Chelsea Flower Show: A Round Up

Chelsea Flower Show is one of my favourite times of the year. A celebration of creativity, natural beauty and thoughtful garden design. 
Sadly I don't have a garden of my own at the minute but that hasn't stopped me from becoming a Gardener's World regular and I've just started the brilliant 'Naturalistic Garden Design' course by Dan Pearson on Create Academy. I'd highly recommend it, even if just to gawk at his stunningly beautiful garden in Somerset. 

I know my round up of the show is now a little late but I still wanted to take the time to share with you some of my favourite gardens and discoveries from the show, along with the main trends and ideas to take into your garden at home. 
Pick of the Bunch

I couldn't pick just 1 favourite garden this year so here's my top 3:

1. Hands Off Mangrove by Grow2Know

This was a beautiful garden, addressing some key prominent issues and with a stunning steel structure in the middle of it. I loved the solid steel structure against the really soft, textural planting. A calm, inviting place to be. 
This garden was designed to be relocated into the local community post Chelsea. 

Designed by
Tayshan Hayden-Smith and Danny Clarke

Built by
The Landscaping Consultants

Sponsored by
Grow2Know CiC
Project Giving Back

2. The Morris Garden 

I'd seen a highlight of this garden on the TV in the run up to Chelsea but it was even more beautiful in real life. 
Very worthy of it's gold medal, the pavilion and water features were designed on one of the original Morris & Co patterns (Willow Boughs 1887). I loved the use of the floral fabrics in the outdoor seating area too and the cottage garden style planting, including little strawberry plants from Morris' garden itself. 
Soft lilac, apricots, greens and hints of the dark auburn from the pavilion were reflected in the flowers too. I particularly loved the lilac bearded Iris pictured below. 

Designed by
Ruth Willmott

Built by
Garden Builders

Sponsored by
Morris & Co.

3. The RNLI Garden 

This garden was so calming. It had a simple, curved path through the middle and lots of beautiful greens, whites soft pinks and purples. It felt luscious and enveloping and like you could feel totally at ease in the middle of it. 

Designed by
Chris Beardshaw

Built by
Cultura Group, EGIDOS and James Gray

Sponsored by
Royal National Lifeboat Institution
Project Giving Back


There always seems to be a couple of themes that emerge each year at the show - with similar plants in the show gardens, repeating colours throughout and movement towards a particular planting style. 
I loved the really natural, wild feel of most of the gardens this year. Perhaps a result of more time spent amongst nature during lockdown and an appreciation of our green spaces. 
Lots of gorgeous strong, happy colours mixed in with textural elements and grasses and clever structures to promote a mix of wildlife in our gardens. 

I particularly liked the bee houses in the garden designed by Gardener's World presenter Joe Swift which was also full of  beautiful Alliums, Foxgloves, Salvias, Geums, Euphorbias and more bee-loving plants. The bee-houses had a slightly concave top to allow a shallow layer of water to form for the bees to drink from. 

There was also a lot of white and purple throughout the show this year - white and dark purple Lupins, white roses, Alliums and Iris too. A very calming combination when paired with lots of luscious green. (As seen below in the winner of The People's Choice Award garden.)

There was also a clear focus on spaces to unwind and relax in the garden, along with using our gardens in the most efficient way possible- with areas for encouraging wildlife, flower meadows and clever spaces for working from home - like this brilliant building below. 

A Couple of Other Highlights:

The Plantman's Ice Garden -  this was a striking, visual reminder of the climate perils facing our planet. It was very cleverly done with beautiful botanicals hidden within the ice too as an offering of hope. 

I also really enjoyed the first garden by the charity MIND - with the curved stone walls. Designed as a space to evoke calmness and a place to be still. Again more beautiful whites, purples, lime greens and pinks. 

I can't finish this email without a special mention too for Veevers Carter, the florist. They created some stunning installations both at the show and for #Chelseainbloom in Sloane Square. This installation pictured below involved a series of resin sheets with pressed flowers to create the silhouette of the queen to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee. It was absolutely beautiful. 

Another brilliant year of Chelsea, leaving me with fuelled with gardening enthusiasm!