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Chelsea Flower Show – art or science?

Okay everyone – its 2019 and the Chelsea Flower Show is definitely  ‘back in the room’. After a couple of years of Maltese quarries and giant disco balls there had to be a swing back to proper intelligent gardening and this year we had four cracking Gold Medal Show Gardens to enjoy. Top of the pile was Andy Sturgeon and it was on his stand that I was able to nominate the first of the customary 3growbags award for Best Overheard Comment. As Andy was being triumphantly feted by press and TV showing off his palette of green plants astride one...

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The Growbags award their own Chelsea Golds

If Chelsea Flower Show didn’t exist, we would have to invent it – otherwise we wouldn’t have a ceiling for our artistic gardening ambition to hurl itself against.  Much of what you see there is near-impossible to re-create, misguided or just barking-mad – but witnessing the misguided or the barking-mad is actually quite exciting, like watching Diane Abbott calculate the Treasury Budget. You will already have had it ‘up to here’ about good and bad Chelsea gardens (in a nutshell, garden plants didn’t get big medals this year – I’m sure they will have a resurgence in the future), so...

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Will they check out if not hardened off?

A few years ago the English wine industry was at serious risk of losing 75% of its multi-million pound harvest this year because a -6 frost in the south of England in the last week of April destroyed the buds.  The ones above, snapped by Laura’s husband Tim, certainly took a direct hit. It was quite a sight to see acres of hillside vineyard lit by hundreds of burners that particular night in a desperate attempt to try and raise the temperature a degree or two and save the crop. That late deep frost damaged a lot of new growth...

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