Hello garden lovers and greetings from London.
I arrived back in the UK the day after Harry and Meghan’s big wedding and the city was still awash with flags, bunting, tacky tea towels and loads of good cheer!
Over the next four days I indulged all my great passions. I saw an opera recital, an excellent play and a brilliant restaging of Chess the Musical.
I was up early perusing the antique markets and snapping up bargains, as well as topping up my antiquarian garden book collection.
But the highlight of the week was definitely a visit to Chelsea Flower Show.
Given the big freeze that enveloped the UK earlier this year, covering vast areas with ice and snow, I was delighted to see that this had little impact on the quality or quantity of flora on display!
Several of the major show gardens were very engaging – I loved the Yorkshire Garden and the artisan gardens, as always, were top notch, especially A Very English Garden.
My favourite area is the Great Floral Pavilion and I was not disappointed – a feast for the senses! The scent of the roses and hyacinths was intoxicating and the eye-popping colour of the gladiolis, liliums, chrysanthemums and lupins was brilliant.
My favourite was the dahlia exhibit by the National Collection. So much colour and so many varieties – my only regret is that I couldn’t bring any home!
All the big names from gardening TV shows were there – Monty Don, Carol Klein, Alan Titchmarsh, and many more - I was even filmed by the BBC ‘smelling the roses’ but no doubt this will hit the cutting room floor!
I also visited the world-renowned Kew Gardens to see the Temperate House after its five-year restoration.
It’s the largest Victorian glasshouse in the world, built in 1862, and home to an important collection of international temperate plants, including numerous Australian species such as the Wollemi Pine.
On my way home, I had a stopover in Singapore to visit the amazing Gardens by the Bay.
The major attractions are the Flower Dome - a massive conservatory focused on different world regions, the Cloud Forest - a 35 metre mountain/vertical garden and waterfall and the skyway running through the Supertrees.
I returned in the evening for the stunning light and sound show, a most spectacular sight!
I also visited the famed National Orchid Garden with over 12,000 species on display.
I boarded my return flight, foot sore but intoxicated with the fragrance and sated by the floral feast of not only the last few days, but the previous four weeks of garden explorations!
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