Despite calling myself a Londoner, I still haven’t made it to the
Chelsea flower show. Despite having green-thumbed in-laws with the
prettiest cottage garden in the world (complete with Japanese section), a
multitude of tea cups sipped in their local garden center (don’t laugh,
it’s beautiful especially at Christmas) and absolute admiration for how
they coax life from winter soil. Despite watching my Dad’s tomato
plants shoot up through NZ earth through the medium of facebook. Despite
copious macro shots of open blooms in Spring glory. Despite… ok, ok,
you get the idea.
Well, this year I still haven’t walked those paths. So, instead of trudging home to my lonely blooms the other night, the glorious Clare and I slipped onto the back of a specially commissioned rickshaw and let ourselves be chauffered along the boulevards of Chelsea in Bloom.
It’s Chelsea, but not as we know it.
Strung with the glory of carnival, we meandered through Sloane Square which is currently bloom HQ, home to the free rickshaw tours (they just need to be booked in advance at the information tent), the cheery volunteers and a plethora of helpful maps.
We made our way through streets festooned with flowers, wandered through the garlands tropically decorating Duke of York Square and admired the skill that goes into creating the amazing displays.
We adored the fantastical parrot, but this kid.
We instagrammed retro strideby’s…
…discovered a few new locals…
…and joined the snap happy festival goers.
As with anything in life, it was the small, unassuming side lanes that we adored.
Lured in by amazing venetian style masks (and perhaps a little prosecco) we found ourselves snapchatting away and getting an assessment on the quality of our skincare regimens.
It went much better than either of us thought – with a bit of advice and a mental note to return for some of their incredibly smelling products – we celebrated with a touch of mezze and much giggling.
I’ve never been much of a gardener. I have an orchid that lives thanks
to a calendar reminder, a rose bush that flowers each year rising like a
thorned Venus from a clump of shrubs and a variety of wildflowers in
the garden (read: weeds) which makes me thankful for the green parks of
London, and fabulous (free!) events where you can literally stop and
smell the roses.
On until the 28th May, the Chelsea in Bloom festival is so, so very sweet.
Have you been to the Chelsea Flower Show yet?