England’s Finest Gardens & Chelsea Flower Show 2009
May 19th – 27th, 2009

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Off to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show bright and early to be there before the crowds started coming in. It is the ultimate event in the gardening year. It sets the latest gardening trends, features the newest and most desirable gardening products and creates an explosion of colours and scents. You can see Suzanne here now with her Gold and a huge smile on her face. I have been to Grenada and seen the process of picking the plant material that is then packaged and sent to London for the show. It is a huge process involving many people. Chelsea always continues to amaze me and hearing the others talk about their first time at Chelsea with such excitement is a thrill. I know what they will be seeing. It is unlike any other Flower Show in the world.

Some of the highlights:

Floral designers competed for the prestigious title of RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year, and the RHS Chelsea Young Florist of the year, both competitions were spectacular. The stars of the show were the flamboyant floral hats made by the designers. Even the Queen, who is knowledgeable when it comes to wearing hats, came to see them and was impressed. She was escorted around the exhibits by Dennis van Wonderen. The fifteen competitors in each section had already been through a gruelling selection process, by competing in regional heats around Great Britain to become finalists at the Chelsea Flower show. Crowds of people stood to see the sensational hats that ranged from raunchy fascinators, trend setting helmets to bygone bonnets. The hats captured the imagination of the general public and brought floristry bang up to date and into the fashion foreground. It was such a novel idea and the designs were so beautiful.

The winner of the RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year 2009, Gold medal and best in show was Neil Whittaker with his glamorous, floating, design in elegant shades of grey and peach.

The winners of the top awards at the 2009 RHS Chelsea Flower Show have been announced.

Ulf Nordfjell, Swedish designer of a garden combining Swedish modernism with a traditional English cottage garden won gold and was judged best show garden .

Event manager Alex Baulkwill said the Daily Telegraph-sponsored garden combined "cool lines with wonderful planting ".

The most creative award under the show gardens category went to Laurie Chetwood and Patrick Collins for their Perfume Garden, which is based on a perfume created for Elizabeth I.

The most unusual award went to Top Gear presenter James May for his ‘Paradise in Plasticine’ display. Judges at the Chelsea Flower Show awarded him a gold medal (made from plasticine) for his garden design, despite the design disobeying event rules by failing to include any real flowers .

May’s garden display, which was made from 2.5 tonnes of plasticine in 24 colours, attracted plenty of admirers on the first day of the show .

Other awards went to Champagne Laurent Perrier Garden by Luciano Guibbilei and Giles Landscapes which scooped Best Courtyard Garden for its alchemist's garden.

Helios ‘Eco Chic’ by Kate Gould was awarded a gold medal and judged best urban garden, the President's award went to Winchester Growers and a gold medal was given to The Children's Society garden by Mark Gregory.


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