Yes, it's here again. Love it or hate it, The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is going to be filling the tv schedules, newspapers and websites, your twitter feed, instagram and most gardening blogs you care to read for the next 7 days. Whether you're an avid attendee, lapping up the show gardens, zipping round the Great Pavilion and downing Pimms as fast as the rain falls or a conscientious objector wincing at the sight of celebs on Press Day who probably wouldn't know one end of a trowel from another and tut-tutting at the sheer cost of it all in these times of national austerity – it's happening whether you like it or not.
I will happily admit I fall into the former category. A relative newcomer (my first Chelsea was 2010), I love the mass coming together of all things horticultural: from new garden plants to new gardening products, concept gardens to heirloom seeds.
I was at the Chelsea site on Saturday morning and managed to take a few snaps on the whistlestop tour we were given. Needless to say it looked like the world's biggest hi-vis vest convention...
This was how Stoke-on-Trent's Transformation garden was looking. I wonder if the cement mixer will be part of the final display?
On the left in the next picture is, I think, Scape Design's After The Fire garden in the Fresh category. The concept from this French designer is the dramatic regeneration after forest fires in Mediterranean areas.
Here's a sneaky top half preview of the sculpture commissioned by the RHS for the occasion of the 100 year centenary of the Chelsea Flower Show. This was created by Marc Quinn famed for his 'Alison Lapper pregnant' piece that featured on the 4th plinth in Trafalgar Square and more recently as an inflatable installation as the finale to the Paralympic Games opening ceremony.
Work was going well down at the Cloudy Bay Discovery Garden. Phew, they'll be needing a nice chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc after all that heavy work.
Almost cut off on the left is the concept studio structure in rusted corten steel of the Trailfinders Australian garden - but the focus of this pic was really the champagne tent in the middle. *notes location for future reference*
And finally the Great Pavilion, which was a hive of buzzing activity, forklift trucks and shouting. This will be my home for 3 days this week where I'll be an RHS 'Showmaker', helping visitors navigate to their favourite nursery exhibit, find that desirable new plant or simply direct them to the nearest toilets!
If you're heading to Chelsea this week, I hope you have a fabulous day!