I have to admit that as much as I enjoyed the day out, I was a little disappointed. I had hoped that there would be lots of stalls where I could buy plants and seeds to bring home. However, the mass of shops at he show were selling ephemera like tools, art and display stuff. There was only one stall selling seeds that I spotted, and no where to buy little plants, until the actual big sell off at the end.
Having seen the show gardens on the TV all week, I was also a bit disappointed seeing them in the flesh. To be honest the show gardens have never really appealed to me. My whole life the only kind of garden I've had experience of has been ramshackle and weed ridden, and I kind of like that. The pristine, manicured lots at Chelsea have always felt alien to me, and seeing them live just reinforced that. In fact the one garden that really spoke to me was a small garden that was based around a rotten tin shed and overgrown front courtyard. It felt a lot more homely and familiar than other stuff on display.
At the end of the day, we were there for the big sell-off, which was interesting in itself, and the first chance we had all day to buy some actual plant stuff. I'd been fixating on some really red heuchera from the PSI Nursey Garden and bagged a couple of them to put in our garden. I also had some curly succulents from the Caymen Islands Underwater Garden (part of the big patch on the bottom right of the picture) and Mrs Dio had a load of other stuff from the stand. I also picked up a delicate little plant for a pound with deep purple triangle leaves and small flowers, but I've no idea what it's called.
The sell-off was mad, and it was funny to see everyone struggling out of the grounds with masses of plants. It was also surprising to see how the immaculate stands soon broke down, being made up of plants in pots and then built up with scrunched newspaper and various coverings. All in all, it was a great experience. We also saw all the gardening TV presenters, Sir Alan of Titchmarsh, Joe Swift and that blonde woman. Most surprising of all was spotting James Wong (who gave us a wicked 'recognise me' scowl) of Grow Your Own Drugs fame. Most surprising for someone who does such a 'healthy' show was to see him toking on a fag and swigging on the booze. Even Mrs Dio was a bit shocked at that.
I did take a good few photos, but to be honest it would have been easy to take lots of flower shots. Instead I was taking more abstract shapes and shadows sort of stuff. My camera is dying as well, so I'll need to get something new asap, again. Mrs Dio was taking stuff with the Nikon Coolpix I bought her for Christmas, looked good. That said, here's my collected photos that I wanted to share from the day. Lots of the usual Dio twist and shadows to enjoy.
Wow-- I can't believe you were there! I also like the shed garden a lot (are the tall, spiky flowers lupines?). I guess I appreciate these for the concept behind them-- they seem to me to be more architecture of space, rather than gardens that your ordinary person would (or could) put in their own yard. I love watching the coverage, but yeah, I always feel a little something is missing. Maybe it's the actual presence of plants that's lacking. I'm glad you had a decent time, though!
It was good, well worth going. I'm in the middle of putting them onto disc for you too, will get that finished soon. :)
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