The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2013 is in full bloom this week and enjoying its centenary year. The annual show, set in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, is one of the ways that the RHS funds its charitable activities, from transforming communities to delivering scientific research, which helps thousands of gardeners across the UK. ACHICA Living went along to chat to some designers and gawp at the amazing gardens. So if you’re looking for some green-fingered inspiration? Take a look at the show gardens here…
1. The judges awarded Best in Show to Trailfinders Australian Garden presented by Flemings and designed by Phil Johnson. The garden creates a ‘relaxing and inviting ecosystem within an Australian urban environment’. With its native Australian plants, including lush ferns to bright kangaroo paws and bottle trees, the garden has certainly has brought down-under garden style to down-under-the-Chelsea-Embankment.
2. Meanwhile, an Alcove (Tokonoma) Garden, designed by Kazuyuki Ishihara and sponsored by Sekisui Heim Tokai, was awarded Best Artisan Garden. Representing an alcove within a classic Japanese tatami room, the garden is adorned with a hanging scroll and sculptural flowers.
3. At the show we got a chance to see designer Ulf Nordfjell’s Laurent Perrier Garden and you can read our pre-show interview with Ulf here. The garden won a Gold medal this year, and unites classic English and French style. Ulf Nordfjell has used simple materials such as stone, wood and metal and teamed them with beautiful perennials in soft pinks and blues, creamy oranges, yellows and whites. A pergola that arches over the terrace and rectangular pool creates a breathtaking display.
4. Designer Adam Frost’s Sowing the Seeds of Change garden, sponsored by Homebase, also caught our eye for its relaxing modern space that is designed to encourage wildlife. It features some beautifully lush plants and tasty vegetables including roses, ferns, rosemary, conference pears and rhubarb.
5. When we spoke to Alan Titchmarsh on opening day, he told us that The M&G Centenary Garden Windows Through Time, designed by Roger Platts, was his favourite garden at the show. We also think it’s great for the way Roger mixes old and new garden elements – from shrubs that were popular in the 1990s to modern plant cultivars. It proves that certain garden styles are timeless.
6. The Arthritis Research Garden designed by Chris Beardshaw and built by Keith Chapman Landscapes was equally uplifting for its mix of pretty river birch, poppies, euphorbia, tree echiums, Pittosporum tobira, and Rosa Glauca (a shrubby rose with greyish-purple leaves). We chatted to Chris who was very passionate about the garden, and you can watch our interview with him here at ACHICA Living later on this week.
7. Prince Harry’s charity show garden – The B&Q Sentebale Forget-Me-Not-Garden designed by Jinny Blom – was a particular highlight at Chelsea. The garden has been designed to raise awareness for the Prince’s charity Sentebale, which translates as Forget Me Not in Sesotho (the language spoken in Lesotho) and was set up in 2006 in memory of his mother and the Prince Seeiso of Lesotho’s mother, Queen Mamohato Bereng Seeiso. ‘Lesotho has a fascinating landscape and culture,’ says Jinny Blom. ‘Some of the native flora such as Nemesia and Silene Fimbriata will be known to British gardeners.’
8. World-renowned garden designer Christopher Bradley-Hole created The Telegraph Garden for the centenary show, which not surprisingly won a Gold medal. The lush garden is inspired by the making of the English landscape, the Japanese approach to garden making and modern abstract art. Plants include Astrantia major ‘Claret’ masterwort and a steely blue Amsonia tabernaemontana var. salicifolia.
9. The East Village Garden, sponsored by Delancy and designed by Balston Agius has got to be one of our favourites from this year’s show. We love the curvaceous lines and plants including wild ginger and pretty Rhododendron macabeanum.
10. And last but not least, the RBC Blue Water Roof Garden, sponsored by The Royal Bank of Canada and designed by Professor Nigel Dunnett and The Landscape Agency, is an urban city garden that attempts to bring trees, meadows and wetlands into the heart of the densest of cities. The pretty hardy geraniums in the garden are great for long-seasons of colour and will grow happily in sun or shade.
For famous faces at Chelsea Flower Show 2013 and our round up of top 10 facts, click here
[Images above: Brian North for ACHICA Living]
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Emily Peck, Editor
View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor