Horticulture Team Manager Sarah attended her first Chelsea shower show this year, along with other members of the YPHA.
It sounded like a great, jam pack day, complete with finding herself on the future of horticulture board!
“We started our day early, having been invited to the Chelsea Breakfast for Young People. We listened to talk from the RHS Director General, Clare Matteson and others who gave the YPHA a shoutout. We had the opportunity to get into some gardens and meet the volunteers before the show opened to the public. We steped into the Samaritans Listening Garden, which was all about the journey of struggling with mental health challenges, reaching out for help (through Samaritans and others) and then what life can look like as you work through these challenges. We also got to meet Manoj Malde, who is an award-winning designer and was able to get married on the garden he created! We then went into an entomology-inspired garden, which was covered by a dome and gave us an insight into what fly’s and other insects see, as well as how gardens support the ecosystem.
The rest of the day was taken over by walking, meeting other people and continuing to be inspired by the industry.
One of my favourite things I got to do was visit the Flora and Fauna Gorilla Nest gardens. A huge thanks to Chris Moncrieff (RHS) for getting us some VIP tours into some gardens, but this one was inspiring. It was a tour of a forest environment including many beautiful varieties of plants, a gorilla nest and a waterfall! It was highlighting the story of endangered species and their habitats. As a wildlife conservation charity, it was great to hear about their aims and what they do!
We saw lots of new varieties of plants and one thing that stood out to me, was how ‘weeds’ were encompassed into a lot of the gardens. It felt like there was a big emphasis on biodiversity and ecosystems, and also making the gardens seem more ‘real’ to an amateur gardener, much like myself!
We also got to spend a bit of time with Mike Opperman from Tropical Plants UK, who talked to us about British Grown Houseplants, and living walls. He also gave us some top tips for caring for your houseplants, including how to get the most out of water!”