Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Postcard from Chelsea: Medals day

The Daily Telegraph's garden by Swedish landscape architect Ulf Nordfjell: this year's top garden, winning one of just three gold medals and Best in Show, by a whisker from Luciano Giubbilei's garden next door, so they say.

Here's one of his plantings: Iris 'Superstition' over carpets of Stachys byzantina, with those firework-like Eremurus shooting up above. It's elegant, mannered, exquisitely beautiful... I confess, it didn't do it for me. A bit too cool and restrained, I think. But it's absolutely perfect, and an extraordinary creation.


LittleGreenFingers said...

I'm with you on the 'cool and restrained' and I would have given it to Luciano Unpronounceable whose structure and planting was beautiful (even though the plants would have been over or overgrown in a month, but why not treat it as the world's largest, and poshest wondowbox I say).

WHat did you think to the rest?

VP said...

It didn't do it for me either - I thought there wasn't enough contrast between the stone and a lot of the planting. A lovely garden, but somehow souless in spite of the Eremurus fireworks.

More to come on this later...

So sorry I didn't get to see you yesterday, we didn't have time to get anywhere near the RHS Press tent :(

The Constant Gardener said...

Yep, I was with Luciano The Unpronounceable as well. Loved that peony-and-fennel combo. But as it was later pointed out to me, would you like to be the one who has to maintain those hedges?!!

My "why didn't it do better" garden though is the Foreign & Colonial Investments' Garden - the one Tom Hoblyn did with the swamp and all those utterly ravishing sarracenias. Truly lovely, one of my favourites, but it only got a silver. Sometimes you don't know what they're looking for.

I like Chelsea this year - I think the whole credit crunch thing has given it a shot in the arm. I adore Sarah Eberle's little low-budget gardens and I think the Pavilion is better than ever. As ever I think the Courtyard Gardens rather steal the show - particularly like the Fenland Alchemist, it's full of species plants and shows off how lovely they look in comparison to their blowsier offspring.

Just don't talk to me about plasticine. I have no idea what to even think about that.

The Constant Gardener said...

oh that's funny VP, you must have been commenting at just the same time as me :D

sorry not to catch up with you either - it would have been lovely! hope you had a great day though. And with a bit of luck we'll coincide one day for that cuppa!

VP said...

We spent most of the show shaking our heads and going - why did that get a silver gilt and that on a gold? But then, we're not the judges.

For me the Foreign & Colonial garden was the biggest surprise: I couldn't make head or tail of it from the submitted drawing, but it was surprisingly good.

As for the plasticine - it had the biggest crowd of all when we were there and lots of smiles on everyone's faces. Just goes to show you can't tell sometimes what will be a crowd pleaser!

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