Nathan James Dodd attended the Garden Press event on Thursday at the Barbican in London, a great chance for suppliers and manufacturers to meet the gardening press to showcase their existing and new products.
Even the occasional downpour at the 2014 Chelsea Flower Show couldn't dampen the enthusiasm shown by a number of young garden designers.
I was there to see Hugo Bugg become the Show's youngest ever gold medal winner for his 'Rain Garden' which demonstarted how everyone can re-cycle rainwater throughout the year, preserving this precious resource.
He was quoted as saying ' My hope is that people will be inspired to improve water retention in their gardens and understand the importance of embracing rain.'
As I walked around it was very noticeable that blue and purple were popular colours particularly Anchusa azurea and the Best in Show award went to the Laurent-Perrier garden that exhibited great combinations of purple, blue and white towered over by yellow lupins 'Chandelier' and 'Cashmere Cream'.
Another garden that made a lasting impression was No Man's Land, one of the gardens commemorating the First World War, which represented the landscape on the Western Front and included an appearance by the war horse from the West End stage show.
The naturalistic planting of trees continued from previous years with multi-stemed birches, acers and amelanchiers to the fore.
Grasses are always popular and in the Brewin Dolphin garden these were represented by Melica uniflora var. albida, showing how beautiful they can be if planted in large drifts.
Plant of the year was a new double flowered mop head hydrangea from Japan. The wavy edges of each floret is lined with pink with white centres and this is set against dark green foliage.
Chelsea is such an important place to seek out for future products for GardenSite.
There are a great variety of trade stands offering innovative gardening equipment, accessories and landscaping ideas but I was also pleased to drop by existing suppliers such as Hozelock and Haddonstone.
Hozelock are acknowledged experts when it comes to automatic watering systems, so important if you have container plants during dry periods or when you go on holiday, and Haddonstone who design and manufacture superb stone ornaments and have just launched a new product range to augment their already fabulous collection.
Altogether another a notable show, blessed in the main by warm weather, from which I gained a great deal of inspiration for our garden centres and GardenSite. Next stop is Gardeners World Live at the NEC where GardenSite will be exhibiting.
#chelseaflowershow #chelseaflowershow 2014
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