Sunday, 19 May 2013

The Chelsea Flower Show Part 1

One of the scenes in last week's Made in Chelsea showed Mark Francis and Victoria - easily my two favourite characters, mainly because they are apparently entirely superfluous to any story line, and seem only to exist to entertain - discussing flowers.  "If I go to a dinner party, and there aren't any flowers, it makes me want to just turn around and leave," said Mark Francis.  I rather feel the same way.  (I would like to add a disclaimer here: admiring as I may be of Mark Francis's attitude towards flowers, he is not the world's greatest stylist.  I do however have high hopes for Phoebe, who actually has a genuine job in fashion:  she works at Tatler.  I spend a lot of time bugging my friend the Tatler Fashion Director to tell me what she's really like.  However the Tatler Fashion Director is rubbishly ungossipy, and just tells me that she's really nice.  I am, incidentally, just a teeny tiny bit obsessed with Made in Chelsea, much as it also makes me cringe.  After Mark Francis and Victoria, my  next favourite is Milly Macintosh.  When I discovered that one of my cousins is almost friends with her, well, my excitement nearly went through the roof.  Oh, and then of course there's Francis Boulle, who extraordinarily I seem to be Facebook friends with.  Francis, if you're reading this, please don't de-friend me.  You make me feel so much more connected than I am.  Oh, and also, your website where you rate politicians according to how hot they are - hilarious.  Hilarious. in case anyone was wondering.)

Back to flowers.  This week is the Chelsea Flower Show, which I haven't been to since 2007ish, maybe?  And the reason that I went is because I was covering the fact that Cozmo Jenks had made a hat for the Laurent Perrier Garden for  But all I really remember was sitting in some hanging basket with Cozmo and Tilly Wood - the wife of Rolling Stone progeny, Jesse Wood, and Cozmo's muse - while Cozmo told us that she'd left some felt tips on the radiator and they'd melted so she'd turned them into a hat.  But not the hat that Tilly was wearing, which is here:

This year is the 100th anniversary of the Chelsea Flower Show, so is bound to be stupendous.  Alice Peto has designed a print to commemorate the event, for sale either through Potterton Books, or directly through the artist, and, if you do go through Alice, and mention Joy as it Flies, you'll get a special discount.  And we all love discounts, don't we . . . . ?

Potterton Books has also got a whole exhibition of botanical paintings especially for the Chelsea Flower Show, including this painting that Alice did which I love love love and which she is refusing to sell me because it had to go in the exhibition:

I'm going to try to persuade her to do a copy for me.  I want it that much.  And there's a spot on the wall where I can see it look it looking perfect, and now when I look at that spot it seems bare and bereft because the painting that I want to go there, isn't.  The point is, if you want something to remember the Chelsea Flower by, you'd do a lot worse than to buy one of Alice's works (because going to anything is mainly about the shopping, right?) Alternatively of course, you could ask Cozmo Jenks - who is only by appointment -  to design one of her spectacular floral confections for you.

Stephanie Lundell and Cozmo Jenks

Claudia Leigh and Cozmo Jenks, at the 2009 Chelsea Flower Show

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show opens today -