Celebrating Chelsea

And it’s off … almost. The 100th Chelsea Flower Show opens in London on May 21 and runs for 5 days.

Daily Telegraph writer, and exhibitor, Bunny Guinness takes a look at the show’s pedigree, plants and prestige ahead of this gardening showcase she calls “arguably the greatest flower show in the world”.

The show is asking for public votes to choose the Plant of the Centenary and the Royal Horticultural Society website has the list of candidate plants – one for each decade – and a “plant champion” (born in the same decade) talking about it on video.

And here’s the link to the official website with stories, photos and videos – and plenty about the winning gardens when the judging is finished.Oh yeah, the ban on garden gnomes in the exhibition gardens has been lifted!

New Zealand is represented at the show – former Christchurch garden designer Rosemary Coldstream, who is based in Hertfordshire, has her Koru Garden in the Fresh Gardens category, while the Cloudy Bay Discovery Garden takes its inspiration from the Marlborough setting of the vineyard.

Here’s a gallery of photos of the last 100 years of the flower show.

Don’t forget the gold medal garden of the 2004 show – the Garden of Pure Ora – has been reconstructed at Taupo Museum and is open to visit. This was the first New Zealand garden to win gold at the show. See the Open Gardens page for details.

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