Three things I learnt: The Chelsea Flower Show

Armed with my sketchbook and fine-liner, a visit to the Chelsea Flower Show (on a blisteringly hot May afternoon) was the ideal dose of inspiration for a summer of drawing flowers…

The interiors trend for copper has gone outside – copper flowers are a thing!

If copper, brass and rose gold were the colours of 2016 for interiors, the trend has stepped outside in 2017. Many of the gardens at Chelsea – particularly the Seedlip Artisan garden – had crisp copper flowers in their planting; pale-orange coloured geums and euphorbia, bronze coloured ferns and copper irises had the most incredible effect – and the bright May sunshine danced off the petals perfectly.

Appearances can be deceiving

Not everything at Chelsea is as it seems; one of my absolute favourite plants in the whole show was what looked like a dark, dark purple peony (so dark it was almost black) with petals like tissue paper — but it was actually a poppy. Sneaky! There was also what looked like the most incredible alliums on show in the pavilion (though I can’t for the life of me remember the name of the exhibitor.) However, these were quite importantly not alliums – and it was clear that by the fourth day of the show, the exhibitor had explained a few too many times. Cue a helpful ‘I am not an allium’ sign tucked at the bottom of the stems…

Big is not always best

The absolute winner gardens were, for me, the BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens. Each managed to capture something very special in a small space, with brilliant planting, lots to look at – and all in a way that felt realistic to recreate a small slice of at home. Plus this is where I found some of the most interesting plants, petals and leaf formations for inspiring my drawing. If only they weren’t quite so crowded I could have spent ages scribbling in my sketchbook.