Chelsea 2015

Chelsea Flower Show, 2015
c15-1  7 people (4 of them shown here), 3 days to go, 7 trolleys full of plants, and a jigsaw puzzle with what seems like 1000000 pieces. c15-2  3 days later the jigsaw is complete. c15-3  One side had peonies - new for us in a show - veitchii in the centre of the picture and red tenuifolia below. c15-4  The alpine area featured lots of saxifrages, the compact, arching 'Annabel Ruane' in the foreground, and the much larger 'Nicholas' in the background.
c15-5  These saxifrages were bred by the late Matthew Ruane at Brynhyfryd Nursery, as were the colourful Lewisias seen here. c15-6  There was a large area of plants for cool, damp places, with Meconopsis, and lots of Primulas, including Dodecatheon, which have been shown by their DNA to be primulas too. c15-7  The blue Meconopsis (mainly 'Lingholm') attracted lots of attention. We must have been asked about 1000 times what they were. Many people assumed that they were not hardy, so would be good houseplants, or perhaps ideal for planting by the beach in Australia, or in Cyprus! c15-8  This creamy white one is a hybrid of a yellow-flowered species, Meconopsis sulphurea, with the blue Meconopsis 'Lingholm'. Although M. sulphurea is monocarpic, the hybrid is perennial.
c15-9  This lovely Corydalis attracted a lot of attention. We don't know what it is, and it may even be a new species. c15-10  The Brynhyfryd Lewisias come in a very wide range of colours; this is a particularly strong pink. c15-11  We included several plants of what used to be Primula forrestii, but is now Primula bullata var. forrestii. c15-12  This Mimulus naiandinus also attracted a lot of attention. It is a great plant for a damp place, and this form has particularly large flowers. Oh - and we did get a gold medal!
c15-13  Then the show was open to the public; five long days talking to lovely, enthusiastic, appreciative people. Many thousands of photographs were taken ... c15-14  ... particularly of Meconopsis. c15-15  The BBC also came by several times. On this occasion Monty Don was being recorded introducing the Chelsea Plant of the Year Competition, against of backdrop of - Meconopsis. c15-16  A few special people were able to look round before opening time, in peace and quiet.
c15-17  Some of the show gardens also contained plants that we had provided. Here is Primula 'Inverewe', a prominent feature in Dan Pearson's 'Best in Show' Chatsworth garden. c15-18  Primula 'Inverewe'. c15-19  Primula 'Kevock Surprise' was entered for the Chelsea Plant of the Year competition. It was shortlisted, so was on display all week. The RHS included it on their website as one of the five best new plant introductions at the show. c15-20  An unusual view of Primula 'Kevock Surprise'.
c15-21  Back to the display. Here are the peonies, surrounded by rare trilliums - the double-flowered 'Snowbunting' and pink roseum. c15-22  The new Corydalis species was not the only one present. There are four blue ones visible here, and we also had pale yellow Corydalis tomentella in the alpine area. c15-23  Lots of little primulas, including beautifully scented Primula munroi and reidii. c15-24  Low valleys allowed occasional glimpses right through the display - on this occasion catching Stella looking pleased.
c15-25  This valley was filled with Bukiniczia cabulica and Aciphyllas, so the interest was given by textures and subtle shades, rather than by bright colours. c15-26  The dampest area contained the Mimulus, and the latest-flowering small Narcissus. c15-27  The last view - of the alpine area, with Brynhyfryd Lewisias, Saxifraga 'Annabel Ruane, Primula bullata var. forrestii and Zaluzianskaya ovata all prominent. c15-28  Within an hour and a half of the closing of the show, the jigsaw puzzle is being put back in its box.
c15-29  Next morning the site is clear, the the truck is on its way back to Edinburgh - straight to Gardening Scotland, where the jigsaw would be reassembled, but with an almost completely new set of plants.