Episode 15 RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Episode 15

Similar Content

Browse content similar to Episode 15. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



The gates of the 2012 Floral Olympics have closed. The RHS


Chelsea Flower Show is over for another year. Before London sees


our athletes replace them there's time to look back at some of the


magical moments that made this year's events one of the


horticultural high points of our year. Coming up this evening:


Origin of the species. Tom Hart Dyke traces some of this year's


great plants back to their birthplace. They're for sure the


Kings and Queens of the deserts. Hugh's views, Hugh Dennis treats us


to his own look at the show this year. I have an urge to do that,


but I am worried if you push down on the tops somewhere else in the


garden something explodes. Diamond debutants, with the Jubilee


celebrations around the corner, we meet the new floral arrivals


Hello, thank you for joining us as we indulge in one last lingering


look at the best bits of Chelsea 2012. In spite of the predictions


to the contrary, this has been a vintage year, hasn't it? It's been


stunning. Plants bridled by the cold, we have seen plants around us


plants shivering and then suddenly the heat came on, winter finished a


week and a half ago and everything just burst. The flowers and foliage


faced the sun, everyone reracksed - - relaxed. It looks stunning. I


think it's a vintage year. I don't think I have ever started the week


in tweed and ended - and thermal underwear, you are right, and ended


in short sleeves. We had leaves dropping off the trees above us.


The heat has come too quick for them. It will all come right in the


end. Yes, everything corrects itself. All the plants catch up and


it's just perfect. As indeed it has been. The show gardens this year


reflected a mix of gardens, stretching back to ancient Persia


as Rachel and I discovered. The gardens of Persia emphasised


the preciousness of water and that's what Nigel Dunnett has done


here. This building at the end here, this


was inspired by those little houses you find in Italy and if you look


up inside you will see the most wonderful dry stone roof which is


rather like an egg made entirely of pieces of sandstone. It's truly


beautiful. Here the paving is more smooth. There is a practical angle


to this, as would you expect from Nigel, a man involved in the design


for the Olympic Park, all these beds here and their plantings allow


water to drain through them and into these canals on either side,


so they're part of the purification process. Also, a retaining water,


which as we know even in a drought is a precious commodity. The


planting is interesting. Grasses mixed with perennials but also


Here the white variety. In front of me bright orange which contrast


markedly with the turqoise bottom of the pond and water and I thought


who would put together orange and turqoise and then I will remember,


if you forget the name drop, when I last interviewed Claudia Schiffer


she was wearing those colours. It's the Claudia Schiffer garden really.


Well, this is a little slice of Heaven. It's the Arthritis Research


UK Garden designed about -- by Tom Hoblyn. He took inspiration from


rennaissance gardens. He has used stone and here it's rough hewn and


masculine and smooth along the bench and that side. The planting


is so beautiful. It's very much designed to cope with those arid


conditions. You have things that are silver leaf. And also little


bits of colour. The red poppy. And then at the back those five Cyprus


trees and they're balanced on the other side by the oak. This is also


a garden about water. You have three different forms. The lovely


still pool here with stepping stones.


You have the cascade at the very back. I think best of all, just


look at this, water shoots leaping across that box hedge with the


hedging as a background. Again, they just pop through the jets of


water in the back of the seating and they're lit, so at night they


really shine. It's a fabulous garden to look at, it's even better


the history in a garden, it begins with the ancient, this well head


but mixes ancient with modern. Here sits this well head on cobbles in


this forecourt with a lime tree, a good old-fashioned touch. As we


move forward, we start to get a touch more modern. Cleve says this


garden is geometical and it seems to mix all kinds of periods which


have been covered in 250 years. We come to a sunk area in the centre,


which has at each corner the most magnificent topiary spesmans on the


site this year. These are like great chessmen erupting among beds


of border perennials. Then two formal and old-fashioned gate piers


here, sitting attop them flaming stone with this wonderful rusted


ornate gate. Interests a -- there is a modern touch. At the foot of


the gate post you have skwruting out this wonderful channel


depositing water water and it runs down either side of this central


path. They seem to be the signature of Chelsea 2012. These are made of


wonderful cobbled sets. It's a wonderful mixture of 250 years of


old and new. Of the 16 large show gardens, nine


were awarded gold this year which gives you some idea of the standard


of execution. One of them went to Mr BeardShaw. Chris, I have been


looking at this all week and today it was go up those steps and I have


and it's magical! It's like those wonderful twisted tree paintings.


