All excited sitting down to write because I’ve just returned from the intoxicating atmosphere of Chelsea Flower Show. Over the last few weeks, I’ve watched The Royal Hospital Garden transformed from a park garden to an uplifting stunning Autumnal Showground. Covid has tested our British spirit to the core but handed some opportunities to test out new ideas. Since the show’s conception it has celebrated Spring, in fact its original title in 1862 was ‘The Royal Horticultural Society’s Great Spring Show’ and although the event has tried different venues over the years it has stayed true to its celebration of all things Spring until now. In 2020 the show was cancelled completely leaving growers, many of whose businesses depend heavily on the show, devastated. 2021 began with uncertainty but the RHS was not going to be defeated again and in its 159th year they decided to put on an Autumn show. Growers and Gardner’s scratched their heads than said, “We got this” You might have visited, seen the BBC coverage, pictures online or in the press but the astounding, inventive, celebration, of Autumn has made even me, ‘Can I wear pink and flipflops?’, fall totally in love with this season.
The sun has shone and there was a spirit in the air of my favourite Japanese saying when it comes to age, they refer to the Autumn of our lives as our ‘Second Spring’. If you ever want confirmation of that, the people with the biggest smiles on their faces were definitely the Chelsea Pensioners who live there. All have served their country; are highly respected, but on their own and if it wasn’t for the comradeship they find living here, would be lonely and isolated. It’s been a tough year for them losing many to Covid but today in their red iconic coats they shone, mingled, charmed and reminded us that we’re social animals and love nothing better than the medicine of ‘life’ and getting up with a purpose. We can’t all be Chelsea pensioners but gardens, friends and animals, all help us shine like the medals on their chests.
Love, Anthea X
Article originally from My Weekly!