Posts tagged Chelsea Flower Show

Chelsea Chop

For years I have been reading about the Chelsea chop. I am sure most of you already know about it, but for those who don’t, bear with me. Around the time of the Chelsea Flower Show, (the end of May), you give some of your plants the Chelsea chop, cut them back by a third to half.  This makes the stems shorter at flowering time, so you do not get the dreaded sprawl. I have a sedum that does this, every year it gets top-heavy and just falls over with a big ugly centre.  So I gave it the Chelsea chop. Not the whole thing, I wanted to compare, so I just chopped one half.  And it was so much fun I decided to try it with my  Phlox ‘David’ as well.

It might have been a bad year to try this for the first time. If we hadn’t had the drought this summer, perhaps the chopped back plants would have got taller.

The phlox was great, I had twice as many flower heads on the chopped back stems, but they were a bit short.

I think I shall try this again next year and see if they get any taller, fingers crossed there is no drought.

However the sedum was not a success in my eyes.

The chopped back side did not get the lovely dark colour it was purchased for, and the flower heads are much smaller. It will not be chopped back again.

How about you, has any one else tried the Chelsea chop?

(Still experimenting with photography, first sedum photo taken early in the morning, the second mid morning, which do you prefer?)

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Garden Visits: Glendale

Yes, I am back, hope you didn’t miss me too much, lol.  I know that you are waiting anxiously to hear all about my cruise, and I will fulfill your every desire, but first I have to let you know what I did before I left.

Lucky me, I got to visit one more garden for the Barbados Horticulture Society before the Open Garden program was finished for the season. For the season! Where has the time gone? Yikes, a side effect of getting old(er).

This was the garden of Mrs Audrey Thomas. Her garden overlooks the Rockley Golf Course and is a rainbow of colours.

  There are water features, a wall garden, a terraced flower garden and a Fernery.

The Wall

 is a mix of a succulents and flowering plants in an astonishing array of pots and baskets.

I could not imagine how many hours it would take to water all those pots, and I am sure that it is every day, the sun here can be so hot and pots dry out so fast. 

 This is such a great idea for an ‘older’ gardener,  able to garden at shoulder height, certainly is back saving and you can constantly add and move plants. These were my favourite, I love succulents,

And this one, I know I should know the name of this plant, but I am having a memory lapse, anyone else know it?

According to the Barbados Horticulture Society

 the Terrace Garden was referred to by Peter Seabrook as a “Chocolate Box Garden” when he filmed it for “Victory Garden” on PBS in Boston. 

The blaze of colour is created with annuals and shrubs.

Mrs Thomas is one of the main growers of the huge variety of beautiful and unusual foliage that has been packed and shipped for the Barbados exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show in London for the past 23 years.  As I have said before,  Barbados is a constant winner at Chelsea, and have a record to be very proud of.

Look at the beautiful bougainvillea at the front of her house.

 Not only is are the leaves variegated, but some of the flowers are two-tone as well.

 And it is gorgeous against the blue of the pergola, really shows it off.

The Fernery

 is filled with a large number of shade loving plants.

 Look at these wall, I know I have seen those building materials before, just not sure what they are. 

 The plants are sheltered from the sun with a shade cloth roof.

Although there are two water features in the Fernery,

 I found this one fascinating.

 I had noticed a large number of metal pots around the garden, and I wondered where Mrs. Thomas had found them. Talking to one of the volunteers at the garden, I found out where they came from. At first I wasn’t sure if I should share the info. I wanted to design something at KG and astonish you with my brilliance. But, it might be many years before we are able to come across, and I couldn’t leave you hanging like that.  They are discs from a plow.

Genius, I am sure my father has an old one around somewhere…


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Into the Light

I am surprised at how much I miss flowering arranging. I kind of fell into it as a career, but like most gardeners probably would, I really enjoyed playing with flowers. Where I live has beautiful gardens, with a huge team of gardeners, but I think they would frown on me outside with secateurs. But, I always have my eyes peeled for any interesting arrangements.

So you can imagine my surprise when I walked into Limegrove Mall in Holetown. The Barbados Horticultural Society was kind enough to realize that since I couldn’t get to the Chelsea Flower Show this year, they would bring it to me, at least a copy of their gold winning design.  Everyone on Barbados is very proud of them, I am constantly told at how they are always winning gold medals, and well deserved.  BHS has been competing for just over 20 years, and has 15 gold medals, that is amazing.

I tried to find out a bit more about this arrangement via Google, but failed miserably. All I could find was a couple of sentences by a local newspaper. The arrangement titled ‘Into the Light’ shows darkness moving into light through colour, style and movement.

Who know, maybe one day I will be part of the Barbados Horticultural Society’s team for Chelsea Flower Show, never say never!

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