Wednesday, 25 May 2005

Flower Power

Leaving the theme of boredom for the moment - no, hang on, continuing with the same theme – The Chelsea Flower Show is about to open. I have always had the feeling that this is an occasion I must not fail to miss, and the previews of it on TV have confirmed this, though happily the strike of BBC staff reduced the coverage somewhat.

We have seen a great deal of an irritating Yorkshireman and an even more irritating Irishman who have been inviting us to admire the show gardens. Many of these are built round eccentric accessories (“Here are the famous coloured balls again, and over here we have a large blue slate sphere… ”) or feature stainless steel bits and cascading water which make them look like rather chic sewage farms. Why, even dear old green-fingered Microsoft has sponsored a garden with wireless connectivity, combined with a custom-built work pod. Just imagine, you can sit here with your laptop in a sort of steel cage, downloading your emails while you enjoy the flowers! How about that, Capability Brown, eh?

Then we saw a giggle of B List celebrities interviewed, telling us how beautiful it all is and how much they love gardening, but there was a refreshing moment when another Irishman cheerfully announced that gardening held no pleasure at all for him: this was Terry Wogan, an appropriate guest here as the Eurovision Song Contest gives much the same degree of aesthetic pleasure as the Flower Show. Sadly, there was nothing at Chelsea to inspire Terry to say anything as memorable as his comment on one of the Eurovision contestants: “Will ye look at the thighs on that woman?”.

The irritating Yorkshireman had been well instructed: the main sponsors, Merrill Lynch, haven’t yet quite got their name indissolubly welded to the title of the event, but he constantly worked it in. The Royal Horticultural Society has clearly made a wise choice: these sponsors, with their innovative solutions for affluent individual investors across the world, their strategic advice to corporations and institutions worldwide, and above all their skilled underwriting of debt & equity securities clearly have much to offer garden lovers.


MrVilhauer said...

Forgive me for asking, but wasn't there a movie made about the Chelsea Flower Show, where a group of rough cons planned a display while in jail?

It was supposed to be clever and heartwarming, but in truth it was just silly.

MrVilhauer said...

I'm sorry, I answered my own question. I was very wrong.

It was called Greenfingers ( and it was about the "prestigious Hampton Court Palace Flower Show."

Anonymous said...

What is it about garden centers that leaves a lot of grown-ups writhing in ecstasy?

That microsoft garden-thingy, has it a name? 'Gates-way to paradise' perhaps? How soothing to the greening soul to sit in such steel splendour and while away the hours with nature's laptop creating flowery memory bytes which sing to the heart. Ahhh....

Great White North Boy