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Pursuits | By ​David Wheeler

Chelsea Flower Show

Do you remember those few days of glorious Mediterranean weather during this year’s Chelsea Flower Show week and how, reliably, it withered as we slid into the bank holiday weekend? Gladly, I was there on the Monday, the day before it opened to the public, when, until the royals arrive mid-afternoon, Fleet Street hacks, RHS medal-holders (myself included, he says modestly) and a scattering of (to me) unidentifiable celebs have the show to ourselves. The sun shone, the mercury went north, prosecco flowed freely and there was a roaring trade done in straw hats. Display plants – many carefully nurtured out of season under glass for their few days in the spotlight – seemingly relished their escape from the artificiality of the nurseryman’s lamps and, according to their needs, the heaters or chillers that advance or retard growth in order to have flowers au point during the third week of...

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