Growbags Chelsea Choice #5 – David Austin Roses

If you’re prepared to be led by the nose round The Great Pavilion at the Chelsea Flower Show, it will inevitably lead you to the fabulous David Austin rose stand which pumps out swooningly enticing perfumes from its hundreds of roses. The David Austin pedigree is awesome – he developed his first English rose – ‘Constance Spry’ – in 1961, won his first Chelsea Gold in 1984, and has won 21 of them since.  And it all sprang from the genius-idea of combining the beauty, scent and romance of Old Roses with the huge colour-range and repeat-flowering ability of Hybrid...

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Growbags’ Chelsea Choice #4 Heyland and Whittle

As regular readers of our blog will know, we three Growbags have in the past operated our own award system for the Chelsea Flower Show, not gold and silver gilts for us, but categories such as ‘best overheard comment’ and our ‘what da?’ moment. For two years running my award for ‘the best moment of the show’ went to my visit to the LADIES where Heyland and Whittle provide gratis the most luscious soap and hand creams. I love the shared atmosphere of female decision making as we dither between Wild Lemongrass and Olive and Fig Handwash.  So bound up is my...

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Growbags’ Chelsea Choice #3 – Binny Plants

Celebrating 25 years at Chelsea this year, Binny Plants from Scotland’s Central Belt are peony royalty. Owner Billy Carruthers is almost reason enough to visit the stand (he was definitely a Chelsea highlight for us as you can see!) but even if you only like peonies just a tiny bit – you’re in for such a treat. He’s got over 300 varieties in the old walled garden of the Binnie Estate (growing in peat-free compost because that’s the way Billy rolls). If you can imagine a well-run nursery hidden away in the ruin of a grand estate, itself surrounded...

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Growbags’ Chelsea Choice #2 – Twool

I bought this fantastic handbag at Chelsea Flower Show last year, but it looks as good now as it did then despite being my constant companion (it’s coped better than my husband in this respect). Picture the scene if you will. I was being supervised by my sister Laura as we trawled the trade stands on the final day at Chelsea looking for something with legacy to give big sister Elaine’s new grandson, Stanley, born just hours earlier –  That’s when we came across the Twool stand and all thoughts of being a generous great-aunt evaporated – suddenly it...

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