So I quickly learned that on Press Day 
the international media
is mostly there for the celebrities

which was good news for me as
the garden designers were hanging around their installments, ready to chat :)

Birmingham City Council exhibit

So here were my top picks...

'A Hebridean Weaver's Garden'

To be set in the 1950's on the Outer Hebrides islands of Scotland,
this installment shows the traditional making of Harris Tweed
with hand dyed and hand spun wool

Notice the crooked tree you would see on the islands due to high winds?

I love the little brook and
the traditional blackhouse with its aerodynamic roof line and rocks to hold it down 

The original theme and attention to detail are magnificent

Another favorite was
'The Garden Of Magical Childhood'

Raise your hand if you'd like to see this in your backyard :)

So loving those wooden mushrooms and 
the little pond in the grass with hand painted wishes on rocks
- so sweet -

The garden depicts a tea party taking place under a tree house,
designed to encourage viewers to reflect on the preciousness of childhood

Unlike the Show Gardens section,
the Artisan Garden designers cannot excavate
so they placed a horse chestnut tree in the middle of the fort
and built the slope around it

The ivy growing up the tree house was planted first 
to give it time to grow and look more natural

I think any child would love to spend a few hours in this lovely spot
and this magical retreat looks like it has been there forever
(which is tricky with only 5 days to put it together)

As to the only flower requiring guards,
the Lady's Slipper orchid was hiding in the corner at
Le Jardin De Yorkshire

This beauty is a success story of scientists at Kew Gardens 
bringing this girl back from the brink of extinction

The orchid continues to be the rarest wildflower in Britain
and is being reintroduced in the north of England, including Yorkshire

Like the Chelsea Flower Show,
the Tour de France is celebrating its 100th year too
and teamed up with Welcome To Yorkshire
to promote the Tour de France riding through Yorkshire next summer

two guards protect orchid (see arrow)

Let's now go inside the Great Pavilion,
where I was particularly taken by the unusual hanging amaryllis display
by W.S. Warmenhoven (Holland)

Attached with metal cuffs and secured with wires,
these hollow amaryllis stems will be hand watered just one more time this week
from above

Wouldn't this be a fun idea for a wedding or garden fete?

And for something really different,
check out this red poppy from China
 - Meconopsis punicea -

which is related to the gorgeous and rare blue poppy
(seen in background)

But wait, there's more!
I'm just getting warmed up :)

Check out this carefully excavated apple tree

And as always, a stunning display of orchids
by Thailand's Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden

Working with 50,000 orchids, lots of Oasis and wire 
this amazing display came together
with the help of fifteen people over five days

Paignton Zoo showed their version of past and future gardening
A classic English garden on the left contrasts with an artificial biome on the right

At Paignton Zoo in Devon, crops are grown hydroponically (soil-free) onsite to feed the animals
Sounding futuristic, trays of crops are placed on conveyor belts to sunlight and feeding stations

But for me, here was the show-stopper...

This dress!!

Just look at the exquisite detail,
made from fresh flowers, foliage and ferns

So dreamy

Okay, I will let your floral heart have a rest
Such deliciousness, no?

I have one more Chelsea post coming your way soon
Don't miss it :)

- photos by me -

More 2013 Chelsea Flower Show posts: