We are so pleased to have caught up with Louise from http://wellywoman.wordpress.com after she ventured down to Chelsea to discover the new gardening trends. Seeing the show gardens and the pavilion for the first time, Louise has kindly written a piece for us to share with you. This is Louise’s experience of the Chelsea Flower Show.
A visit to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is a must for any plant lover and this year’s event was no exception. The horticultural equivalent of London Fashion Week, I arrived early on Monday morning with my camera and notepad ready to be inspired.
The main theme seen across the show, artisan and fresh gardens was the use of naturalistic planting. Light, airy and reminiscent of hedgerows in May, cow parsley and Chaerophyllum hirsutum ‘Roseum’ combined with low-growing grasses such as Deschampsia cespitosa and Briza media. Native trees and hedging, including field maple, rowan, hawthorn and hazel, provided the perfect backdrop. The use of multi-stemmed trees gave these familiar species a designer touch.
Strong colours were in evidence with the use of deep crimson and red wine flowers one of the major trends. The thistle-like flowers of Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’, the bottle brush heads of Sanguisorba offficinalis ‘Red Thunder’ and the starry flowers of Astrantia ‘Sheila’s Red’ all provided shots of rich colour. Dark blues and purples combined to give a dramatic feeling to planting schemes. My personal favourites were the Iris sibricas on Adam Frost’s ‘Sowing the Seeds of Change’ garden. Rusty orange was also used to great effect adding vibrancy and warmth. I loved Lily ‘Orange Marmalade’, Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fireglow, Californian poppies and the variety of geums on show.
One of the star plants of the show gardens has to be the tall spires of Echium pininana on Chris Beardshaw’s Arthritis UK garden, which were proving popular not only with visitors but also the local bees. The plants that caught my attention - that I’m hoping to find a space for in my own garden - were the unusual green flowered Mathiasella, the chunky architectural flower heads of Angelicas and the stunning Verbascum ‘Violetta’ from Nigel Dunnett’s ‘Blue Water Roof Garden’.
The artisan gardens are a great place to spot emerging design talent. Only in their twenties, the brothers Harry and David Rich are ones to watch. Their beautiful ‘Un Garreg’ garden - Welsh for one stone - was inspired by the countryside around their home in the Brecon Beacons and was awarded a gold medal on their inaugural visit to Chelsea.
After last year’s awful summer and a long, cold winter and spring, Chelsea is the perfect place to remind us all why we love gardening so much.