chelsea flower show 2016 blog reviewI'd been hearing about how wonderful The Chelsea Flower Show was for quite a few years and so when the opportunity arose to pop along this year, I was both curious and excited!  It was of particular interest as last year I visited the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and so was keen to see how the two compared.  So, yesterday afternoon I set off under cloudy skies to Chelsea, and joined the flocks of people travelling in to the show, each ready to immerse themselves in a sea of flowers...
Garage Garden Chelsea Flower Show 2016
Crowds at Chelsea Flower Show 2016

The Viking Cruises Mekong Garden RHS
Thankfully, I wasn't walking into this experience blind; my mum has religiously attended for the past decade and so she had a pretty good idea about how best to manoeuvre through the show and soak up some of the 'best bits'!  This began with advising me to park us over at Battersea Park's car park and arrange to catch one of the coaches travelling between the park and the show - such a time saver and easily arranged.  So, one coach journey and a quick queue later, and I found myself immersed in both flowers and people... can you think of a more extreme word for busy?  That said, the crowds somehow add to the show's charm by showing just how rightly popular it is!
Chelsea Flower Show 2016 review
RHS Chelsea Flower Show cloudy day
Orchid Tunnel Chelsea Flower Show 2016
Pink Orchid Tunnel Chelsea Flower Show 2016
Before anything, a snack break was on the cards.  And yes, I realise how ridiculous that sounds considering we'd only just arrived!  Seriously though, I can't be the only one who likes to acclimatise by sitting down for a muffin?  Anyway, after chatting away to a fascinating Scottish couple, we began exploring some of which I'd seen tweets about earlier this week. This included some of the most popular of artisan gardens including The Viking Cruises Mekong Garden and a garden aimed at the classic car enthusiasts, The Garage Garden designed by Kazuyuki Ishihara.  The latter (shown further above) featured a two-tier structure designed to complement the vehicle and well, mission accomplished!

Something I discovered that I surprisingly hadn't been aware of beforehand, was the fantastic Orchid Tunnel by Love Orchids UK.  It was impossible to walk through the pretty in pink tunnel without feeling the urge to whip out your camera and capture the beauty - truly, it was breathtakingly beautiful!
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016 blogger
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016 guitar art
Emily Smith Bath College Chelsea Flower Show
Chelsea Flower Show April Bennett Headdress
Fast forward to the early hours of the evening and we came across an incredible display of floral headdresses, each designed and arranged by floristry college students on a Brazilian theme in honour of the Rio Olympics.  Immediately, my eye was drawn to the flamboyant mohican design by Emily Smith of Bath College, along with the stunning headdress shown directly above.  Featuring fluffy pampas grass, this design by April Bennett of Bluebells of Henley was never without a small crowd.  Seriously, have you ever seen anything like it in your life?  Amazing!
Interflora Open Church RHS Chelsea 2016
Interflora Open Church RHS Chelsea
Chelsea Flower Show 2016 Blog reviewBe still my beating heart.  A church featuring floral church bells and suspended chandeliers?  Yes please!  This 'Open Church' has been created by Interflora to 'showcase the amazing skills and creativity' of their florists.  It stands at over 5 feet tall and wonderfully embellishes the architectural skeleton of an elegant church.  A ton of flowers were used in its making, and the result is truly spectacular - just ask anyone who was standing before it, looking up in awe!
RHS Chelsea 2016 review
RHS Chelsea 2016 blog photography
Chelsea Flower Show knitted poppiesOne of the most popular sights at this year's Chelsea Flower Show and that of which has gained the most online attention, is the stretch of knitted poppies creating a red-carpet effect across the entrance to Chelsea Hospital.  It's pretty amazing to see in person and served as the final 'exit sight' before making our way back out of the show.  Speaking of which, there's a number of stalls lining one of the pathways shrouded by trees, and many of which offer some wonderfully unique items.  After purchasing a stunning red and gold nut/olive bowl, I wandered over to another stall and found at a closer glance, the framed field of bluebells designed by Alison Holt (shown below) had been created by needlework!
Crowds at RHS Chelsea 2016
Alison Holt artwork at RHS Chelsea
Entrance to RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016
RHS Chelsea Flower Show tickets 2016As you'll no doubt have gathered from this post, I'm now a huge fan of The Chelsea Flower Show - I can't believe this is only my first visit!  It's a brilliant way of surrounding yourself with likeminded people who appreciate the varied beauty of nature, as well as simply enjoying a flower-packed day out.  Will I be returning next year?  Definitely!

With love,

Gabrielle x