If you are planning a trip to the Chelsea Flower Show in London here are a few tips on horticultural highlights you could work into your trip:
- Once you've had your fill of craning and jostling to see the show gardens, leave the madness behind and head around the corner to the Pimlico Road, which is lined with world class antique stores. The store owners make a big effort to theme their stock with a gardening bent during Chelsea week, so stroll up and down and check out the windows.
- At the fork in the road you'll see Marston and Langinger (192 Ebury Street). For all the elements of classic conservatory style, including a bespoke conservatory, see marston-and-langinger.com. The street is packed with other bold name decorators, like Nicky Haslam and David Linley; see thepimlicoroad.com.
- For lunch, on your way back to Sloane Square tube station, visit Como Lario, an Italian restaurant where the gardening cognoscenti refuel with a plate of pasta and glass of wine. comolario.uk.com.
- Only a short tube ride away to South Kensington is the Conran Shop, at Brompton Cross, the heart of a very fashionable district. The outdoor department is always chock full of the latest European designer furniture and fun accessories. conranshop.co.uk.
- If you have time for a trip across town, I'd make a special effort to see what all the fuss is about out at Petersham Nurseries, a boutique garden center with a celebrity clientele and a very fancy restaurant. petershamnurseries.com.
- But, if gadding about town isn't your thing, or you don't have space in your luggage for an antique bird bath, an uplifting visit to one of London's many public green spaces will restore the soul after the crowds of Sloane Square and Chelsea. Head for the Chelsea Physic Garden and soak up the birdsong (they open late on Wednesdays). chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk.