Wednesday, 20 May 2009

CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW - SOME SUGGESTIONS














Okay, anyway, so look it was a lovely flower show. Flowers, bla bla, plasticene, bla, bla, out of reach of the ordinary person, bla, bla. 

But this year has been a stressful one for the Chelsea organisers, with so many no-shows design-wise. Notwithstanding this year's particular idiosyncrasies, the RHS takes seriously the idea that it should improve its flower shows year-on-year, particularly its flagship show in SW3. For this reason, I have been appointed to a steering committee comprising myself, Amanda Holden, Floella Benjamin, Melvyn Bragg, Will Young and Alain de Botton, intended to consider how Chelsea could move forward into the future. 

At the moment we are only at the stage of filing an interim report, but here are some of our suggestions: 

  • Alan Titchmarsh to sell kisses at a specially adapted stand on Main Avenue thus raising show revenues by an estimated £185,000 per day
  • RHS to begins discussions with Lawn Tennis Club Wimbledon about a possible economy-driven merger -  'Alliums and Cream' theme to be considered
  • Better celebrities to be sought with some urgency. Lumley, Mirren and Bonham-Carter to stay; Young, Holden, Benjamin and Harris are given their marching orders. Younger stars to be sought asap: Lilys Allen and Cole, Peaches Geldof and Frances Bean Cobain for bulb fruit and veg photocall. 
  • Flower arranging pavilion to be replaced by car-park-sized stand selling homemade cake, à la NGS, made and sold by local resident Nigella Lawson
  • All night opening to be applied for to Kensington & Chelsea, including DJ appearances and bands; Martyn Cox to confirm playlist 
  •  Febreeze and Impulse to be available on special SmithKlineBeecham stand for people who have got a bit sweaty in the crush (Committee thanks Emma for suggestion)
  • Madame Tussauds to collaborate with Arabella Sock provide special animatronic waxwork displays of favourite Sock gifs at extra tent admission cost of £37.50 per person; (provisional display to include Sarah Raven pulling out the hair of the Sissinghurst restaurant manager; Toby Buckland and Alys Fowler doing mud wrestling over planting depths). 
  • Miniature Gardens category to be introduced as a matter of some urgency - committee noted that sponsors might much more readily be encouraged to take part if garden planned was confined to a kitchen tray.
  • Lila Das Gupta to present all tv coverage from now on. 
  • Gala Dinner to be replaced by glitzy Serpentine gallery type party with George Clooney. Emma Townshend has volunteered to look after such celebrity guests and the committee thanked her for her selfless offer of service. 

The steering committee is now ready to open the forum to suggestions from you, the public, as to other suitable changes which might be made whilst keeping as we have to the essential spirit and tradition of Chelsea. Please submit your suggestions using the comment form below: 

Seeya!!!



25 comments:

Zoë said...

Can we swap Alan Titchmarsh at the kiss me quick stand for say, Dan Pearson, or Matthew Wilson?

Alan appears to have gone day glow orange and I think there may be a health and safety issue with radiation fall out from the fake tan.

VP said...

Emma - you are a very naughty girl - I love it! Too tired at the mo' to have a think and add some of my own suggestions.

Zoe - AT's even worse when you see him suddenly in front of you. JAS says it's the makeup the BBC spray on you, but he and none of the others who were film in the Great Pavilion needed me to wear sunglasses when confronted with their faces...

Zoë said...

VP, he is definitely a very different colour to what he was at last year's Chelsea. I blame his defection to ITV and the banal afternoon show he's been doing. He looks more like David Dickinson (albiet it a dwarf variety), than earthy gardener these days.

Lia Leendertz said...

The future of Chelsea is safe with minds like yours at work! Can i be the first to sponsor a miniature tray garden, although i would stipulate that the designer includes little fences made out of lollipop and match sticks, and several plastic farm animals. Maybe a broccoli tree, too.

Victoria said...

We could have a fashion show, like they did at Malvern. We could get London College of Fashion to design different gnome outfits for Toby Buckland, and he could model them on the catwalk. Zoe could be a judge - or throw heritage tomatoes ...

Zoë said...

Oh I like the idea of lobbing heritage tomatoes! What fun and great physiotherapy!.

VP said...

Having seen a number of the nation's TV gardeners yesterday, I think a job lot of gnome outfits is needed - I tower over most of them!

