Rebecca Smith - Garden design & consultancy

Chelsea Flower Show - highlights from the Great Pavilion 2014

The Great Pavilion is always full of the most brilliant displays by some of the countries finest nurseries. If you only go to Chelsea for an hour, I would suggest spending that hour inside the marquee...

lupins from West County Nurseries

2014 may have been the year of the lupin at Chelsea. Above is Lupinus 'Masterpiece' from Westcountry Nurseries, which was used to great effect by Chris Beardshaw in his Chelsea Show Garden in 2013. 

The display of lupins at the Westcountry Nursery stand is beautiful; an extensive range of jewel tones that should be used as border classics, to be planted with geraniums, alchemilla, roses and delphiniums. I will certainly be adding these to the growing list of plants NEEDED for the new garden here at Wyck Farmhouse...


Moving slowly along, I was then stopped by the most lush display of pelargoniums from Fibrex Nurseries. This is one of my must-have plants for containers and the scented-leaf varieties are my favourites.

Little Gem scented leaf pelargonium

I am definitely in a pink mood for our garden here and this 'Little Gem' is not too bright, not too harsh and has the most divinely scented leaves. The leaves smell like sliced lemon when you rub them between your fingers and that alone is a great reason to have this plant in your garden!

Fibrex display at Chelsea

But if pink is not your thing, the range of colours run from deepest dark purple through reds to clear pinks and whites. There are literally hundreds to choose from!

Pelargonium Imperial Butterfly

The highlight of the Grand Pavilion for many is the displays of primula auricula by W&S Lockyear. They were joined this year by Chelsea first-timers Drointon Nurseries from Ripon and the displays from both nurseries were stunning.

Drointon Nurseries auricula theatre

There are so many of the little beauties to choose from and I can see why no one can stop at buying just the one and that they had to create theatres in which to display these flowering jewels...

W&S Lockyear display

Auricula 'Admiral'

Primula auricula 'Nonchalance'

From across the marquee the scent wafting from the display by J.S. Pennings 'De Bilt' and their hyacinths is divine, the sweet smell is spring is intoxicating and their display is mouth-watering.

hyacinths from Pennings

I am not a huge fan of hyancinths planted out in the garden but for pots and containers they cannot be beaten. The sweet scent is ideal next to a frequently used doorway and for some who find the scent cloying indoors just the taste of it on passing is enough. I tend to put them by our front door and when they are finished flowering the get planted into the cutting garden for use indoors as cut flowers the following year if I am lucky and the pheasants have not eaten them all!

Hyacinth 'Hollyhock'

The bulb growers and suppliers work magic in their Chelsea displays and the hanging amarylis from Warmenhoven was beautiful.

hanging amaryllis at Warmenhoven

And these alliums are another that I NEED for the garden here...

Allium 'Pinball Wizard' from Warmenhoven Nursery

Hooksgreen Herbs and The World of Beatrix Potter combined forces to create an enchanting (in their own words) herb garden which lived up to its name...

Beatrix Potter Garden

I realise the photos do not do it justice but I would have had to physically remove a bus-load of (ahem) gardening seniors from in front of me which would not have gone down well...

Mr MacGregors Greenhouse

And finally, the winner of myown category of Best Display Vegetables EVER is this garden:

Would you die of pride if this was your patch or allotment? I would!

super veg

Next time: roses, sweet peas and more from Chelsea...


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