In a Vase on Monday – revisiting RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Well, we should all be at the Chelsea Flower Show today. But it’s been cancelled, like most spring and summer events. So instead I’m sharing photos from last year. Plants and flower arrangements I made a note of, for my own garden. Enjoy this dip into my photo album.

Kelways Peonies. I love Lemon Chiffon, (cream) Seashell, (pink) Avalanche, (white) Nymph, (pink).

They don’t last long, but such a glorious sight in mid May. I wouldn’t be without peonies.

Lupins from West Country Lupins. Just perfection. I bought this one

And this one. Lupin Masterpiece. Such a glorious plum colour.

David Austin Roses. This one is new variety, Tranquility. Very calming colour.

And new rose Desdemona. Beautiful at all stages from tight bud to wide open. Gorgeous scent. Stands up to the weather really well. Flowers shrug off rain and don’t ‘ball.’ Recommended.

Pinks. This is the new Tequila Sunrise. Lovely changes of colour as the flower ages. Amazing scent.

It’s wonderful to have the pinks side by side so you can compare them. The scent is just amazing in the heat, and contained by the roof of the marquee. A lingering memory of Chelsea.

Some of the amazing flower arrangements at the show. It really is a florists’ paradise.

These were still being created on press day. I stood for a long time watching the process.

This tower of flowers was spectacular.

Close -up detail of the flower-filled tower.

This explosion of foxgloves and cow parsley is my favourite.

Details for this lovely arrangement.

I also studied this arrangement created using test tubes. Really simple and lovely. Simple is what I always go for. As you know.

So I came home and made this from flowers in my garden. Inspired by all the lovely blooms I’d seen at Chelsea. There’s wild daisies, blue corn flowers and cow parsley as a background with green ivy covering the mossy wreath.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this re-visit of last year’s Chelsea Flower Show. I’m going to be watching all the on-line and televised content. This year, it is all about finding ways around problems and learning how to enjoy the things we love. Gardening – growing food and flowers- has been a saving for me. It’s kept me occupied and stopped my thoughts running away. It’s kept be grounded and focussed on keeping calm and helping others. Gardening is also a shared joy. Although we can’t see our friends and family, we can still talk about our gardens and share photos. It keeps us connected, and reminds us we are not alone.

If you listen in to BBC Radio Leicester, send your photos to mid-morning host Ben Jackson. Sharing our gardens is a lovely thing to do. And I’ll be talking about what I’m growing on Wednesdays and Thursdays, alternating with my gardening team member Josie Hutchinson. And also now and again on BBC Radio London.

Links: RHS Virtual Chelsea Show

Kelways Nursery :

West Country lupins :

David Austin Roses :

Join in with the In a Vase on Monday meme and see what eveyone is growing and putting into vases this week, all over the world. :

35 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday – revisiting RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

  1. I love Kelways peonies, especially the white one. I like Lupinus a lot, they are spectacular, no wonder you bought two. David Austin Roses: I love Tranquility. Dianthus or rather Roses, in all shades of pink are wonderful, I would take them all and their perfume, I love them. The flower arrangements are so divine, fabulous, spectacular that I love them all. The tower of flowers, waterfall of flowers with foxgloves and cow parsley and the so ethereal arrangement of salting pipes: they are all fantastic that I could not have imagined if I did not see them, they enchant me. Karen thank you very much for your magnificent and precious photos from your photo album, you have made me happy the whole day. Although the arrangement that I like the most is your crown in the Summer House of your garden with those pretty blue flowers, daisies, corn flowers, cow parsley and ivy, I love it. I really enjoyed revisiting the 2019 Chelsea Flower Show. I also follow its content online. I am glad from my heart that gardening has saved you from the Covid-19 and has made you have it in the background in your life and make you stronger and more supportive (which is already difficult with the heart you have). If I were in my country house with my garden, I would be happy and overcome depression much sooner. But I am in Madrid at 33ºC and sunny: the first heats feel terrible, although this temperature for the Madrid Summer is cold. I hope you have good weather and sun to garden and enjoy your wonderful garden. Keep you and your whole family safe. Lots of health, strength, encouragement, hope, positive thinking and lots of love for all your family, Mr B and for yourself. Loving caresses for Grace and Meg. All the best. Very loving greetings from Margarita Xxx

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    • Thank you Margarita. It is 33C in my greenhouse and it is unbearable. I can’t imagine being in that heat all day. I hope with all my heart you are soon able to go to your country house. You will feel much better there. Lots of love. Loving greetings. Karen and family xxx

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      • Thank you Karen for your words. The heat remains the same although there have been storms and it has rained but with embarrassment. As for going to the country house, I see it very far away. Much love for all your family and for you. Take care. Very loving greetings from Margarita Xxx

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      • Oh dear, so sorry it’s so hot there for you Margarita. It’s going to rain here tomorrow, the first time in 3 months. We had six months of floods and three months of drought. I’ve been out for the first time- to see my mother. I sat 3m away in her garden, as it’s now allowed here. It was so strange to see her and not be able to hug her. She looked well and we both talked about how we’ve kept busy during the covid crisis. However, I’ve decided not to go anywhere else for a while. There were just too many people out and about and not social distancing and keeping their 2m apart. Still, I have reassured myself that she is well and she is coping with the lockdown. It’s the first time in my life I haven’t seen her at least every week. Feels really odd to be separated from my lovely Mum.
        Lots of love. Loving greetings from us all. Karen xxx

