I haven’t been to the Chelsea Flower show for a few since, well since my Accessorize days, when I used to go to photograph flowers and get inspiration for window displays and press days. So I was really pleased to be going this year, especially as I saw so many brands partaking in the Chelsea in Bloom competition last year and never got to see any of the displays in person. Also I saw this year that brands such as M&S, Harrods and L’Occitane were sponsoring and helping support garden designs and displays. So this interested me a lot.
Having recently moved to a more rural location in the Oxfordshire countryside, and with both my husband and I being avid gardeners too, flowers, fauna and foliage really interest us. We love nothing more than a relaxing weekend in the garden tending to our plants and vegetables – so a show like this is not only inspiring from a work perspective but also a personal one too! I’m not saying that our garden will ever match some of the amazing gardens you’d see at Chelsea, but we can take a few ideas I’m sure!
Well it really didn’t disappoint. What a show! It was packed, and extremely sunny which was lovely. Mum and I enjoyed the Artisan section with quirky and unusual displays such as a Mini in an underground parking area to a bed made of flowers, it was also nice to see all the traders selling all manner of garden ephemera.
Then we got to the Show gardens, where we saw everything from stone and modern displays, to architecture, wild gardens, Asian inspired ponds, topiary and tonal flowers sat in front of coordinated doors. Popped a selection of our favourites below for you to take a look at!
Next we went into the floral display competition area, where we saw some outstanding flower arrangements.
We then went to the Poppy display, which was breathtaking. Wow it just blew me away, the red colour was intense, it almost radiated off the landscape and it was a very emotional experience. The photos say it all about it’s important message and had a really profound effect on me. It also made me wish I’d got to see the Poppy display at the Tower of London and got chance to purchase a ceramic poppy.
Next we moved onto some of the other displays just outside the main Pavillion. How amazing are these topiary animals? Who doesn’t want a topiary Panda in their garden? Ok well maybe they’re not for everyone, but they made me smile anyway, and they’re a nice idea for a Kids window.
I was super excited to see more inventive displays inside the Pavillion, such as these incredible football boots made out of flowers, this beautifully crafted hummingbird and this show-jumper. It really is amazing what people can create out of foliage and flowers!
Some of the flowers themselves need no display, they are literally beautiful just as they are, in their natural form. Like these Clematis, Alstrameria, and Alliums.
More amazing displays, this time with a very tropical and colourful theme, and some of these I could imagine in a Selfridges or Harvey Nichols window display. They are incredible, so intricate and detailed. Real works of art! Especially these detailed head-pieces, which look like they should be in a gallery. They are so dramatic, and have a Rio Carnival look to them I think.
Then we took a trip through the most amazing 1940’s conservatory, to step onto the Belmond British Pullman train, to experience it as it went from a classic to tropical clime. As some of you may know I have done a campaign shoot on this exact train, at it’s depot in London, for Phase Eight’s Collection 8 SS16 campaign. So it was exciting to be back on the beautiful carriage Zena, as well as seeing it decked out as if going on a journey. That is one thing that is on my bucket list, is a trip on that train and then to get it to link up to the Orient Express in France for the trip of a lifetime.
We then walked over to, well my favourite display of the whole show, the Victorian Conservatory. This whole display sums up my style, and really was a visual feast incorporating everything I love. Such as the conservatory itself, with eclectically decorated frames, mirrors, iron work, gate and the interior filled with unusual decor that was then decorated with foliage and incredible flower displays. It really caught my attention and imagination, and has given me some ideas of how I would like to decorate our new wooden greenhouse, and perhaps get some more quirky outdoor elements, such as stone, metal work and get plants growing up and around them. I really could just stare at these images for ages and not get bored, there is so much to see, it’s so intriguing and a space I actually love. Anyone that knows me and my style, will totally get why I love this so much!
After such a gorgeous day walking around, I felt not only inspired to come home and create little bits of what I saw in my own garden. I also felt inspired from a design and creative perspective. It’s given me some great ideas for displays, and I am sure it’s inspired a new range of Decorque cards! So watch this space….