The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019
Welcome to the second part of my overview of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019. (If you missed the first part of my Chelsea overview, click here to see the first instalment.)
The Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show is the world’s most prestigious flower show. Held in the Royal Hospital’s grounds, at Chelsea, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is a great place to find inspiration and ideas for your home and garden. You’ll find award winning garden designers creating gardens suited to different climates, styles, and landscapes.
Many of the gardens, at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, celebrate the benefits of gardening, and the positive effects that spending time in gardens, has on our physical and emotional health and well-being. HRH the Duchess of Cambridge has joined forces with Designers, Andrée Davies and Adam White, to design the RHS Back to Nature Garden; a garden designed to encourage families’ physical and emotional well-being by spending time outdoors, together. The RHS Back to Nature Garden is full of ideas to inspire outdoor play, and encourage nature into our gardens. This garden’s design is focused on family gardening, it serves as a reminder of the importance of making memories with the ones you love.
Edible plants feature prominently at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. Designer, Tom Dixon, reminds us of the importance and the joy of growing our own food in his design for the IKEA Garden. While designers, Kazuto Kashiwakura and Miki Sato, demonstrate how plants can heal us, in their design for Kampo no Niwa, a garden created for a practitioner of Kampo – a form of Japanese herbal medicine.
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019 is sponsored by M&G Investments.
Here’s a look at the plants, people, and gardens, from RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019:
If you’d like to see some of the plants that Anne grows for Daisy Roots Nursery, please click here.
The RHS Back to Nature Garden
This year, HRH the Duchess of Cambridge has collaborated with Designers, Andrée Davies and Adam White, to design the RHS Back to Nature Garden. This is a woodland garden, designed to motivate families to spend quality time together, to encourage them to play and learn together, to create memories, have fun, and connect with nature.
The RHS ran a competition to decide which NHS Trust would receive the garden. The winner has been unveiled; the RHS Back to Nature Garden will be relocated to the Dewnans Centre, an NHS Mental Health Trust, in Dawlish. You can see more photographs of the RHS Back to Nature Garden, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019, in this article I wrote about the garden.
The Dubai Majlis Garden
Designer Thomas Hoblyn has taken inspiration from the beauty of arid landscapes in his design for the Dubai Majlis Garden. There’s a definite Middle Eastern feel to this show garden, with its curvaceous features, which have been created using traditional earth rendering techniques.
The Dubai Majlis Garden features many aromatic plants that are suited to growing in arid environments, including Myrtus communis (myrtle), Santolina, and Artemesia. Thomas Hoblyn has planted a number of thymes and ground cover plants, which naturally hug the landscape as they grow.
The natural curve of sand dunes as they form inspired the design for this garden’s arbour. There’s also an oasis like water feature, which sadly didn’t feature any plants.
The Trailfinders Undiscovered Latin America Garden
The height difference, steep sloping sides, and water features in the Trailfinders Undiscovered Latin America Garden add a real sense of drama to this Show Garden. The aim of this garden is to raise awareness of the fragile eco systems in latin America and this area’s rainforests, which are under constant threat from logging, deforestation, human expansion, farming, and other human activities.
Many of the plants seen in the Trailfinders garden are long time favourites grown in our own gardens, like the monkey puzzle tree, Araucaria araucana, Buddleja, and Lupins.
The pillar-box red colour of the Trailfinders Undiscovered Latin America Garden’s bridge and viewing platform really stands out across the garden. It’s such a prominent feature. I think the designer chose this colour, so as to enhance the green of this lush, green garden.
Garden designer, Jonathan Snow, has taken inspiration from the rainforests of South America in his design for the Trailfinders Undiscovered Latin America Garden. Many of the wild plants growing in this area of temperate rainforest can be grown successfully in our UK gardens. Does this Show Garden inspire you to create a lush green, temperate rainforest of your own?
Warner’s Distillery Garden
Designer Helen Elks-Smith, has taken her inspiration from Falls Farm, the Northamptonshire base of Warner’s Distillery, for her design for Warner’s Distillery’s Chelsea garden.
The famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright has also influenced Helen Elks-Smith’s design. This garden’s design features display a horizontal bias that is somewhat of a tribute to ‘Fallingwater’, Frank Lloyd Wright’s famed masterpiece. The arbour’s cantilevered roof structure has been designed to collect rainwater, but as well as being functional, this retreat provides a place to stop and enjoy the garden. Kiln-formed glass pieces, created by artist Wendy Newhofer, form the side panels that enclose this garden’s shelter.
Helen Elks-Smith’s design serves to remind us of the importance of capturing and using rainwater. Water is a predominant feature of this garden, with lots of ideas and inspiration for visitors to take home with them.
The planting in the Warner’s Distillery Garden has a lovely textural feel, featuring Juniper (Juniperus communis) a distinctive evergreen, with its fine, pointed, needle like leaves. One of the UK’s native trees, Juniper produces purple-blue edible berries, which are used to flavour gin, liquors, and sauces. A number of bee friendly plants were included in the planting of this garden, including Cirsium rivulare, Verbascum, and Alliums.
