Thompson, is a striking space for a strong successful woman. Nature, flowers, and horticulture have always been at the heart of Wedgwood’s design work, which has been the source of inspiration for the garden. Jo says, “Wedgwood’s vision was for an inspirational, innovative and feminine space with a feeling of romance, sophistication, and elegance.”
While strolling through the variety of gardens, it’s time for tea at The Wedgwood Tea Conservatory. Wedgwood Tea Conservatory invites you to experience their specially selected teas, created by their Global Tea Curator, Bernadine Tay. Re-blended classics such as Wedgwood Earl Grey and Wedgwood Original are available, in addition to Wedgwood’s newest collections – my favourite blend is the Signature Teas Jasmine Mao Feng. Signature Teas Jasmine Mao Feng – A sweet green tea, infused with the scent of fresh jasmine blossoms and delivering fruity notes. Harvested in April from the famed peaks of the Anhui province in China. Enjoy pure in the afternoon or after a meal, this is a perfect blend waiting to be savoured.
Meanwhile, there is limited edition collection here at Wedgwood which designed and collaborate with Hitomi Hosono. She is one of the UK’s leading ceramic artists, is greatly admired for her painstakingly fine porcelain pieces. Creating works of art so delicate that the porcelain leaves and flowers almost appear to ‘dance’, her work is represented in the permanent collections of major museums, including Victoria and Albert Museum, The British Museum, Musèe Guiment Paris and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. My particular favourite pick is the limited edition Kasumi Vase, Kasumi means hazy or misty and the effect of this dense covering of hand-applied daisies is a wonderful white haze over the pastel green form of the vase making it a truly striking work of art. It looks so rather pretty to display one of your homes and most importantly it currently stock only five of those vases. We need to be quick..!
More delightful news, I saw this stunning house, a miniature one which looks so adorable. This is a perfect invent to invest in your garden, especially for your little ones who can have a copy of your townhouse or perhaps a country house of their very own, by Wallgarden. When is the next home warming party?
Highlights of Main Avenue include Sarah Price’s Mediterranean garden for M&G, Jo Thompson’s Wedgwood Garden, with a striking sculptural pavilion at its centre, Mark Gregory’s “Welcome to Yorkshire” which brings a little slice of Northern life to London and Tom Massey’s design highlighting the work of the Lemon Tree Trust, which helps Syrian refugees create growing spaces in their camps.
Every designer has created their own personal vision of the landscape and gardens. Which leaves me to seriously consider a garden make-over of my own to transform it into another room or perhaps learn how to become green-fingered after all. Tickets are selling out fast (you can buy them here), so be sure to book your visit this week – 22nd – 26th May. A perfect opportunity to enjoy a wonderful bloomtastic week!
Photos by Diana Martin Photography