I kicked off the “Season” yesterday with a fine day at Chelsea Flower Show, as you do. I know for sure that the years are catching me up when my enjoyment of this event grows with each passing year. It can’t be long before I am a crashing gardening bore, although I haven’t even got a garden yet; they cost about £200,000 where I live with barely room for a wafer-thin border.
The Chelsea Flower Show is a slow, subtle hoot. It is all so quaint and antiquated and ever so, ever so white. It is like stepping back in time when everything was so much safer and quiet. It must be the only public event left that you can go to without being scanned or frisked.
Highlight for me this year was the hornbeam trees in the Best In Show Laurent Perrier garden designed by Tom Stuart-Smith. I want some hornbeams now. I saw a bonsai hornbeam in the Pavillion so maybe that is the answer. I also want a tank of that pink bubbly his sponsors were splashing around after Tom won. Yes, a glass of pink under my very own miniature hornbeam in my micro garden, that’ll do.
I had a fleeting chat with the maestro himself – Alan Titchmarsh. It is hilarious watching the older ladies fiddling with their digital cameras with tembling, liver-spotted hands whenever he is near. He really is a heartthrob.
One minor revelation was finding out why dear, dear Alan is so faultlessly fluent on those seemingly ad-libbed links from those little gardens: he has a mini autocue slotted onto the camera.