As for the tray gardens, what about the wheelbarrow ones like they have at Cardiff? It seems to me that the 'regional' shows are where a lot of the fun is. Apart from Jekka and her gnome of course - she definitely had a twinkle in her eye when we were talking about it!

LittleGreenFingers said...

Emma - I love all suggestions and am voting you new RHS shows manager - effective immediately!

How about a spot the difference competition for the courtyard garden category? I tried yesterday but it was too devilishly difficult...

Martyn Cox said...

How about a collection box for used bras and boxer shorts outside the press office? Oh, that's been done hasn't it.

Mark D said...

oh cmon, cant we let rolf in under the radar?

Victoria said...

Yeah, I love Rolf. He can come, but he has to wear a gnome outfit.

Ryan said...

Nigella selling cakes would be amazing!!!!!


Surely, Chris Beardshaw selling kisses would prove more successful?

Love the divers committee! Keep up the good work!

Ryan

Zoë said...

Chris is very cute, but too short too. You'd think with all the muck these gardeners stand in, they would grow a bit taller!

Juliet said...

Febreeze and Impulse?! Squirting lots of nasty chemicals about at a flower show? Emma, I'm shocked! :o

You need to contact organic companies like Green People and Faith In Nature and get them to come up with special Chelsea brand products made only from natural plant extracts.

Not only will you not be ruining the environment (and, incidentally, not be preventing people like me from getting within a mile of Chelsea), you'll make a fortune.

Juliet said...

PS And as a spin-off, you could also get James Wong giving demonstrations of how to make health and beauty products from plants (he could take a turn on the kiss-selling stand too). Then as well as selling the products themselves, you could also sell the ingredients at vastly inflated prices to those people who don't realise they can get them at the local market for 99p.

VP said...

The Perfume Garden people were squirting people with scent when we were there, so it looks like one of your ideas is being market tested already Emma ;)

I think my headline idea over at Martyn's might be worth a shot - doubling up Chelsea as a wedding venue. Plus it would give all the floral people who were madly demonstrating their skills in the Grand Pavilion something more realistic and creative to do. It would also solve that perpetual Chelsea bugbear - all the women wearing high heels and large hats could compulsorily form part of the wedding entourage, thus clearing the view for people wanting to actually look at the gardens and plants.

VP said...

Mmmm James Wong - very nice in real life...

emmat said...

1) I have contacted Matthew Wilson and he said that would be fine as long as we supply chapstick

2) Alan Titchmarsh wishes me to make it clear that he has been on a slimming carrot juice diet. Rumours he uses fake tan are to be eschewed

3) The suggestion is that Lia take the helm of the newly formed Miniature Garden Regulations Sub-Committee. Some committee members were concerned that she might be partial to time limits, such as "The Half Hour Miniature Garden", but others felt this might be something of A Good Thing.

4) the throwing of precious heritage varieties at such a substandard target as Toby Buckland was not to be encouraged, Alain de Botton said.

emmat said...

Ps re weddings, and James Wong, both excellent work. The committee would like to thank you for all yoru hard work

Arabella Sock said...

I'm glad it isn't just me that thinks all these TV gardening lot are munchkins. I had no idea that Titchmarsh was tiny too until I saw him on Tuesday. They are all very undersized. I do hope Matthew Wilson is actually as tall as I remember him and wasn't just standing on a platform or something.

My WV is ducker. An MP builds a pond island for them at our expense - change a letter and you know what he's called!

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Why don't we stick Chris on a soapbox? That way he will be able to kiss the girls wearing high heels too. Or he could wear high heels, whatever takes your fancy.

Toby should be put in a tent somewhere in the back and the punters could, if so inclined, tickle him with a hoe for a pound.

James could be put near the entrance and take off his hat for a pound per punter and dazzle them with his pearly whites!

BTW Emma I'm frankly appalled that I wasn't asked to join the committee, considering all the brilliant and much dosh making schemes I've just come up with.

emmat said...

Yolanda forthwith elected to committee under subheading 13.1 "netherland jurisdiction representative"

Simon said...

Here's a suggestion - take away the corporate greenwashing and see what you're left with.

VP said...

How about making use of all the astroturf freebies that were being handed out on the way the flower show? They could be part of the suggested miniature gardens perhaps? Just think - they could be used every year!

Lia Leendertz said...

Half an hour seems more than ample; let's have it policed by the famous 'Gardeners' World egg timer' to really pull in the punters.
But the whole gig is off unless Rolf is let back in. For shame!