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.
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.
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.
This garden inspired by Mexico looked incredible in the bright sunshine.
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.
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!
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.
The David Austin Roses stand always enthrals me not only with the colours but also the scent.
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.