Thursday, 23 May 2013

Chelsea Weather

Rain and hail in London today, to say nothing of the icy wind - but then, we shouldn't be surprised; it is Chelsea week. There's something about the Chelsea Flower Show that seems to tempt fate, attracting just about every form of extreme weather known to man, short of waterspouts spinning in from the Thames. In 1935, snow carpeted the country in Chelsea week and exhibitors had to blast their plants with electric heaters to keep them alive. Downpours in 1971 caused flooding and brought down the roof of the commercial stand. In 2007 an unprecedentedly warm April brought flowering forward by a month, forcing exhibitors to refrigerate their plants, keep them in the dark or even bind them to stop them opening ahead of schedule. But the funniest year was 2006 when, taking the warmists seriously, Chelsea went big on drought gardens. All seemed set fair as the country enjoyed an unusually long dry spell - until Chelsea, when the heavens opened and torrential downpours swamped and all but swept away the drought gardens and everything else. As a waggish journalist remarked, 'All of Chelsea is a water feature this year.'
So what's a bit of rain, hail and unseasonal cold? Chelsea seems to be getting off lightly this year.

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