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May 28, 2017

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Chelsea Flower Show wows crowds

FROM the world’s hottest chilli to a garden inspired by music, Britons celebrated their love of gardening at the Chelsea Flower Show, one of the world’s biggest horticultural festivals.

The champagne flowed at the weeklong show, which ended yesterday, where more than 165,000 visitor passed through. Visitors paid US$82-104 to enter the show in the exclusive surroundings of the grounds of the 17th century Royal Hospital Chelsea.

For anyone who believes that plants are just plants and gardens are purely decorative, the Chelsea Flower Show offers a magnificent rebuttal.

The extraordinary gardens include some to fight against environmental threats, or improve physical and mental health, or inspire poets and musicians.

Garden designer Chris Beardshaw said his exhibit was inspired by Bach and Mozart.

“I’m immersing myself in the music... trying to picture how these music elements fit,” he said. “It’s always a challenge to be in the show, you have to be ready for a precise day.”

At a garden nearby, cabbages and salads are arranged in neat rows to “recreate the feeling when you stand too close to a speaker stack at a concert — the sensation of music reverberating through your whole body,” said designer James Alexander Sinclair.

There is no sign of garden gnomes or other decorations considered an affront to good taste by the garden connoisseurs. Instead, a sculptor can be found “balancing stones” for a feature.

The only concessions to common garden decorations are giant animals made of artificial grass or the graffiti in a space entitled “Greening grey Britain.”

“Gardens and plants are no longer an optional and decorative nice-to-have. They’re essential,” said the urban garden’s designer, Nigel Dunnett.


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