The RHS Chelsea Flower Show has been held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London every year since 1913, apart from gaps during the two World Wars. Once Britain’s largest flower show (it has now been overtaken by RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show), it is still the most prestigious. It’s always an amazing crowd-puller, with about 157,000 visitors over the five days. Despite this year’s battering by the weather, it’s as inspiring as ever. Here are some of our highlights…
The M&G Garden designed by Jo Thompson is a romantic retreat, with a two-storey oak-framed building inspired by Vita Sackville-West’s writing room at Sissinghurst, a large natural swimming pond edged with water loving plants, a woodland of river birches, acacias and acers, and a garden with tumbling roses and peonies.
A Place in the Garden are exhibiting a wide selection of their zinc planters, decorative objects, water features and lighting, including new Coach Lamps. And congratulations to them for winning a 5-star award for their stand!
Spring and Summer plaques with putti from the Clifton Coade Stone Collection with an Adam Sundial Plinth and Armillary Sphere, on Haddonstone‘s stand.
This covetable Riverkeeper’s Hut, one of a range of designs by Plankbridge in Dorset, is based on a Victorian original. Fully insulated, it’s perfect for use as a studio, home office, or even an actual fishing hut. Any variation can be made.
The micro-kitchen inside the shepherd’s hut above, with a galvanised trough-style sink, ash surfaces and even an electric hob.
Inspired by Sentebale’s Mamohato Children’s Centre, an incredible facility due to open in 2015, that helps Lesotho’s vulnerable children, the Sentebale garden will transport visitors to the landscape of Lesotho in Southern Africa. Bright colours dance through the garden linking its hard landscaping elements with Lesotho’s native environmental characteristics. Designed by Matt Keightley.
Plant Belles’ stand, with their wire plant supports and tunnels. The superior garden shed is by Barrel Top Wagons.
The Beauty of Islam garden is a contemporary take on traditional Islamic garden design. Four walls act as dividers within the garden, creating different rooms and enhancing the garden’s element of discovery with water flowing throughout. The wide variety of plants within the garden, including jasmine, rosemary and papyrus, represents the spread of Islam and Arab culture and the growth of the Arab empire through trade, most notably the Spice Route.
The Telegraph Garden, designed by Marcus Barnett and inspired by the De Stijl movement, with geometrical planting blocks contributing colour and texture, whether viewing from within or above the garden.
A new use for a conservatory…just the place for a scented soak, of course. This is the Scotney conservatory from the National Trust Range by Alitex, in a collaboration with Clifton Nurseries (and a Tubby bath from Albion Bath Company
For lots more information about the show, and for updates on who won the prestigious awards, see: www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/rhs-chelsea-flower-show
And did you know…
* The Great Pavilion is roughly 11,775 square metres or 2.90 acres, enough room to park 500 London buses.
* Of the firms that exhibited at the first Show in 1913, three can still be seen at the Show today: McBean’s Orchids, Blackmore & Langdon and Kelways Plants.