Well, that’s another year at the Chelsea Flower Show done!
We always like to look out for the current trends each year. This year they were big, heavy slabs of paving and solid chunky structures, mostly in yellow sandstone, hardwood or slate! There was a real masculine feel to the gardens, unsurprising when nearly all the designers were men!
Yellow and orange flowers have made a comeback (to go with the yellow paving) often combined with a dark red, purple and brown combo. Lots of Orange Geum and Salvia nemorosa.
We heard one designer state that the gardens were designed by the top 15 garden designers in the world! (of which he included himself!) There really wasn’t that much innovation or insiration to be found. Mostly it felt a bit blingy.
Dan Pearson’s understated Chatsworth Garden. He makes naturalism look so effortless, but the attention to detail is incredible. We loved the use of new plant, Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’, to soften the corners of the huge craggy boulders.
Jo Thompson’s swimming pond and pool house were exquist. (Jo’s favourite!) The planting was romantic in soft shades of pink and purple.
Of the two gardens which we thought most innovative, the first was the Pure Land Foundation Garden by Fernando Gonzalez (my favourite) It has a startling contrast between the organic white structures and the vibrant, zingy planting. The multi-stemmed Koelreuteria paniculata leaves pick up the orange tones of the Digitalis ‘Illumination Apricot’ and Iris ‘Kent pride’
Secondly, the World Vision Garden by John Warland was visually stunning. We loved the floating, mirrorred, boxes full of cactus- what an original idea! The yellow rods illuminated the garden and reflected off the dyed black water, the whole garden appeared to be in sharp focus.
Other highlights were the interesting bench and grating made from reinforcing rods in the Dark Matter Garden, which was awarded Best Fresh Garden and the lovely curly benches in Matthew Wilson’s garden.
Of the plants that caught our eye we will be looking out for the Digitalis ‘Illumination’ range (below) and Baptisia ‘Chocolate Chip’