Chelsea Fringe – London Garden No 6

Five Minutes Peace: a garden to sit in, a poem to read, and a prompt to write to … No 6. (Find out more about what this is all about here.)


So, this is a little bit of a cheat because the Chelsea Flower Show, big sister to the Chelsea Fringe, isn’t open all the time but it’s hard to do this series and not include it. It’s not even the plants or the gardens I love best, it’s the way everywhere you go, you hear people saying… ‘we could do that.’ Rather like being in a bubble of optimism.


And although the show gardens are the main attraction…


… and queuing up to see them made you feel in danger of growing roots yourself…


… or even running away …


… inside the tents, the specialist flower growers and nurseries put on a display that – sometimes literally – made me gasp…


… oh, I never can’t resist the tulips. The plans I always have every year to plant HUNDREDS of bulbs… every colour, every shape… I could do that!


Look at these beauties below showing off. They know how gorgeous they are, don’t they?


It really is the day when the flowers come first and humans know their place, roles well and truly reversed… I think this man might have hopes of turning into a plant – maybe so his wife will finally pay some attention to him????


So my inspiration for writing today comes from Anna Pavord’s wonderful book, The Tulip, and it’s this account of a party I would very much have liked to have gone to:

Music filled the grounds where the Sultan’s five wives took air. One of the courtyards of the Grand Seraglio was turned into an open-air theatre; thousands of tulip flowers were mounted on pyramids and towers, with lanterns and cages of singing birds hung between them. Tulips filled the flower beds, each variety marked with a label of filigree silver. At the signal from a cannon, the doors of the harem were opened and the Sultan’s mistresses were led out into the garden by eunuchs carrying torches. Guests had to dress in clothes that matched the tulips (and avoid setting themselves on fire by brushing against candles carried on the backs of hundreds of tortoises that ambled round the grounds).


And now I invite you to write about a day at Chelsea, or indeed any spectacle, BUT from a plant’s point of view.

4 thoughts on “Chelsea Fringe – London Garden No 6

  1. Pingback: Chelsea Fringe – London Garden No 7 | Writer In The Garden

  2. Pingback: Chelsea Fringe – London Garden No 9 | Writer In The Garden

  3. Pingback: Chelsea Fringe – London Garden No 10 | Writer In The Garden

  4. Pingback: Chelsea Fringe – London Garden No 12 | Writer In The Garden

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