Postcards from CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW 2011


Sunday, May 29, 2011

The 157,000 visitors to the Chelsea Flower Show voted on their favorite large garden and the winner was Diarmuid Gavin.  It was my favorite too!

I have always loved Diarmuid’s Irish charm as well as admired his design skills.  Perhaps the judges felt that Diarmuid’s previous gardens were too whimsical. In his “Irish Sky Garden” Diarmuid has come into his own as a serious, sophisticated designer with a great knowledge of design history.  He credits the futuristic film Avatar, the landscapes of Capability Brown, Charles Jencks and the cardinals of the Italian Renaissance as his inspiration. His futuristic pod garden filled with flowers and toped with a rolling English lawn reminiscent of the Telly Tubbies floats suspended over an elegant green garden with sweeping ribbons of boxwood and Carpinus clipped to perfection, grasses, photinias, bamboos and 25 ink black circular pools of water.  Diarmuid’s aim was not to start a rash of floating garden construction but to create something so beautiful that the visitors would smile and go home says “I went to Chelsea  and saw something amazing”.  It was amazing and everyone is still smiling!

The crane use to “float” the sky garden


What I found so interesting about the publics favorite small garden of lovely Yorkshire stone is that it celebrates another  English favorite pass time,  painting landscapes.  The lovely garden with its real Hepworth sculpture is presented as being recorded with both a Turneresque watercolor & stand and an iPad in the tradition of David Hockney’s current art work.


Vanessa Redgrave came for the official introduction of Harkness Nursenry’s rose named in honor of her daughter, Natasha Richardson.


The ultimate in tacky, blue shag carpet & a melting ice sculpture.

Any plant can be made into a topiary….

Or a Bonsai…..

Remember the smell of the plants is an important factor in designing a garden.

A little charm and whimsy in a sea of green is good…..

Yellow plants can be used to create a sunny corner or

A spectacular statement of color in the garden.

A pavilion for meditation or tea after the gardening is done…..

A beautiful corner of the garden for the practice of yoga for those with energy.

Three of our wonderful camera men preparing for the day at Chelsea

Paul Harper, my favorite cameraman and I getting a good start to a long 14 hour day!

Mother always said “Have a good breakfast”.  HAVE A GREAT DAY!