Great craftsmanship and planting. You are pleased? Thrilled and this


idea of this path leading you on, you don't really know where you are


going, it's encouraging you to explore. That's reminiscent of a


philosophy that teachers have back at Furzey with adults with learning


disabilities. They don't take them on face value. They allow them to


settle and encourage exploration of their own personalities to find out


how horticultural can mesh in to their requirements. Everybody is


best at something, and what they seem to do is find out what you or


I and people there are best at and produce something like this. To


watch this over the week it's changed. Amazing. Full bud at the


beginning of the week, now fading. This is coming on. It's the


choreography. That reminded me about Monday and the stars and


celebrities who turn up here at this choreographied vent all glam -


- event all glamorous. You wonder how many have come to be seen and


get their faces in the paper and how many are keen and interested


gardeners? One who was was Hugh Dennis and he gave us his take on


gardens. I like the kind of British obsession with gardens.


This is the Cleve West garden. He is a garden designer, not as many


of you probably imagine a suburb of Cleve, he is an actual man. I like


this topiarised yew, I believe it is. I have a touring do that with


one of the tops but I am worried if you push down somewhere else in the


garden something explodes. These gates, I think, are from a


salvage yard and they're absolutely beautiful. They have a slight


Mediterranean feel, Middle Eastern almost. They absolutely make this


little bit like a purple and green microphone, but mostly they look


like an enormous psychedelic dandelion clock, I think. Just


beautiful. That brings back memories, we had a


massive yucca in our garden and I used to ride my bike obsessively


around the track which went past this tree and most days I fell off


into it, it was right on the corner and it's essentially like nature's


upturned knife block. I wouldn't have one in the garden now,


That's what it is, holy vegetables. It seems to be easy to grow a


massively long parsnip than carrot, wonder why that is? Those leeks


look like things you would feed into a machine-gun, don't they?


They're fantastic. Not as fantastic as this, which is a Formula One car


made entirely out of hedge. You have to think, you know, with all


the advances in Formula One technology that's probably a bit of


a mistake. If you leave this car standing for too long it actually


roots, does it? Every 26 laps it has to come in for a prune. I am


freaked out by the hedge people. They're ever so slightly like


something out of Dr Who. This is Arnie Maynard's garden.


This walkway is fantastic. It's copper beech. Fantastic. There is a


big conflict in our garden between kind of herbicious and planted


borders and grass at the end of which is a massive football goal.


Both bits have to be there, you know. I am sort of on the football


side of it, mostly. Well, Hugh was visiting in the


daylight but as evening descends, Chelsea takes on a new magical


quality. Everything falls silent. The time we gardeners love, we


arrive, quiet contemplation and that's the best time of day. It's


extraordinary, you can know a garden so intimately during


daylight hours and just after dusk, just as the sun's gone, especially


if there is sa good moon in the sky or designers use subtle lights for


architecture or plants it takes on a magical feeling and it really has


a connection with the emotions, not just the gardens, it's like the


great pavilion as well. I was in there at 2.00am and there was just


me and a lonely blackbird who thought it was dawn because the


lights were on. The smell in there is just intensified. It's paradise


t really is. As the sun goes down we come inside, shut the door and


that's it, thank you and good night garden until tomorrow. We should go


out more and investigate, not great flood lights, but a little bit of


something as you say, just to highlight it and appreciate this


magical new world. That's definitely the key. It's all about


placing your light in a subtle way so that you almost don't know there


are lights in the garden and then you get the maximum effect. A light


goes off at 10.30pm and I go out to see them on. It's imagine came. We


have lots more memories to share with you, still to come:


Royal recollections. James Alexander Sinclair talks to


exhibitor who is played host to the Royal party this year. The Queen


was in your garden? That's right. She seemed to know what she was on


about, which is nice. Mary berry invites us on her own tour of the


show. Oh, gosh, it's a myriad of Great Pavilion is the diverse mix


of plants. You can see restios and Japanese maples next to each other.


