Water Display Steam Chelsea Flower Show 2018
Warning: if you don't swoon over the sight of masses of brightly-coloured blooms, best turn away now!  So, we've now come to the end of this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show and once again it's been absolutely spectacular.  Breathtakingly beautiful floral displays, innovative exhibits and more colour than you could possibly know what to do with.  Heaven.  I attended earlier in the week this year and thankfully caught the gorgeous weather by doing so; hello summer dress and cold drinks.  Looking back on this year's experience of the show, there were some definite standout features for me.  If you enjoy reading A Glass Of Ice, the chances are these will be somewhat 'standout' features for you too and so, enjoy!  If the overwhelming mass of flowers becomes too much for you, stare at a blank wall for a little while before returning to browse...

F O O D

Firstly, as is the case with all decent personal accounts, let's focus on the food.  Mmm.  I'll be the first to admit I'm not the most adventurous when it comes to food and so the champagne and seafood stand wasn't quite calling my name.  The muffins, however? Delicious.  This year's general café food was hands down the best it's been so far.  Should you be visiting next year, if you're looking for minimal fuss and plenty of taste, track down the indoor café serving sandwiches and cake, or alternatively, tuck into fish and chips from the Bandstand area!  Oh and don't worry, there's plenty of ice cream and Pimms to be enjoyed as well.     
Vintage Truck Covered in Wild Flowers

M & S   F L O W E R   M A R K E T

If you took a peek at my blog last weekend, you'll remember the outdoor garden party scene I created for Marks & Spencer.  You'll also know I had been hugely looking forward to checking out their exhibit in the Grand Pavilion at this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show!  In short, it certainly didn't disappoint.  The exhibit emitted a definite sense of authenticity, having taken inspiration from British Flower Markets, and 'The Floral Market' signage was a very sweet touch.   
M&S The Floral Market Chelsea Flower Show 2018
M&S Floral Market at Chelsea Flower Show 2018
M&S Flower Wall at Chelsea Flower Show 2018
Best Exhibits at Chelsea Flower Show 2018 Marks & Spencer

T H E   G R A N D   P A V I L I O N  :  O T H E R   F A B U L O U S   F E A T U R E S

Anyone else find themselves forever drawn to marquees?  The Grand Pavilion must have some sort of gravitational pull, because within 10 minutes of having entered the show, I always find myself wandering around the undercover exhibits.  Pretty sure others feel the same too as it's always so busy there!  One of my favourite finds in The Grand Pavilion this year included the South African exhibit featuring a floral representation of Cape Town made from tin cans.  Incredibly, South Africa have now won 36 Gold Medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show - this year included!  Another of my favourite features that appealed to my more romantic side, was the Fleur Boutique (Silver-gilt award winner).  The white roses, orchids and chrysanthemums enveloped in a bird cage and surrounded by a grand 'stone' folly were spectacular and somehow managed to combine my wildest dreams of pre-Raphaelite paintings with A Midsummer's Night Dream vibes (albeit a cheerier, brighter vision), with a splash of wedding-planning thrown in for good measure.  I don't know, but it was heavenly.
South Africa Exhibit Grand Pavilion at Chelsea Flower Show 2018
Fleur Boutique Exhibit Chelsea Flower Show 2018
Award Winning Exhibit at Chelsea Flower Show 2018
What to Wear Warm Weather Chelsea Flower Show 2018

W E D D I N G   T H R O N E S

Ah, one of my favourite elements of the occasion has always been the Chelsea Flower Show's Young Florist of the Year competition. Incredible talent for such young florists!  I really enjoyed the headdresses theme of 2016, however, wedding thrones?  Of course that's going to become my new favourite!  I've shared a couple of the most eye-catching thrones below, both of which were award-winners.
Chelsea Flower Show Young Florist of The Year Competition Thrones
Thrones Young Florist Competition Chelsea Flower Show 2018
Tropical Pink Flowers at the Chelsea Flower Show 2018

T H E   D A V I D   H A R B E R  &  S A V I L L S   G A R D E N

No wonder such crowds were gathering around this exhibit!  Modern sculptures contrasted beautifully with gentle flowers typically found in British gardens.  The water feature was another eye-catching draw and one that definitely shot the popular exhibit up to the very top of my list.  Love.  Anyone else smitten with the striking turquoise and gold colour combination below?
Chelsea Flower Show 2018 The David Harber and Savills Garden Exhibit
Chelsea Flower Show Turquoise and Gold Artwork Dabid Harber
Award-winning Flower Exhibits at Chelsea Flower Show 2018

S K I N   D E E P   E X H I B I T

As much as I adore historic, italianate architecture, occasionally my heart screams for minimal design featuring clean lines and a clean aesthetic.  Ask and Skin Deep will deliver!  Created by the established UK skin company, the exhibit represents people with varying skin conditions that we all encounter.  The garden hopes to show that although we may at times feel weakened by our appearances, collectively we are not alone and so can feel stronger.  It's a beautiful concept and one showcased perfectly - it's definitely made a lasting impression on me!
Skin Deep Exhibit Chelsea Flower Show 2018

T H E   L G   E C O - C I T Y   G A R D E N 

Ooh, be still my beating heart.  I know we're discussing The Chelsea Flower Show here, but can we just take a moment to appreciate the gorgeous gold artwork placed in the centre of the below table?!  They look like fungi from here and I'm so here for it.  Anyway, the LG Eco-City Garden represents 'the green space allocated to one housing unit in a 'vertical forest' of residential apartments'.  It aims to showcase our growing dependency on technology with the consequential awareness needed of the environmental issues posed by contemporary lifestyles.  Thought-provoking, for sure.  But now back to those gold mushrooms....
LG Eco-City Garden Exhibit Chelsea Flower Show 2018
LG Eco-City Garden Exhibit Chelsea Flower Show 2018

L A C E D   W I T H   H O P E 

Keeping in theme with the show's focus of mindfulness this year, Laced With Hope helped to spread word of the charity Supershoes. It's both a wonderful concept and display, bursting with colours and truly prompting curiosity into the charity's work.  Through vibrant artwork, it shows the journey a child with a cancer diagnosis goes through.  Tiny painted trainers lined the wall at the forefront of the exhibit that truth be told, made me feel a little choked.  If you're looking for a charity to donate to, please do take a peek at their website and learn more about the fabulous work they do!
Superhoes Laced With Hope Chelsea Flower Show 2018

F I N A L   T H O U G H T S . . . 

As shown in both the first and last photos in this post, the Wuhan Water Garden is an indisputable crowdpleaser, and quite possibly my favourite feature of this year's Chelsea Flower Show!  Featuring fountains, mist spray, water rills and an array of colourful plants (with pink being the feature colour), the Wuhan Water Garden was designed to be walked around and admired from all directions.  According to the RHS website, the garden was inspired by the historic ability of Wuhan - China's 'City of 100 Lakes' - to manage and control the flood waters of the Yangtze River.
Chelsea Flower Show Wuhan Water Garden 2018Phew!  So, there we have it.  Once again, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show has been a total pleasure to attend and an annual tradition I plan to continue throughout the years.  I'd love to know whether you've ever visited before?  Does any particular exhibit from this post catch your eye?  Let me know in the comments below!

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With love,

Gabrielle x