Chelsea Flower Show triumphs despite the rain

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credit: Bonnie Alter, The Laurent-Perrier Chatsworth Garden

London's Chelsea Flower Show is a spectacular event: the mother of all garden shows. Now in its 102nd year, not even the non-stop rain could put a damper on the gardens.

The one big theme is colour: no more of those pristine white Sissinghurst gardens. Everyone is using lots of vibrant plants, with irises being a favourite. Many of the gardens have sculpture and many have huts or small buildings: a necessity when you see the weather.

There are three categories of garden: the Show Gardens are the glitzy ones and they range from formal to wild. The Fresh Gardens are the more experimental and are not the best this year. The Artisan Gardens are the sweet, traditional English country gardens and they do not disappoint. Only the weather does.

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