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      • Karen I’m so glad that you were able to go see your dear Mother even if you couldn’t give her a hug and a kiss. But although you are sitting three meters away, you have seen and chatted about your things. I am very sorry that you cannot see your dearest mother every week as always: I put myself in your place and my heart hurts. But it is because of the Covid-19 and the measures that must be taken. Don’t feel guilty about it: you are a wonderful daughter who loves her mother and wants to be with her, but the pandemic does not leave you. But this will happen and you will be together again and hug each other and go see gardens together. In the street people do not keep the distance measurements of 2 meters and there is a lot of crowding. Here it is the same. So I don’t go out on the street either: only to the pharmacy. When you talk to your dear Mother, send her a lot of love and encouragement from me. Karen a lot of love for you and your whole family. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita xxx

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      • Thank you Margarita. I will do that. It was such a comfort to actually see my mother face to face instead of just talking on the phone. I was reassured. I have some wonderful news to share. You are the first to know. We are having a little kitten come to live with us. A beautiful tabby. The mother cat should have been to the vet for spaying, but all operations were cancelled and she escaped from her owners just once or twice. Now there are 4 kittens to rehome. Another casualty of covid. Anyway, we have said we will take one of them. I’ll post photos when I can. Something cheerful and happy to share. I hope it makes you happy too. Loving greetings from us all xxx


      • Karen I am glad that you were reassured to see your dear Mother. You are going to have a small tabby kitten !!!! Poor mother cat, victim of the Covid-19! It is the most wonderful news you could give me, I love it !!! The family grows with a furry baby: Grace and Meg will be delighted with him / her, they will have a new friend to play with, especially Meg who is younger. Thank you very much for telling me Karen, I have been super happy and very happy. Congratulations on the new member of the family. When you can give him a kiss and a hug from me and also Grace and Meg, I love them very much. I have already started to love the kid without knowing him / her. Much love to all. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita xxx

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      • Thank you Margarita. I’m so glad the news has cheered you up. We need all the good news we can get at the moment don’t we! Yes, I’ll be regularly posting photos of the dear little thing. I can’t wait for him to join us here. He will be in a paradise with such a huge garden to roam in, and away from any busy roads and danger. I’m already making plans for a new little bed and buying special kitten food. It’s been something positive and happy to focus on. Lots of love. Loving greetings and hugs from us all at bramblegarden. Xxx

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      • How can I not rejoice the news of the little kitten? It is a wonder!!! You’re already preparing her bed and her food. He will be very happy with all of you. With its large garden that will seem like a jungle at first. Hugs and kisses and lots of love for everyone. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita xxx

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      • Thank you Margarita. I’ll post photos as as soon as I can. Life is full of surprises isn’t it! Enjoy the weekend. Loving greetings from us all xxx


  2. Lovely photos. Those pinks are all wonderful… I had forgotten they are called ‘pinks’ and had reverted to referring to them as dianthus, but that is such a large group of plants it never seemed quite right. I just planted two ‘pinks’ in the big pots at my front door. 😃

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  3. Yawn . . . I will never understand the allure of the Chelsea Flower Show. After all, it is all just for ‘show’. It is pretty to see, and is certainly interesting to those of us who cannot attend, but it is done by professionals like those I work with, who want to show off. yours at the end is obviously the best here.

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  4. Thank you for sharing last year’s trip to Chelsea with us! I heard that there would be a virtual show this year. As I’m in the US, I usually follow the show via YouTube. I looked it up last night and discovered that only RHS members could access the first day’s content. I’m hoping the rest will be accessible to us in the US as well as those in the UK.

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    • Thank you Kris. I think maybe you can access the first day now. I must admit, I joined up so that I could view the monday. I was asked to write a review of the show for the weekly Garden News Magazine, so I had to really. I’ve really enjoyed the virtual potting shed advice and I’ve learned a lot. I’m currently ordering the nanus gladiolus to plant in pots. I’m just about to write some more for the blog with more pictures from last year, especially of Kate’s treehouse which I was allowed to go up into. Very wonderful to get a birds’ eye view of the showground.


  5. Having never been, nor lucky enough to ever attend, the Chelsea Flower Show looks like the plant land of perfection, where every flower bends to man’s whim. It must be magical to view so much beauty with no weeds in sight.

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  6. It must be a joy to be there on press day when it is far less busy – moving around with the massed crowd does not appeal at all, and being on the short side I imagine it would find it even harder to see anything! Thnks for sharing some of last years Chelsea – that flower tower is stupendous! Your wreath is a great tribute to the British countryside

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    • Thank you Cathy. I must admit, I’ve been on press days and public days and I couldn’t manage the crowds during the week. I know the rhs have reduces numbers, but it’s still too busy for me to enjoy anything. My highlight of last year was climbing up into the treehouse on Kate’s garden. A lovely bird’s eye view of the showground.
      Thanks for your kind words on my wreath. I’m making another today out of just cow parsley. It looks so pretty.

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  7. I’m very impressed by the test tube arrangement.
    I really like foxgloves. Round here though they seem to have become a ‘weed’ and have to be mown down on the allotment, there are so many of them. Even in the fields – last year I was amazed by fields full of foxgloves growing wild. I had previously thought of them as a garden plant or to be found solitary in a hedgerow.
    A few years ago I several times came across mention of the way bees are very efficient about the way they move from flower to flower in a garden. Watching them on foxgloves I couldn’t say I’ve observed this. They don’t start at one flower on the spire and work their way up or down. They are all over the place.

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    • That’s very true about bees on foxgloves. I’ve got a wild bee nest in my blue tit box on the front of the potting shed. I’ve been spending a lot of time watching where they go when they come out. It is straight to the wild flowers and wild honeysuckle. They also like the horse chestnut tree. And one rose, the mutabilis. But not the others I’m growing, which are too fancy and double for them. I’m on full time duty rescuing them from the green house and potting shed windows. Honestly they are hopeless and can’t find their own way out. I feel very protective of my little bee nest. xx

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