The temptation to travel the horticultural world got the better


of Tom Hart Dyke earlier this week, when he had the opportunity to soak


up some of the Pavilion's great exceedingly fantastic place to see


a wide range of plants that have evolved so successfully in their


native habitats. These are commonly called air


plants and are a hugely diverse family from Florida all the way


down to central and South America. The most iconic example of


adaptation to air plants is that they grow as not parasites, they


simply use the host as anchorage for good light, air and drainage.


The good thing about a particular type of air plant, this old man's


beard or Spanish moss, is that it has no roots at all. It simply uses


its leaves to absorb the moisture and nutrients through special pores.


It's one of the most successfully adapted plant to a wide range p


conditions. Hats off to the air plant.


The cacti in particular are very adaptable to a wide range of


conditions. Instead of leaves they have spines, reducing their surface


area. They also have curious structures at the base of the


spines all areoles, where the new growth, flowers and spines come


from. At the base of that it's very furry. They absorb moisture from


the air. The moisture drips down the side of the cactus onto the


soil. The roots absorb this moisture. The other important thing


to mention about cacti are their curious shapes, which acts as a


reservoir in times of drought. There is no doubt to me, the cacti


are for sure the kings and queens of the deserts.


This picture plant has a fabulous mechanism for survival. It grows on


very poor, nutrient deficient soils. They produce modified leaves full


of water and enzymes. When the fly gets close to the plant ah, tracted


by the very meaty colours here, the insect will land sideways on the


edge of the lip of the picture. It's a very slippery lip. It's like


an ice-skating rink. It tries to scabl as it falls into the pitcher.


In there are water, and digestive enzymes. Flies, bugs and even frogs


are absorbed into the plant itself. They need to do this because they


live on such poor soils. In 1998, I saw a rat's tail sticking out the


end of this particular variety. Commonwealth will Join Together to


celebrate Her Majesty the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. On Monday, as she


made her customary visit to the show ground there was a feeling of


celebration in the air. James Alexander-Sinclair was on hand to


soak up the atmosphere. The gardens are ready, the hard


work is done. The flowers are prim ped. The rain has gone and the sun


has gone out. The atmosphere changes to one of anticipation, as


we wait patiently and quietly for the arrival of the patron, Her


Majesty the Queen. Since 1816 the society has received


royal patronage from the reigning monarch. Her Majesty follows in the


footsteps of Queen Victoria and her father King George VI.


This year is Her Majesty's 48th advise ut to the show. This time,


in honour of her Diamond Jubilee, the society have created a special


garden just for her. Then it's off to the Great Pavilion.


Once inside Her Majesty talks to children from the Knightsbridge


schools garden before making her way through Raymond Evison's


clematis stand. What did she like? Loved this. We put out a call to


the school where the children gave us their smelly trainers and we


made them smell better. She spent some time with the orchid society


of Great Britain having a special interest in one of the flowers.


same orchid was in her wedding bouquet. That's the one? That is it.


Back outside and onto the show gardens, where Her Majesty took


time to speak to the designersment The Queen was on your garden?


That's right. Did she take any cuttings? No, she seemed to know


what she was on about, which was nice. She enjoyed your bubbles.


did. She wondered if I put soap in it. I thought that was a great idea.


