A major event on the London calendar each year is the Chelsea Flower Show. This year it runs from May 19 -23. I went to the show for the first time a few years ago because a friend had free tickets. Mainly I went because it’s such a famous event, but having little interest or aptitude for gardening I figured I would follow him around for a while then persuade him to head for a Chelsea pub by the river. But pretty well as soon as we entered the gates I was a convert. To be surrounded by such glorious flowers was totally uplifting. The top garden designers from all over the world vie to have a stand at the Chelsea Flower Show, not just to advertise what they do to the world, but to really push their design ideas and horticultural skills to the limit. A win here is a major career achievement.
I spent hours completely captivated – and calmed – by what I saw. It’s a wonderful contrast to the busy London streets outside. Inside the pavilion was a riot of blooms of all kinds of flowers and, while I learnt a lot, mostly what I took away was an awe of nature – and the people who can harness it by growing things. When it all became a bit overwhelming we retired outside for a Pimms on the lawn. This is one of those great London summer treats – Pimms with fruit: happiness in a glass. Organised by the Royal Horticultural Society, the flower show is held at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea. It’s best to buy tickets in advance as the show is very popular and gets quite crowded.