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Keen gardeners go in their thousands each year to the Chelsea Flower Show in London. Even more watch the highlights each evening on TV.
What makes it so popular? Although not the biggest gardening show, it's still the most prestigious with the Royal Family attending on the opening day every year.
The sheer breadth of gardens and exhibits is the main reason, there is something to interest everyone with creative gardens, brand new products and the latest plants.
And 2013 will be extra special since it's the show's centenary and there's a series of commemorative events.
The show gardens will look better than ever, challenging and inspiring. Eleven contemporary gardens showcase innovative ideas and on occasions the outrageous, while eight 'artisan' gardens feature crafts and skills that create beauty in small plots.
The spectacular Floral Pavilion contains the year's most exciting plants, comparing them to some from 1913. A highlight will be a public vote for the 'Plant of the Century' at the Generation Gardens exhibition that focusses on changes in gardening over the last 100 years.
You'll find inspiration everywhere, new ideas and merchandise to transform and invigorate your own garden.
Behind the scenes there are over 500 exhibitors offering everything a gardener needs from irrigation systems based on sustainable water supplies by Hozelock to tools, wildlife accessories and timber products such as arbours, pergolas and gazebos.
Even garden gnomes, usually banned, are making an appearance, but for one year only.
But there is likely to be many other ornaments, manufactured from stone, resin and other materials, on show. These can transform a garden with statuary, urns, bowls, sundials relating to contemporary or classical themes.
A significant role is played by water features in the featured gardens. Waterfalls, fountains, wishing wells and sculptures can be distinctive focal points, the sight and sound of flowing water introducing movement and interest.
Widely known for new planting ideas, the Chelsea Flower Show is certainly full of nurseries ready to interest you in their new and exciting horticultural advances. Plants that have more colour, aredrought or disease resistant, are blissfully scented or are just as close to perfection as can be imagined.
Look out for the 'Artisan Retreats', summerhouses styled by well-known artists and designers. Outdoor living beyond a conservatory is 'on trend' at the moment, changing the way people use their gardens. Check out the outdoor furniture that's available, you may never have thought about an al fresco sofa but there's now quite a choice.
Visitors to the 2012 RHS Chelsea Flower Show will get the chance to enjoy modern, inventive gardens, new plants and ingenious new products. Perhaps when you are thoroughly inspired and return home, the first place you'll visit is the garden centre where all your ideas can be realised.
If you have been or are planning to go then please let us hear about it, we'd love to see your comments in the box below.
Nathan James Dodd
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