From Louboutins to Lilies, Blahniks to Begonias, and Jimmys to Jasmine…
When I first arrived in London 15 years ago as a young, arrogant, twenty-something, ignorant Chelsea twat, I had heard about the Royal Chelsea Flower Show in a magazine and really wondered what all the fuss was about and what was up with the English’s obsession with gardening. I remember ‘attending’ a dinner party in Hampstead with an ‘older’ boyfriend whose friends were all in their late 30s. One couple described their perfect Saturday morning, which involved gardening in something called an ‘allotment’ and I had thought to myself, how dull and depressing, please don’t ever let me become those people. At that time, I was more interested in dancing on tables at Boujis/China White/Cuckoo Club than to contemplate the virtues of sunlight and flowers on one’s wellbeing. Night-time ‘sprinkling’ to me was a Champagne Sprinkling contest between a French (Dom Perignon) and Italian (Cristal) table at Cuckoo rather than the night-timing of a water sprinkler. Little did I know that flowers really are a key to happiness, not clubbing.
Fast-forward 15 years of living in England, one husband, two children, and three gardens later (and years wiser), I am converted. I can easily go to bed at 9pm, enjoy watching Box Sets on Saturday night, and have become a Flower-Lover and Garden Designer (ie. I tell the Gardener what to do). My vocabulary has gone from Passion Fruit, Watermelon and Lychee Martinis to Agapanthus, Amaryllis, Gladioli, Snapdragons and Foxgloves. My Louboutins have been retired to their cardboard box and Lilies have taken their place in a window box.
And I’ve finally figured out that flowers actually do make me happier. There have been several studies done to prove that flowers have a positive emotional impact on us (http://www.epjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/ep03104132.pdf), but also makes us healthier (http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/a-healthy-new-years-resolution-how-flowers-help-with-health-happiness-the-gardenist-198835).
Gucci has followed my lead this year, and has created its own garden in the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, so off I went to the World’s Most Famous Flower Show, to find out what all the fuss is about. Once there, I finally realised that this so much more than just a flower show, this is an exhibition of art, design and creativity through the medium of flowers which will astound you just as a Zaha Hadid’s architectural sculpture will.
My favourites this year are :
The Telegraph Garden, Gold Medal, which unfortunately lost out to the Laurent Perrier Garden for Best in Show.
The Laurent Perrier Garden, Gold Medal and Best in Show Winner.
Kazuyuki Ishihara’s Artisan Garden, Gold Medal and Best Artisan Garden. He is just brilliant year after year.
Birmingham City Council’s Garden, Gold Medal and winner of the President’s Award, blends sculptures, flowers, gardening techniques and water features into one of the most stunning and remarkable gardens this year. The most awe-inspiring garden of them all.
The Thai-inspired Bunny made of Orchids.
The RHS Chelsea Winner of Plant of the Year: Hydrangea Macrolphylia
And all the other wonderful grown flowers in the Main Pavillion; hanging amaryllis, hyacinths, hydrangeas, sunflowers, hanging bulbs, bougainvilleas, roses, foxgloves, and more.
The Chelsea Flower Show is a reminder than in the midst of our urban jungles, we still have an apprecation for art and beauty in nature, and that despite our lifestyles, all we really crave is an allotment on Saturday to attend to our hydrangeas, jasmines, fuschias, and roses to share with our kids. And all that we really want to be happy are some flowers from our boyfriends/husbands/partners once in a while.
All above photos are my own, taken at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014 and belong to Notting Hill Yummy Mummy. All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2014