Alliums are probably the most popular plant used on the Chelsea showground - and that's not just on the gardens. Here, on the left, One Church Street Gallery (silver Allium christophii) and (right) Rachel Carter Sculpture (copper Allium hollandicum) show their mettle, forgive the pun.
All pictures by Pattie Barron
> IMAGE GALLERY: Hot homes with glorious gardens
If you want big as well as best, come to Chelsea: Ironwork sculptor Jenny Pickford's giant agapanthus loom above the showground...
...while James Doran-Webb's giant driftwood horses get playful.
Sometimes accused of not having a sense of humour, the chaps at the Royal Horticultural Society show their funny side with tubs of painted toadstools for sale, labelled ominously with the non-horticultural tag "No idea what this is", "Possibly edible" or the suspicious "Grown with love." Nibble at your peril.
The Positively Stoke-on-Trent show garden has the ultimate water feature, designed to symbolise sustainable energy, powering the city into a dynamic future......Seen for real, the water really does look as if it's curving all on its own, from one part of an arc into the other, forming the missing section. It's not hard to see, however, that a plastic chute is gently guiding the water to its destination. Not an easy feature to place in the small town garden, this is a great idea to scale down: somebody please copy.
The final touches being made to the Extending Space show garden, which has been inspired by the diverse and beautiful landscapes of the protected Pfyn Forest region in the Swiss Valais... but meanwhile, with its Swiss pine pergola, clipped box, mini-mountain lake and gorgeous pine tree, would make a great city space.
Just waiting to be snapped up to be given pride of place in the front room, these fragrant figures are made entirely from dried flowers: The Blues Brother's suit and hat is made of lavender buds while the pink piano, covered in perfumed rose buds, is surely on standby for Elton. Only at Chelsea. For a bespoke budded creation, or for a rather smaller-scale dried heart or wreath, visit www.pollyfields.co.uk.
A trio of rainbow sandstone globes, each fitted with a pump to deliver constant trickling water, look wonderful surrounded by alpine plants on the Garden Buildings site. Bliss water features, together with benches, birdbaths and more, all in high-grade natural stones, are from www.foras.co.uk.
You might not see it, but they know it's there....Before the judges come a-calling, the gardens' teams are invariably on their hands and knees, sweeping compost off leaves and grains of sand from paving; resting on any old block of wood, however uncomfortable, means that the grass doesn't get marked. It's all about the detail, you see, as well as the big picture.
Putting the finishing touches to the RBC Waterscape Garden, designed by talented young newbie, 27-year-old Hugo Bugg. The garden shows sustainable water solutions for gardeners and highlights the extremes between water abundance and water scarcity. This particular garden won't come cheap: each of those pieces on the contemporary floor of crazy paving has been jigsawed to fit into the next piece...
The very simple but rather fabulous BrandAlley Renaissance garden, designed by Paul Hervey-Brookes, gets a final primping... The partly-visible loggia, painted Pompeii red, has an open roof with oak beams and contains a playful water grotto.
Talented as well as handsome... Italian Luciano Giubbilei has surely gained another gold medal for his contemplative space for Champagne Laurent-Perrier.
The rich colours of the flag iris in the Cloudy Bay Sensory Garden reflect the tasting notes and colours of the New Zealand company's wines...
The two designers behind the Cloudy Bay Sensory Garden's colourful planting scheme, Andrew Wilson, left and Gavin McWilliam.
Two very different and exquisite show gardens created by Japanese designers: (left) Togenkyo - A Paradise on Earth, by Kazayuki Ishihara, and (right) the Arita garden, with contemporary white pavilion, by Shuko Noda.