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Saturday 25 May 2019

Floral dress at the Chelsea Flower Show

Wearing a green hydrangeas print dress with a backdrop of purple flowers at the Chelsea Flower Show
Many months ago in the gloom of winter I booked tickets for one of the members' days at the Chelsea Flower Show, including a slap up three course lunch  (well, I knew that was one way of persuading Mr Mutton to come).

On the appointed day, the sun shone and the Muttons were off early to try to see as much as possible before the crowds arrived.

I wore a new crepe de chine dress with lovely soft fabric and drape from Nancy Mac, a UK boutique run by two sisters.  If you're going to a wedding this year, this shop may be one the place to go. Lots of 30s inspired tea dresses, coats, kimonos and beautiful prints.  Mine was very suitable for Chelsea with its hydrangeas print. It came with a petticoat, which was great for avoiding too much cleavage being on show.
In front of a stall selling copper planters and garden decorations. Is This Mutton's Gail Hanlon in green and cream hydrangeas dress
The various "stalls" selling garden apparatus, clothes, ceramics, you name it, lead the way to the Great Pavilion and show gardens.

Style blogger Gail Hanlon patting a dog sculpture at the Chelsea Flower Show

An old soldier reflects.  The D Day garden at the Chelsea Flower Show
This was the D-Day Garden, where there were several soldiers and veterans on hand to describe the scene and their memories.  The "Kate Middleton garden" had huge queues and was very small when you got inside.  We were literally in and out within a couple of minutes. She had crammed some old-fashioned children's activities into the space: a tree house, a "swing" where the seat was a football covered in string, and a camp fire. The forget-me-nots and natural planting made it look foresty.  As a kid my den was in overgrown land, long since built on, and featured sprawling brambles, old-fashioned roses doing their own thing, and "snake's food."
Yellow and burgundy irises at the Chelsea Flower Show admired by style blogger Gail Hanlon in Sable hydrangeas dress
Inside the gorgeous smelling pavilion, I had a look at the Croyeux irises, brought over from France, which were featured on one of the BBC's Chelsea programmes. To be honest, irises don't set my heart beating.

Roses do.  It was very hard to get a photo of just me, under the archway of the David Austin Old English Roses stand. David Austin died a few months ago but his roses live on, and it's a family business so his sons will continue the work.  I have several David Austin roses in my front garden.
The magnificent rose arch welcoming visitors to the David Austin Roses stand at the Chelsea Flower Show, with Gail Hanlon in green floral dress
Here I am with the heucheras.  I have a few "heuchs" in a border that doesn't get too much light, as they cope well with partial shade.
Woman in green hydrangeas print dress taking photos of heuchera at the Chelsea Flower Show
I'm wearing sandals from last year, by Vionic, which have special foot bed technology to make them comfortable. At an event like this you need shoes that aren't going to ruin the day. I didn't really need the jacket but it's a brave person in the UK who sets off without a jacket or cardigan. I needed a fairly big bag but it soon became an irritant. 
There were a couple of flower walls which were excellent for Instagrammers. Here Mr Mutton looks like a blogging natural with his pose, but in reality I had taken three pictures already and he was bored and wanting to move on. To lunch.
Enjoying a glass of champagne in the Rock Terrace restaurant at the Chelsea Flower Show
Lunch in the Rock Bank restaurant was certainly a highlight. We started with a delicious glass of Fortnum and Mason champagne and the wine was unlimited, depending on how often you could attract the attention of the busy waiting staff.  I had two glasses of wine and it was a bad idea at lunchtime for someone who seldom drinks.  I had to have a lie down when I got home!  My three courses were smoked salmon, dressed crab and cheese and biscuits - I'm not big on desserts.

It was my third time at the show, the last time was two years ago (see my post here) and on one of the "public days," where the demographic was a bit younger. On a members' day, it's mostly people over the age of 60 in sensible shoes, although I did manage to find a few stylish ladies.
Selection of fashionistas at the Chelsea Flower Show 2019
So that was our experience at Chelsea. I may also go to Hampton Court flower show in July - it's less formal and the crowds are a bit more manageable. Do you go to any of the RHS or other flower shows?

Sharing this post with: Creative Mondays at Claire Justine, Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style, Chic&Stylish at MummabstylishTop of the World Style at High Latitude StyleFancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion StyleFabulous Friday at Pocketful of Polka Dots, Thursday Moda at Elegance and MommyhoodAnna at The Glamadventure, Spread the Kindness at Shelbee On The Edge#iwillworkwhatIlike at Not Dressed as Lamb,#BloggerClubUK at My Random Musings, #MuttonStyleMondays at Muttonstyle, #Stylewithasmile at Stylesplash, Color and Grace

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