A Floral Safari in Chelsea

Going on safari in South Africa has been one of my favourite experiences in life so I was delighted to see that it was the theme of this year's Chelsea in Bloom to coincide with the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017. Grab a map and a pair of bins at the makeshift Safari Lodge in Sloane Square and take a stroll through the pretty savanna of Chelsea... you're in for a treat!

First stop was Dubarry of Ireland who partnered with acclaimed wildlife artist, Hamish Mackie. The installation features one of Hamish’s bronze leopards climbing through a frame of African safari inspired flowers.

The colour of the flowers are inspired by the famous African sunset.

Next up was Kiehl's impressive display. It  creates the illusion of a midnight sky using locally sourced Osteospermum flowers which are native to South Africa.

Kiki McDonough had just missed out on the best floral display with this incredible 3.5m giraffe. Find me in my garden this weekend attempting to recreate this masterpiece! Florist Rob Van Helden's amazing display for Poetry chose a vibrant lion as its centrepiece and a camouflaged crocodile sits patiently in a courtyard off Pavilion Road.

Boutique 1's double fronted windows were adorned with a semi-transparent leopard print vinyl and framed by stunning Chrysanthemum and Hydrangea florals. A Lady Leopard favourite if ever I saw one!

To catch a glimpse of a leopard on safari is a rare treat so I was happy to see several of them outside (and in!) Hackett. A deserving winner of best floral display.

Smythson's beautifully decorated giraffe... check out that tongue! Rag & Bone continued the giraffe trend with a spectacular display on Sloane Street.

As we came to the end of our safari, a grand looking elephant sprays himself with brightly coloured flowers (including peonies, my favourite!) in the centre of Sloane Square. One I had missed but luckily caught on the way home was the Sloane Club's pretty elephants on Lower Sloane Street.

For next year's Chelsea in Bloom, my bets are on an underwater theme. I have visions of an ocean blue seabed full of brightly coloured fish all re-imagined in floral form. The inspiration is endless! I can hardly wait!

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