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Video: Royal London Flower Show
Notes on the "Royal Chelsea Flower Show"
Well, here we are on the plane. Cold Petersburg was left behind. Ahead is England, London, an exhibition in Chelsea. A dream come true … We began to prepare for the trip in advance. Back in February, tickets to the exhibition were ordered through a travel agency, and now all the problems seem to be behind us.
We landed and were confused. Despite the fact that the "glorious" travel agency assured us that no transfer was needed, it was hard for us to immediately figure out where we were, what was with us and where to go. But, as it turned out, the Russian language will lead to Padington. It turned out that it is very easy to meet Russian speakers among Londoners. Generally, London at first glance seems like a "vinaigrette" city. Representatives of what nations we have not met here! Everyone, just not the British. It was Saturday. On Monday, we realized that all the native Englishmen use their capital only as an office, while they themselves live on the outskirts and in the immediate suburbs.
What struck at once was the abundance of flowers. They are everywhere and everywhere. In basement courtyards, on balconies, terraces, at entrances and even on lighting lanterns. Everything is blooming, fragrant. A huge number of those plants that we grow only in rooms: yucca, dracaena, ivy. Bobovnik (golden rain) is like a weed here. There are a lot of small squares. Red-leaved beeches, plane trees, lindens, oaks, yews … you can't count all the trees. We, as professionals, were very interested in English lawns. Of course, they are not worthy of the enthusiasm with which they are spoken of. They are just good lawns that grow with minimal but necessary maintenance. Believe me, the care workers won't make a single extra movement, they won't throw in a single extra pinch of fertilizer, but it will be trimmed and fed on time.
I was very surprised by the lawn in front of the parliament building. It consisted, as it were, of three zones. The first zone - along the paths near the building itself - is made of rolled lawn. The sod was carefully selected, without weeds and trees. Ten meters later, the second zone is the sowing lawn. It can be seen that he is already less fed and not so neatly cut. And another twenty meters later - the third zone. A permanent lawn where dogs walk (however, behind them, the owners clean everything in special trash bins). But the main difference between English lawns and ours is that money is invested in them. A lawn is not a decorative shelter for mountains of construction waste (like ours), but the main element of landscape gardening and urban design. Great pleasure was given to the parks: Hyde Park, St.James Park, Kensington Palace Park, Windsor Castle Park, Chelsea.
Perfectly balanced space. Competent road network. You can walk on lawns (but not everywhere), lie down, sleep. Rosaries. A huge amount, but not unnecessary, garden sculpture. Swans, ducks, geese, squirrels. Moreover, it is in the center of London. And no one is after them. And no one tears flowers from a flower bed, does not dig out bushes. I think that here not only fines, but also the culture of the people helps to solve these problems. The exhibition in Chelsea is the main purpose of our visit. The noise around her all over the world is rife. But the whole of London is in advertising. There are signs everywhere: all tickets are sold out. But they were sold already in April. One and all. Of course, the organization of the exhibition is strikingly different from ours. You don't have to pay for an exhibition space here.
You must send an application for participation, and the organizing committee (without bribes) will consider it and let you know if you are worthy with your project to take part in this forum. The construction of expositions begins 1-1.5 months before opening. Moreover, the thoroughness of preparation and installation is amazing: the plants are planted in natural soil; paving, water systems - everything was done according to all the rules, nothing temporary. One gets the impression that the plots were created long ago. Some of the expositions are harmoniously located right in the park, some in special pavilions. Almost everything is on display - from gloves, slippers, boots and tools to trees, shrubs, houses and bird feeders (very original, we bought two of them).
The entire huge central pavilion is set aside for flowers: beautiful delphiniums, orchids, huge, human-sized, begonias, streptocarpuses of unthinkable colors, peonies, irises, hosts, clematis, fuchsias. All this floral madness makes you forget that no one gives away plants for nothing. The price of a varietal peony reaches 100 pounds (5200 rubles), a hosta costs from 20 to 40 pounds, a pink lily of the valley - 14 pounds, etc. But we must also take into account that all these prices are exhibition prices, i.e. cheaper than on sale, by 20-30 percent. Garden sculpture is very interesting. There are many copper and bronze statues (how lucky our bums are!), The wonderful world of elves and dwarfs by sculptor David Goody. True, the price is 2-5 thousand pounds.
Moonlit copper swing with hanging pot of climbing roses. A unique composition "From dark to light" - dark blood-red Heuchera, red-leaved Japanese maples, maroon cordelines, maroon ophiopogon on the border with the water (pool), maroon cannes. Water separates and neutralizes the effect of the dark beginning, creates a transition to pale yellow and white. Roses are cream, yellow, white. Golden yucca, daylilies, light-colored irises. White-pink cloud of clematis. Light yellow pine canopy. All this is delightful. Blue garden. Imitation of a rowing club. Oars, water, canal. Blue irises, veronica, brunner, aquilegia, forget-me-not. Wavy paths and benches.
All this evokes the feeling of water, space, wind and freedom. Balloon garden. An easy, cheerful and strangely detached from life road of balls against the background of castor bean, hosts, hogweed, cineraria and ivy. But the dominant feature is Indian hemp. Now we understand why the colored balls … Compositions "Hunting Bungalow", "From Merlin to Medici", a garden in the style of the island of Bali, terraces made of log cuts. Succulent garden. The combination of sand, water, sedum and the giant echinocactus Gruson, prickly pear, cerius - and all this is emphasized by young people of different colors and shapes.
Many works in classic Japanese style. Small city gardens with an area of 6-8 square meters. Bird garden. Chinese garden. Moscow courtyard … We examined all this in two days. The main emphasis in this year's compositions is color contrast. We liked the "burned-out courtyard" very much. Almost Russian landscape. Burnt fence, abandoned roses, a pipe with flowing water. But how cereals emphasize a lonely rose !!!
Unfortunately, a detailed review of this exhibition takes a lot of time and space. But one can only envy England, and indeed all of Europe, who have long understood that one must fight for beauty, pay without stint, and work, work, work …