Here he is. The gnome that set the world buzzing with excitement. Oh yes, this is the very gnome that was in the New York Times no less, and splashed around the hot news centres of the world.

This little gnome gave interviews (as did his keeper) and was the focus of lenses 10X as big as he (his keeper wasn’t). All hail the Chelsea gnome.

A supergnome is born.

A supergnome is born. Image courtesy: Mark Fellowes


Yes, just in case you missed it, the RHS threw a little flower show this year, in the grounds of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, London. They’ve been doing it for quite a while now. It was even on TV.

Thanks to a surprisingly large number of people (I thank each and every one of you), the University of Reading had an exhibit that received a nice shiny medal (see earlier post).

University of Reading Chelsea Exhibit 2013

University of Reading Chelsea Exhibit 2013. Image Courtesy: Mark Fellowes

I am pleased to report that the exhibit was well received. A cabinet minister, a member of the royal family, and a celebrity or two popped over to say nice things, but best of all, quite literally hundreds and hundreds of garden enthusiasts came and found themselves shocked at the thought that the exhibit would need to be mown. The looks of horror were priceless.

Quizzical and sceptical frowns followed as the (possibly) deceptively simple technique of mowing and its effect was explained. How it modulates the plant size and light environment in a grass-free lawn to produce garden gorgeousness. The looks of horror were soon replaced by surprised realisation and enlightened understanding, and to my utter delight, by people instantly saying ‘one of those would look good in our garden’.

I haven’t had so much fun in ages. I just wish that the wretched ‘Chelsea Cough’ hadn’t found me on the very first day and set in for the week. Fighting off a cold during Chelsea week was surprisingly hard going. A hundred blessings on the inventors of kleenex balsam tissue and the mighty strepsil (for cough) lozenge.

I must say I wish lawn gardening success to the lovely lady who came back so enthusiastically five times to the exhibit, and to all those who gave 3 minutes of their time to complete the questionnaire.

To the lawn traditionalist who said there was only one ‘proper’ lawn on the stand, and pointing to the grass-free lawn said ‘and that isn’t it!’ I salute you. You warmed the cockles of my heart on a very cold and wet day.

100 years Chelsea

I can exclusively report that by the end of the week all the Chelsea gnomes were tired but happy and they all went sleepily home to gnome land and were in bed by 11 O’clock or thereabouts.

Here’s to another Chelsea century, and a new millawnium!


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