As soon as I walk into the grounds of Chelsea Flower Show I know I am in for a creative and visually stimulating experience and this year the talent of the designers, plant breeders and everyone involved didn’t fail to deliver!
This year’s trends
So much to take in and yet there were definite trends in landscaping and planting design which stood out and caught my attention. Grey coloured paving such as slate and limestone seemed to be a popular choice with the designers of the show gardens and it does make a perfect backdrop to show off the lush green planting and the highly coloured planting schemes.
Purple, orange and blue were colours often used together and became a repeating motif in the planting designs used in the gardens – although one of my favourite show gardens – The Beauty of Islam – was based around an effective white and green planting scheme which conveyed a feeling of peace and relaxation. Water troughs filled with stones also made a regular appearance such as in the Urban Retreat garden and would make a modern statement in any garden.
Jaw dropping perfection in the Great Pavilion
As to the Great Pavilion… where do you start – it was an overwhelming celebration of different plants – you smell the hyacinths before you see them and the rose area was one of the busiest stands and smelt wonderfully fragrant, my favourite being a small purple climbing rose called Violette Rambling Rose. Different shades of purple alliums stood to attention as you walked by and one of the most jaw dropping stands amongst all this perfection was one displaying multiple variations of the simple daffodil and had won a coveted gold medal.
Chelsea is not to be missed if you are a fan of sculpture or water features in your garden – gigantic and beautiful drift wood sculptures of horses and dragons appeared around one corner and then close by a stand of copper oriental style flowering fountains gushing water catches the eye.
The only problem with Chelsea is there never seems enough time to see everything before you are rushing to catch the train home!
Image credits: ALDA, Rictor Norton & David Allen