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Chelsea garden show


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Given the cost of getting there and the obscene prices of the gardens on display , is the Chelsea show now just a TV spectacular for the monied people and royalty to make an appearance.

Don't get me wrong the flowers etc are wonderful and I love our garden but really, is a cooking expert talking about wedding flowers really adding anything to my appreciation of gardens.

Really objected to some prat saying that, hey, she has a Moroccan garden in London.

Bet most there dont worry about bugs!!!

NB an now knackered having cut back lots of things in our 1 acre garden (UK) that I think is only beneficial to people travelling past!!

Sensibly our garden in France is less than 1000 sqm, Isn't a french garden really a veg patch? OH doesn't think so.

Both places have lovely views of the surrounding areas. Is that enough?
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It's a trade show for garden designers and purveyors of specialist plants. It is no different than say the Geneva Car show, Ideal Home at Kensington, or a thousand other shows around the world.

the big difference is that maybe because so many people have gardens and an interest - albeit passing - in plants, that it gets air time on the TV.

Just as (obtusely perhaps)

the car industry gets air time through top gear and fifth gear;

the restaurant industry through Saturday Morning Kitchen, and a host of other pseudo-cookery shows (as in all you need is a hint of fairy dust excelsior, I got mine from a small specialist store in Hampstead Heath but if you cannot find it substitute with spinach);

the property industry through Homes under the hammer, the big build and various other DIY/home improvement shows;

The second hand/auction/Car boot market through Greed on Sunday (sorry Antiques Roadshow), Fl(w)og it, Bargain hunt, Money for Nothing ....

We could of course ban them all and have broadcasting starting at 17:00 with Muffin the Mule (except that there is probably a sexual innuendo there - perhaps we need to exchange for a potter's wheel) and close down at 22:00 - Good Night everybody, Good Night!

Good Night Dicky boy, Good Night!
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"Good Night Dicky boy, Good Night! "

That is not called for. I hope that this site is not subject to personal insults.


A much better trade show for those interested.

I suppose my question was how much does one take these shows as applicable to the average person rather than pure entertainment. does France have similar?

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Apart from the Gardeners World show at the NEC, Birmingham and perhaps the Malvern Show, which are more about buying good, cheap plants, most of the RHS shows are pure fantasy vehicules and as Andy says, showcases for garden designers / the super rich.

The equivalent to Chelsea used to be at Courson near Paris, now transferred to Chantilly.http://www.domainedechantilly.com/fr/journees-plantes/

Then there's a twice-yearly bash at St Jean de Beauregard. http://www.chateaudesaintjeandebeauregard.com/les-rendez-vous/fete-des-plantes-de-printemps/

Locally to 47/32/33 we have various rare plant fairs but no show gardens, just plant sales.
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Villandry's not a little bit french..it's the epitome of French gardening ;-) Which is fine if you are interested in fruit and veg or parterres! Us Brits, though, well we have a long history of being able to cultivate a vast range of ornamental plants, to design exciting and imaginative gardens.....Overall it's a much more relaxed style.

Les Jardins de Coursiana is French-owned but owes a lot to English influences http://www.jardinsdecoursiana.com/

as does Le Vasterival in Normandy.

https://www.vasterival.fr/ They're both worth a visit!
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No surprise for us that we’ve been pretty underwhelmed by most of what we’ve seen - but we still avidly watch most of the programmes !

The problem is that (I’m sure) TV cannot really convey enough to the viewer.

The ‘Best in Show’ was just announced & it wasn’t for us - ‘Yorkshire Garden’ was. But who are we to quarrel with experts?

We’d love to visit one year, but you find yourself asking “Would I rather spend £xxx going to Chelsea, or make our annual visit to an excellent large independent local pepiniere and buy a variety of quality plants at 30% less cost than a national garden centre chain?”

We’ll just watch the TV coverage and grumble about the absurdity of some of rhe gardens (uneven ‘lino’ floor which powers the lighting - what’s that got to do with a nice garden?)

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I've been a few times and hope to go again....it's good to see plant combinations, see new hybrids, talk to growers and experts, pick up catalogues wander around the gardens ( I like the Yorkshire one too) etc.

It also acts as a competition for nurseries and organisations and is an enjoyable day. Since I'm an RHS member I can get tickets if I remember to apply early in the year. ( which I often don't ) The only problem is that you really do have to get there as early as possible and head straight for the bit you want to see most, ( the main marquee in my case ) otherwise it gets horribly crowded.

I would like to see the show gardens have less of a fantasy aspect and more that can be translated to an average suburban garden, but there are always the small gardens for that.

It's a good, but tiring, day out if you are interested.

Maybe next year ?

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