Ascot Spring Garden Show

My garden photography got off to somewhat of a slow start this year due to a very cold, miserable and pretty non existent Spring. Whilst keeping warm inside I read that Ascot were having an inaugural Spring Garden Show which I definitely knew I wanted to check out.

I arrived there on a pretty grey Thursday afternoon to see what was going on and was pleasantly surprised at what I was greeted with. It is a beautifully intimate show, still with a selection of gorgeous show gardens but easily accessible and not a large as some other flower shows. There’s a theatre with a talk timetable from the likes of David Dominey and Simon Lycett and plenty stands where you can indulge in a little shopping.

The show gardens were really varied and designed by some talented high end garden designers. I had such a fantastic time photographing them and chatting with the designers. First up was this geometric inspired garden by Tom Hill Garden Design. I loved his use of colour and form and the copper elements he brought into it.

En Pointe – Tom Hill Garden Design

Ascot Spring Garden Show Tom Hill

A Garden for All Seasons – Kate Gould

The garden was designed in two separate areas with a section for dining and entertaining and a section for relaxing. The planting was a colourful mix of oranges, blues and greens set off against the rusted metal.

Ascot Spring Garden Show Kate Gould

The Landform Spring Garden – Catherine MacDonald of Landform Consultants

I love the simple Spring colour scheme of the planting keeping to yellows and whites and incorporating a lawn and contemplation area. I’d say this was a nice garden to reproduce in your own back yard, whatever the size.

Ascot Spring Garden Show Landform Spring Garden

The Courtyard – Joe Perkins

A sunken seating area with tall hedging and beautiful planting gives this a reel feel of privacy and it also has a Mediterranean feel with the terracotta pots and water feature at one end.

Ascot Spring Garden Show The Courtyard

What Lies Beneath by Claudia de Jong & Phil Tremayne

Beautiful planting from Claudia combining an eating area, arbour and the cutest shed you’ve ever seen.

Ascot Spring Garden Show What Lies Beneath

Yardley Flower Garden – Pip Probert, Outer Spaces Design Ltd.

I love the sound of water in a garden so these beautiful water features really did it for me. I also loved the stonework and the variety of plants used which really popped against the grey and white of the walls.

Ascot Spring Garden Show Yardley Flower Garden

Looking forward to returning next year to see some new gorgeous gardens on display.

 

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017

Chelsea Flower Show 2017

This was my second visit to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show after wanting to visit for many years. The 2017 show was quite different to last year’s Jubilee extravaganza with sadly less show gardens than previous years being blamed on the slowdown of the economy. But less of that and more about the inspiration and beautiful planting that happens at every Chelsea show.

Wandering round in the hot sun was a pure delight and it was great to be able to stop, look and learn about what was happening. The first show garden on entrance was the M&G garden designed by James Basson. It was inspired by the Mediterranean, Malta in particular and ‘draws on the ecological diversity and sustainability of the region, which acts as a microcosm for the planet as a whole.’ If you were looking for a traditional garden, then you were in the wrong place but I guess the point of many of these grand designs is to get people talking. I did like the smaller stones and the planting in between but was a bit unsure on the larger towers.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017

My favourite garden in the whole show was that designed by Chris Beardshaw. The colours, shapes, planting was simply sublime and yet it didn’t win a Gold. Reassuring to know however that it did get the People’s Choice Award, so clearly there were many others who felt the same way as I. I took a lot of personal inspiration away from this garden.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017

Another of my favourite areas this year was the Radio 2 sensory gardens. They had been wonderfully thought through and yet were all so unique and contained some of the best planting at the show. I particularly loved the Jo Whiley Scent Garden and the Zoe Ball Listening Garden.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017
Wonderful planting at Chelsea
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017The Jo Whiley Scent Garden
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017
The Zoe Ball Listening Garden

This garden inspired by Mexico looked incredible in the bright sunshine.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017

For me the Artisan gardens were where it was at this year. Through the microscope was a cleverly designed garden inspired by Breast Cancer Research. With smaller plants towards the front and larger ones at the back it really did feel like you were looking down a microscope.

Down the microscope
There was also the usual array of beautiful stands, this was a particular favourite not only because of the stunning metalwork but the planting of the lupins and salvia – very 2017!

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017

Another show garden with stunning planting was Breaking Ground. The garden was inspired by breaking down the walls to education and was produced in conjunction with Wellington College.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017

 

The David Austin Roses stand always enthrals me not only with the colours but also the scent.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017

This colourful garden called the Silk Road Garden was inspired by the huge diversity of plant life in china. The colours were magnificent along wit the interesting architectural structure made a very unique garden.

This was a clever urban garden designed to inspire insects and people alike featuring some really cool bug hotels.

Bug houses