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7 sensational reasons to enjoy the RHS Chelsea Flower Show

7 sensational reasons to love the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 

RHS Chelsea Flower Show opens to the public next week on 22 May, 2018.  This is possibly the world's most famous flower show and it will lead us wisely and soothingly towards the summer.  It's so easy to become enthused by all the ideas and perfection that’s on display. But don’t allow yourself to feel overwhelmed by the difference between your own plot and the photogenic masterpieces that you see on your TV. Or in the green, if you are lucky enough to visit in person.

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What can you take home from Chelsea Flower Show?

Nobody expects homeowners to exactly replicate the picturesque Chelsea gardens which feature expensive, innovative design, perfect planting and top-quality paving. But if the idea of soothing water features, subtle lighting and tempting seating and dining spaces is appealing to you, there’s no reason why you can’t transplant some of these wistful dreams to your own plot. Ideas can be lifted from the show and implemented at home. It’s all about the transfer of vision from a show setting into everyday life.

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The Main Avenue show gardens

There are few people who can afford a complete garden re-design in the style of Chelsea Main Avenue, where show gardens cost from £250,000 upwards. That’s more than the cost of purchasing an entire property in some cases. But don’t let that put you off improving your own garden. There are many things you can change for little or no cost at all.

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Gardening for free

Changing the shape of your lawn, for example can add a whole new definition and meaning to a plot. Grass seed is cheap and relatively easy to sow, once you’ve prepared the ground. You can move plants around to create new focal points, but be prepared to water them all season until they settle in.

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Building works

Paving, retaining walls and building works are undoubtedly expensive but there are cheaper options. The use of less formal materials, for example, railway sleepers and recycled products picked up locally, can reap amazing rewards! The key to success in your own garden is innovative thought and enthusiasm, and both of those are free!

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The feel-good factor

Chelsea Flower Show falls during the week that follows the royal wedding, and  most people are likely to be in a celebratory mood. It bodes well for Chelsea week.  Did you know that The Queen has missed only two years of the Chelsea Flower Show since she was crowned? As always, celebrities will be out in force, including Mary Berry, Nick Knowles, Jo Whiley, presenters Nikki Chapman and James Wong plus Jennifer Saunders, Sophie Raworth, Monty Don and Joe Swift. 

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The need to connect with plants. Health and wellbeing

The theme is very much about gardens that make us feel good, with health and wellbeing appearing high on the agenda. It is now widely accepted that biophilia is part of the human disposition. Humans have an urge to bond with nature because we have a genetic connection to the natural world that is based on thousands of years of living in agrarian settings. Gardens are therefore our basic natural territory and it is beneficial to the soul to nurture plants.

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Chelsea round up

Main Avenue gardens are always a winner in the eyes of Chelsea visitors and this year there are 10. Decades ago there were as many as 22 main gardens, but the glamour and pizzazz was nowhere near as remarkable as today’s innovative spaces. There are some new names appearing alongside established designers including Stuart Charles Towner, who trained at Hadlow College, with his Spirit of Cornwall garden, inspired by the sculptures of Barbara Hepworth. Another Main Avenue newby is Nic Howard, Surrey garden designer, who has created a garden that focuses on sculpture that symbolises ‘different periods of mankind’s development’.

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The re-invented ‘Fresh’ gardens category is now known as ‘Space to Grow’ and these eight gardens really do provide ideas that can be taken home. And the tiny Artisan Gardens are still a big draw, combining traditional materials and methods with new design approaches, all in pocket handkerchief-sized spaces.

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Chelsea, as ever, also provides a garden shopping paradise within a relatively compact setting. Enjoy everything it has to offer, either as an armchair viewer or ‘on the hoof’. Soak up the ambience, absorb new ideas and tune into your garden for a summer of health-giving pleasure.

Then come back home, full of fresh inspiration and ideas and apply them to your own garden!

The seven sensational reasons to love the show

  • Gain inspiration and enthusiasm
  • Borrow ideas to take home with you
  • See the latest styles and fashions in planting design
  • Talk to experts in order to gain knowledge
  • Admire the very best in hard materials and construction techniques
  • Enjoy a garden shopping experience like no other
  • Have a great day out!
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