I saw not one but two plants being launched at Chelsea called 'William and Catherine': a rose and a sweet pea. I didn't think much of the 'William and Catherine' rose (pictured), an English musk hybrid with flowers which open apricot and fade to cream and then pure white. But I decided to buy a few of the salmon pink sweet pea 'William and Catherine' seeds to bring home as a slightly more creative alternative to a royal wedding teatowel. I also bought a stunning variety, 'Just Jenny', which is midnight blue (almost black really), and the plum-on-silver 'Lisa Marie'. After I'd bought the seeds, I checked the restrictions on importing Lathyrus odoratus into New Zealand. The MAF website says they "require assessment" so I'll declare them and see how I go. Although it'd be ironic if I couldn't bring them in to the country - these varieties were bred in New Zealand for the UK market by a grower in Gisborne.
It was almost too difficult to look at the nursery displays in the Great Pavilion: so many amazing plants, no way of bringing them home with me. I did rather love the begonias on Bristol nursery Blackmore & Langdon's stand - the size of saucers and in a range of eye-popping colours. I loved some of the green chrysanthemums too, the oversized 'Anasthasia Green' (pictured) and the pompom 'Feeling Green'. But for flowers it was hard to go past the Nong Nooch Tropical Garden display "Fantastic Thailand". It featured a replica of the Temple of Dawn, and a scattering of elephant and dragon statues, all made up of pink, yellow and red flowers which had been individually threated onto pieces of string.