In full bloom – The charm of the Chelsea Flower Show

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8th June 2017
Vibrant wild flowers in field

With British summertime now in full bloom, some of nature’s most delicate and beautiful creations are bursting with colour and fragrance – you guessed it, flowers. And when the RHS Chelsea Flower Show unveiled their amazing ‘Feel Good Gardens’ late last month, it inspired our wonderful guest blogger Shirley to reflect on the creations designed to appeal to each of our five senses.

 Written by Shirley Salzedo.

This year’s Chelsea Flower Show radiated with beauty from within its gardens, using soft, beautiful blooms juxtaposed with the strong, bold architectural design of each masterpiece – showing that the people responsible for making the gardens are just as important as the flowers themselves.

I loved listening to the Chris Evans music show on BBC Radio Two broadcast live from the Chelsea Flower Show in celebration of their ‘Feel Good Gardens’ – designed to commemorate BBC Radio Two’s fiftieth year of broadcast.

Each of the five gardens were designed to appeal to and enhance one of the five senses – the Chris Evans Taste Garden, the Jo Whiley Scent Garden, the Anneka Rice Colour Cutting Garden, the Jeremy Vine Texture Garden and the Zoe Ball Listening Garden. (If you are a regular listener of Radio Two like me you’ll notice that each garden was named after a different presenter!)

My favourite of all the gardens was the Taste Garden, who also received the seal of approval from Mary Berry, a Royal Horticultural Society Ambassador, who spent some time making cakes inspired by the gardens at the show.

I also loved the Scent Garden that seemed packed full of beautiful aromas, sure to ignite the senses. Seeing such beautiful works of art reminds me so much of my late father who always made beautiful gardens, which I appreciated so much. It was lovely to hear the National Youth Orchestra playing too – both my parents felt that flowers responded to music.

The Listening Garden was perhaps the most intriguing of them all – we’ve all experienced feeling the vibration of music and different beats when they’re played through a speaker, right? Well that’s exactly what this garden did. While there was no audible noise, the garden was designed to recreate the sensation of feeling music as it goes right through your body – displaying visible water patterns in water features throughout the garden and through vibrations in the floor. Incredible!

I also admired the garden created by Maggie’s – a charity supporting people affected by Cancer, who showcased their garden for the first time at this year’s show. I felt that this garden had a real air of peace and tranquil beauty. The tunnel, flowers and water feature with a seated area really represented the idea of new life, growth and renewal. Having had Cancer myself in the past, this garden was of particular significance to me, proving that there is life after recovering from Cancer. The stillness and wonder of the growing flowers and plant life was truly memorable. The garden will now be transferred for the enjoyment of patients at Barts Hospital. Just to take time to sit and be in the company of others in such a beautiful garden is therapy in itself, I’m sure. I loved the thought that even beyond the Chelsea Flower Show the gardens and flowers will be used elsewhere for the therapeutic care of others. Nothing will go to waste.

The combination of water and flowers within the gardens was something truly special – I love water features and feel at peace when surrounded by the beauty of water and the sea. And as my late father who loved being surrounded by nature would say ‘we all need to dig the earth.’

Stephanie Stone

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