This year when we're all celebrating the Diamond Jubilee, it


feels extra special. To commemorate the Queen's 60


glorious years, the RHS launched a new Diamond Jubilee award, the


accolade goes to the best exhibit in the great paiflion. This year it


went to this one, greated by H W Hyde and son for their lilies. The


celebrations didn't stop there as many nurserymen arrived at Chelsea


with a plethora of new plants bearing a royal title. Carol Klein


was there to greet them. There's no doubt Chelsea's gone


Jubileetastic. It's a great opportunity to discover new plants,


bred especially for the Diamond Jubilee. What better flower to


celebrate the Diamond Jubilee than a rose. What a beautiful rose too!


This is a modern classic rose, one of a brand new series, which


combines all the qualities of the old roses, that sense of romance


and softness, with the robustness and solidity that you come to


expect from modern roses. The rose itself is called the Queen's


Jubilee rose. It's got shiny green foliage and the most gorgeous


scented flowers. It's a real belter! This rose is not just for


Chelsea. It's going to be planted all along the Jubilee greenway, so


people will be able to enjoy it this year and it will go on giving


them pleasure for years to come. I was lucky enough to be sent a few


sample seeds of this brand new variety of sweetpea. It's called,


of course, Diamond Jubilee, and it really is one of the most beautiful


sweetpeas I've seen. It's got these pale pink flowers, this gorgeous


picotee edge. Though the flowers have a delicate fragility, the


plants themselves are robust. They give long stemmed stalks with maybe


four or five flowers to each stem. The colours -- the colour's divine,


but when you lean over and smell, there's the most beautiful perfume.


What more could you want? With sweetpeas and roses, it's all about


flowers, but on this stand there's hardly a flower in site. Here it's


foliage that's important and what foliage it is - dark, dramatic,


truly exciting. And there's one new introduction, it's Diamond Queen.


There are lots of queens at Chelsea this year. Here's a fragrant one.


It's hosta fragrant Queen and it's got delightful lily-like pale lilac


flowers full of scent. Of course, the real reason you grow hostas is


for their magnificent foliage. In this case, big vair gaited, heart-


shaped leaves. One of the problems with growing hostas is that they're


very prone to attack by slugs. But in this case, off with their heads!


It's always refreshing to hear other gardeners' views and get


their take on Chelsea. Cookery writer and broadcaster Mary Berry


joined us on Wednesday to share her passion for gardening. Mary loves


roses. So there was a certain predictability about her route


around the show. Oh, gosh, it's a myriad of


different plants and colours. Oh, here's a friend. We've grown these


now for three years. They are wonderful smell, lovely for picking,


healthy foliage. We prune them in March really hard, took everything


out as thin as a pencil. They're looking very good now. But here


they are in bloom - what a joy. I just love this because you can


see how big the actual hostas grow. There are miniature ones, there are


big ones. I go for the big ones because I like a big show. I have


great success with hostas, but what I really want to know about are


hardy freesias. There is a new range of prepared freesias, which


means that they've been given the cold treatment, because freesias


are a native of South Africa, so they can be grown. The biggest


problem is drainage. They like good, well drained soil and they need the


cold period. Best to plant in the Autumn time. Let them sit in the


cold soil over winter, then they'll germinate in spring and the new


growth will start to come through. Oh, I can't wait to order some.


will be exciting. Thanks for your advice. You're welcome.


This is my favourite garden. It's got wonderful structure. This would


be lovely throughout all seasons. I like the way they've grown their


roses. I like the idea that you can weave Hazel into a nice dome. I


might have a go at making them. I've had such a wonderful day. This


must be the place Chelsea ever. I've got lots of new ideas, all my


questions answered and I can't wait to get in the garden this weekend.


You know, she even brought me lavender shortbread. It was


delicious Mary. Thank you very much. It's been a week of memorable


moments, something we've all come to expect from Chelsea. So, as this


year's flowers begin to fade, let's capture those moments just once


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 60 seconds


on from those memories, yet move on we must. The excitement for Chelsea


2013 is already starting to build as the royal horticultural prepares


to celebrate the centenary of the to celebrate the centenary of the


very first official show. Before then, there's a host of other


gardening shows to enjoy, Gardners' World Live kicks off at the


National Exhibition Centre in June. I'm building a small allotment


Download Subtitles