Chelsea Flower Show 2015, VIP Preview, Royal Visit and Gala Evening Party

by Sarah Goodall
photos Hannibal Reitano

The Royal Horticultural Society’s 2015 Chelsea Flower Show opened on Monday, in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London, with a special VIP Preview.  Sponsored by M&G Investments, once again, the Show played host to The Queen together with an unprecedented number of Senior Members of the Royal Family, included The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales together with celebrities, all sipping Laurent Perrier champagne! Later in the week it was open to Members on Tuesday and Wednesday and over 160,000 visitors, before it closed at the end of the week.  
The RHS handed out seven Show Garden Gold Medals, as well as many Silver-Gilt, Silver and bronze to the various different garden categories.  The coveted Best in Show prize this year went to Dan Pearson’s wonderful garden, sponsored by the historic English country Estate Chatsworth House and Laurent-Perrier – which provided  a  snapshot of the actual 105 acre estate, including an ornamental Trout Stream no less!
The gardens designers had to fulfil the brief of the RHS and create their gardens accordingly using the appropriate planting.  Gold medals were given to seven of the Show Gardens; personal favourites included L’Occitane’s ‘A Perfumer’s Garden in Grasse’ delighting us with its fragrant planting which created the natural environment of Grasse.  Morgan Stanley’s ‘Healthy Cities Garden’, designed by Chris Beardshaw which focused on healthy communities within the city, with his colourful structured array of planting.
Tucked away to the side of the Show ground were the small Artisan gardens, and with the popular Japanese designer, Ishihara Kazuyuki’s, not disappointing with his ‘Edo no Niwa’ garden justly winning its regular Gold.
Prince Harry might have hoped for a Gold, but at least won a Silver-gilt with his  Charity’s Sentebale garden, designed by Matt Keightly and inspired by the landscape of Lesotho in South Africa,  and raising awareness for HIV in teenagers and inspire education in this.

The Great Pavilion was not to be missed, and in its prominent central position in the Show ground, tempted the visitor to its various spectacular displays of plants and flowers.

The Mayor of Kensington and Chelsea Maighread Condon-Simmons and his son

Emma McQuiston Vicountess Weymouth of Bath

Bianca Jagger

Charlotte Hawkings

Hannibal Reitano and Peter Philiphs

Jools Holland

Richard Buckley and Olivia Harrison


Joanna Lumley

Mathew Williamson

Sophie Okonedo

Dr Johnson BeHarry

Natasha McElhoe

Hannibal Reitano and Zara Philiphs

H.M Queen Elizabeth II and H.R.H Prince Harry

H.R.H Prince Charles and H.R.H Camilla Duchess of Corwall

H.M Queen Elizabeth II

H.M The Queen 

H.R.H Camilla Duchess of Cornwall and H.R.H Prince Charles

Carol Weatherall and Ron Dennis

Hannibal Reitano and Sir Ian McKellan