Today was the press day of the RHS Chelsea flower show 2010. I watched last nights preview show on the BBC iplayer hosted by Alan Titchmarsh. His excitement was palpable.
I got an email this morning about the biggest show garden at Chelsea built by some of the most vulnerable people in England.
It is called Places Of Change and is designed by Paul Stone for the Eden Project (The famous Biomes in Cornwall), along with Homeless agencys and Prisons.
The photogenic spokes person for the homeless who helped make the garden is man called Scruffy (real name Paul Pulford) photographed above outside the hut in his part of the show garden.
His love of gardening has really helped save his life, and turn it around from a life of drugs and despair. He says he was depressed for years but that helping on this garden (and one at last years Chelsea) has made him "happy to go out and play". He has constructed a fifty metre square part of the larger garden. It has been made with entirely recycled material, and is already attracting birds and wildlife because its so natural looking.
Altogether Five hundred people from forty three homeless Agencies, and Fifty Prisoners from eight prisons have helped grow, construct, and plant the gardens with the gardeners from the Eden Project, and supervised by Paul Stone.
I love the stories of the Garden designers and their gardens. The stories seem to bring extra meaning to their pristine gardens. I get as excited as Alan Titchmarsh. What new things will be their? Who will win a coveted Chelsea RHS gold medal? What are the things that are in Vogue? What will people take back from their visit to the Showground?
Andy Sturgeon is back at Chelsea after a year off. His partner had died and he took last year off from garden designing. He has designed the Daily Telegraph garden which is called a Contemporary Gravel Garden. He told Alan Titchmarsh that his partner used to love some Purple flowers that he has used in every garden. He has used them in her memory in this reflective garden. He was one of the new presenters on last years Chelsea coverage.
Another good show garden will be the Flemings Australian garden. Last year there were devastating Bush fires in South Eastern Australia. There nursery was burnt to the ground with all their Chelsea plants. They did not go to Chelsea. To save costs this year there entire crew has come voluntary for no pay. They have all taken a month off to build and plant the garden. It features a whirlpool bath complete with seats!
Her Majesty the Queen visited today I think, along with the worlds Media and Celebrities. The TV chefs Jamie Oliver and Raymond Blanc held a cook off in a Children's Garden with a large Pizza oven in it.
Their will be new plants unveiled at Chelsea like the Bill Bailey Nepenthe (Pitcher Plant I call it), a Dahlia Ian Hislop, Princess Anne Rose, and a Lily Allan Orange Lily..
There are Show gardens, Urban gardens, Courtyard gardens, and the vast Flower tent. I Am sure there will be lots to blog about.
One day I will get to visit it in person I hope..