All About the Chelsea Flower

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The Chelsea Flower Show has been a staple of my schedule since 2009, and this year is no different. I will attend the press day on Monday, May 22, when it is not uncommon to sniff a particularly fragrant Rose in the grand Pavilion, to discover that you are standing next to Lorraine Kelly or Benedict Bumberbatch’s mother or a footballer you only half recognize. I’m going to record for On The Ledge Podcast and write a quick reaction article for Gardens Illustrated online.

Just as exciting, I will be at the fair on Friday, May 26th, appearing on the monument stage in the grand Pavilion at noon and 3pm, talking about leaf legends, women and Horticulture, and more. Please come if you are at the fair that day.

I’ll round up some houseplant highlights in the next issue of the Plant Ledger newsletter, but if you don’t have tickets and are in the UK, check out the events section below for more herbal events coming up this week.

It is worth remembering that Chelsea is not bread and butter when it comes to horticulture. The show has only recently begun to embrace the world of indoor plants (see also last week’s issue of The Plant Ledger on how indoor plants are sometimes denigrated by the wider world of horticulture), for a. And people are often surprised to find that you can’t really buy a lot of plants at the fair, unless you have tickets for Saturday, when the crazy crowd of sales takes place on the last day.

I have to give my annual advice that your garden (inside or outside) will never look like a Chelsea show garden, and that’s okay. I originally wrote this piece because all the perfection of plants made me feel bad about my own far from perfect garden, let alone my houseplants.

As someone with a book, a Newsletter and an indoor garden Podcast, I sometimes feel immense pressure to have an immaculate indoor plant collection. In reality, it is a preservative egg – well in some parts. I probably have too many plants compared to the time I have to take care of them, and I still crave the very temporary dopamine boost of a new plant purchase when I should reach the deeper satisfaction of taking care of the plants I already have.

However, thinking back to old photos of my indoor plants or my garden, I am always surprised how, over time, I can say that it was actually much more beautiful and rewarding than I thought at the time. So I’m trying to live in the moment with my plants and appreciate them now as they are, warts and all. Or more precisely, parasites and everything. This is something I will remember when I visit Chelsea next week.

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