One of the most spectacular aspects of Chelsea is the incredible floral and horticultural displays inside the main marquee.
Talk about FLOWER SHOW, OMFG, it was remarkable. Some of the stands were small than I had envisioned, but to see the array of displays and the meticulous detail exhibitors showcase in their stands is really first rate.
The crowds were insane! Even during press day and then the first members day, the show grounds and the marquee were jammed packed full of enthusiastic plant lovers trying to catch a glimpse of every display. It was wall-to-wall old lady after old lady sprinkled in a mix of men: supportive husbands, hardcore plantsmen, gay couples and even young children which I always seem to look out for.
Speaking of children, one of the highlights of the marquee for me wasn't a botanical display, but a pair of young garden enthusiast who I enjoyed chatting with as they shared information about the display they helped put together. I asked them questions about what their favorite plants were and to get a response like, "Oh, how could I choose. I love them all! THE GERBERAS! I'd have to say the Gerbera daisies because they add so much colour" the young 8 year old boy stated. What 8-year old freakin' knows what a gerbera is?!!! It was awesome!
Bulbs were in full display and are well represented in Chelsea:
I've become fonder and fonder of Flowering Onions (Allium) and the assortment on display was remarkable.
Daffodils in late May are an extraordinary sight and getting these varieties to flower all at the same time is no easy feat!
Tulips as well; getting these to flower all at the same time is exceedingly difficult, but when you do it each year, you've got it down, but often nature can easily throw a curve-ball at you and something you had originally wanted to showcase calls for a change in plans:
So, this remarkable tulip is called 'Wow'. No, seriously, that's what it's called simply because when anyone sees it, they think "HOLY MOTHER OF....., WHAT IS THAT??!"
You just can't help but think about just how bizarre and exotic this is! Sadly the quality of the flowers and stems weren't up to the quality of the overall exhibit so they nixed these and I had to ask the exhibitor to sneak behind the prep area to snap a photo!
A flower show experience would not be complete without me getting to see and experience the wonderful world of Lilium and, boy, was I in for a treat:
Lilies have always had a place in a show like this and for good reason. The extravagant flowers are eye-catching and the fragrance of many of them just draws you in and makes you fall in love with them. Again, a huge challenge to get them to flower all at the same time, these arrangements showcases mostly cut flowers varieties which are long lasting both in the vase and out in the garden. And another display really showcases the diversity of Lilies and how far they've come in just the last few years in recent developments in breeding for new and exciting varieties.
This display was remarkable in that it represented lilies that normally would bloom at different times during the summer. From early Asiatics to the late-blooming Orientals (varieties like the common 'Stargazer' or 'Casablanca' to the hybrids between them. It was outstanding!
Introduced last year and certainly still making waves is a lily that I'm DYING to get on this side of the pond based on the raves and reviews I've heard about this most special hybrid:
Let me introduce Lilium 'Kushi Maya':
Bred from the rare and exotic Lilium nepelense, this hybrid combines the coloration and bloom placement of the species with the flower size and vigor of a modern day hybrid (in this case, an oriental x trumpet cross). The scent is enchanting and absolutely remarkable and I'm dying to secure a few bulbs this fall.
I have never seen carnivorous plants the way I admired them at Chelsea because they were quite prominent and each display was simply outrageous!
Nepenthes and other exotics were in full display.
As are pitcher plants and fly traps!
And, again, no detail is overlooked! Not a strand of moss missplaced!
Ok, overwhelmed yet?? I'll stop for now and give you some time to process this...haaha