Greetings from Cheshire!
I'm currently staying with my friend, Shaun Barton, at his home near Manchester and it's been quite an experience here so far.
London and the Chelsea Flower Show was outstanding in many aspects no matter how critical others have been about the show.
I feel like I accomplished what I really wanted from it. Simply being there was a thrill and it really gave me such insight on the British approach towards the "glorifying" of its plants, gardens, and even gardeners. The media coverage was unbelievable, yet when I looked at most of the displays, I often find it comparable to what I've encountered before with flower and garden shows in the states.
Taking the train up here to where I'm currently staying and being driven around by Shaun has been so pleasant, humbling, and overall remarkable.... minus the lack of a reliable internet connection, camera and laptop batteries not charging properly, and a bitch of a canker sore that's aching severely and has the left side of my face almost paralyzed. I've visited several gardens and nurseries with Shaun and met plantsmen that have been so insightful, charismatic, and truly inspiring. Driving around the countryside with the rolling green hills, hedgerows, and farms was also captivating and something I will always feel connected to.
I've much to share, but not much time now as I need to get more quality sleep as I head back to London tomorrow to finish off my trip before flying back to the States.
Thank you all for your patience and I hope you'll check in soon with more observations and awesome photos of my experiences here!