Chelsea Flower Show and the Tall Poppy Syndrome

Best in Show 2013
Best in Show 2013

I’m not sure if expectations were higher for this years Chelsea Flower Show because of it being the centenary or whether being more switched onto social media I have come across more criticisms but there does seem to be a fair amount of angst about this years show.


Complaints about it not having enough cutting edge design on show, to there being too much emphasis on design and not enough on the growers in the Floral Marquee. Judges decisions being disagreed with by designers, some of whom are also judges. Too much money being spent on large gardens and not following the ethos that it is a Horticultural show. Too much planting in the show gardens, not enough planting in the show gardens. Too many non horticulturally related trade stands. Non seasonal planting and plant combinations that only happen at Chelsea. It all gets very complicated and puts me a little in mind of a sketch from Black Adder.


Blackadder : Caroline of Brunswick is the only available princess in Europe.

Baldrick : And what’s wrong with her?

Blackadder : Get more coffee! It’s horrid! Change it! Take me roughly from behind! No, not like that, like this! Trousers off! Tackle out! Walk the dog! Where’s my presents!

Baldrick : All right! Which one do you want me to do first?

Blackadder : No, no that’s what Caroline’s like.


So what do you want? Can Chelsea please all of the people all of the time, no, but it does a pretty good job of pleasing most of the people, most of the time.