What is it with the Brits and gardening? The figures suggest that we’re passionate about them – a recent Gardena survey found that Londoners spend approximately £1,000 on them annually. We also go to great lengths to protect our beloved plants (including seasoned vegetarians discussing the latest blood-curdling ways to dispose of slugs!). However, slugs, or no slugs, the biggest event of the year for the horticultural hordes is happening in London this week.
The RHS say that the Chelsea Flower Show is ‘the world’s most prestigious flower show’ – as, according to the Telegraph, over five days 165,000 fans of flowers, fruit and foliage will make their pilgrimage to the grounds of the Royal Hospital. With its emphasis on the exotic and unusual it is the place to see and be seen – unless that is you’re a gnome. These little fellows are just a tad too garish for the RHS who claim “gnomes detract from the presentation of the plants or products on display, and from the general appearance of the show”!
If you’re not going to make it to join the great and good of the gardening world in Chelsea don’t worry. There’s a bit of a buzz being created by British Flowers week at the end of June (19th – 25th). Right now, British cut flowers are making a comeback – just as interest in locally-grown food has grown, so people are once again appreciating the value of locally-grown, freshly cut flowers.
Let’s face it, we love looking at gardens, talking about gardens and watching gardening programmes – only here in the UK would gardening heroes like Alan Titchmarsh and Monty achieve pin-up status! The love affair starts early in childhood, as the Telegraph, says, we’re brainwashing our children to be gardeners practically before they’re old enough to hold a trowel. Jo Thompson –garden designer and Chelsea gold medal winner said: “There’s this great legacy of children’s books, like The Secret Garden, Wind in the Willows, Winnie the Pooh, with nature at their hearts. We learn very early that gardens are magical places, that the landscape is incredibly important to who we are.”
So with Father’s Day coming up, have you any treats in mind for your dad? Why not sit him down in his favourite chair in the garden with a beer before whizzing him off to your own private capsule for family and friends on the London Eye? Alternatively, give him a thrill by taking him to the next London Dungeon LATES event. Makes a change from mowing the lawn!