Although my shift working in the cloakroom didn’t start until 1.30 it really was worth getting up at 5 and getting the first fast train to London so that I could be into Chelsea before 7. I had a quick look around the show gardens while the medals were being awarded ….
…and then into the marquee to meet some Collection Holders before they got busy with customers. It is always a delight to talk to such knowledgeable people and useful to put faces to names. 17 nurseries exhibiting at the show are Collection Holders and two more educational establishments are in the RHS environment area, so it took quite a while to get around them all. I wasn’t able to get pictures of everyone, but here, in no particular order, are the ones I took.
Mary and Terry Baker from The Botanic Nursery in Wiltshire, showing off their new guide to producing garden plants from seed. Their display also shows a time line of the history of Digitalis. (Digitalis purpurea ‘Pam’s Choice’).
Paul Johnson from Dibleys displaying their Streptocarpus. S. ‘Katie’ is one of my favourites.
Propagator Robbie Blackhall-Miles from Crûg Farm Plants who are using some Polygonatum vietnamicum B&SWJ 8366 in their display.
First time Chelsea exhibitors Chris and Lorraine Birchall from Tale Valley Nursery, with their gold medal.
Simon and Dawn Charlesworth of Downderry Nursery with their fragrant display of lavender (and coordinating clothes).
Lorraine from Winchester Growers who are exhibiting as the National Dahlia Collection. I loved the delicacy of this Dahlia ‘Etheral’
We used an image of one of Sarah Conibears’s lupins taken at Chelsea 2012 for the cover of our new membership leaflet.
Nigel Hewitt-Cooper’s Sarracenia look like organ pipes against the black background of his display; the delicate Drosera binata var.multifida at the front had been misted with water to show off the structure.
Steve and Elaine Hickman from Hoyland Plants with one of their introductions – Agapanthus ‘Hoyland Blue’.
By the time I got around to Jane Lindsay and Toni O’Connor of Tynings, with their huge selection of different types of climbers, they were busy with visitors. Their display marks the centenary of the Chelsea Flower Show with an edible arrangement of Passiflora slices.
I am back at Chelsea on Friday so I will try to get some more faces to put names to.