I was thrilled to see native hedging being used in the Warner’s Distillery Garden. A hedge is such a wonderful feature to include in the garden; planting a hedge is a great way to invite wildlife into your garden. Hedgerows used to divide gardens and line roads and pathways, providing food and shelter for a wide range of wildlife. Sadly, in recent years fences have replaced hedgerows, much to the detriment of both the look and feel or our landscape.
‘Curiosity’, Warner’s Distillery’s gin still is referenced in the garden, with copper and water becoming a recurring feature of the garden.
Gardening Will Save The World
Gardening Will Save The World is a show garden with a difference, located away from the other gardens on Main Avenue – installed inside the Great Pavilion. Designer, Tom Dixon, demonstrates the achievable possibilities for growing edible plants in city spaces. This garden shares the joy of growing your own food, encouraging us to take up a more sustainable and healthier lifestyle, to not only enhance our own lives, but to benefit the planet and the environment, as well.
This show garden stretches up and out over a number of levels, allowing visitors the opportunity to engage with the plants that make up each of the different layers of planting. Visitors have the chance to take in the various vistas that this garden presents as they explore. On the lower level, edible plants are grown using high-tech growing techniques such as hydroponics and aeroponics, in a horticultural laboratory.
The Grand Pavilion
Medwyn and Gwenda Williams are such a lovely couple, I always look forward to seeing them. Medwyn is a member of the National Vegetable Society, he has done so much for the society, over a great many years. To see my article about Medwyn and his success at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019, please click here.
Walkers Bulbs at Taylors
If you’re interested in daffodils, you might like to see some of the best performing daffodils from my Daffodil Trials.
West Country Lupins
You can see more photographs of Millais Nurseries exhibit, and find out about the two new Rhododendrons that they launched at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019, in this article I wrote about Millais Nurseries.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the new plants that were launched at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019, you might enjoy reading the article I wrote about the RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year 2019 Competition.
Pennard Plants launched a new tomato at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019. This is Tomato ‘Cocktail Crush’. I grew this tomato, from seed, last year, for my Tomato Trial, you can discover how productive my ‘Cocktail Crush’ tomato plants were in this article I wrote about the trial.
Space to Grow Gardens
Best Space to Grow Garden and Best Construction Award
Facebook: Beyond the Screen
Designer, Joe Perkins, has taken inspiration from his experience of the positive connections that are made possible through social media to connect those with similar opinions and enhance the life of a local and global community. To show this, Joe has chosen plants that grow in similar conditions – the same range of temperatures and same quantity of rainfall – but the plants that this designer has chosen for the Facebook Garden, originate from different coastal locations, around the world.
Kampo no Niwa
Kampo no Niwa was designed by Kazuto Kashiwakura and Miki Sato, built by Tatsuya Shirai, Otis Landscape Associates, Harrison Landscapes, Kawai & Co Ltd, and sponsored by Kampo no Niwa 300 sponsors.
This Space to Grow Garden was designed for a practitioner of Kampo – a form of traditional Japanese herbal medicine. The practice helps to balance body and mind to restore good health. Accordingly, this garden features edible, healing plants that have the power to heal, soothe, and calm the body.
This garden’s designers, Kazuto Kashiwakura and Miki Sato are from Hokkaido, in northern Japan. This area has long, cold winters, so the springtime sound of the snow and ice of the snow capped mountains’ ice melting is celebrated. The designers have been inspired by the sound of melting ice caps, they have used their memories of this annual event to fine tune the rill and water feature in the Kamp no Niwa Garden, with the aim of recreating the welcome sound of the springtime ice melt.
Many of the plants you see planted in the Kampo no Niwa Garden are grown in Hokkaido. The overall effect of the garden’s planting is one of green, of health and vitality, with different leaf forms providing texture and interest. The designers hope to convey the message that plants have the power to help people to be healthy and happy.
One of the lovely things about the Kampo no Niwa Garden, is that this venture was crowdfunded by 300 people – including both individual contributors from Japan, support from the designer’s local companies, as well as those further afield. Every supporter contributed over £100, to enable the designers to fulfil their dream of building this garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.
NB. Please consult a qualified doctor or Kampo practitioner before attempting to treat any medical conditions yourself.
The Harmonious Garden of Life
The Harmonious Garden of Life has been designed to promote sustainability and positive interaction.
This garden’s pergola features a swing, which is connected to the garden’s pond – the action of a person swinging back and forward on a swing activates a pump which pumps water onto the aquatic plants, growing in a filtration area of the garden. The idea is that the plants filter the water and it runs back into the pond again.
The Harmonious Garden of Life features plants that improve our environment, from plants like Hedera (ivy) that clean pollutants from the air, while bamboo takes in high amounts of carbon dioxide. Designer, Laurélie de la Salle, has used plants that can be grown successfully without the need for frequent watering. In a bid to further conserve resources, Laurélie de la Salle has also included clover, which enriches the soil it’s grown in.
The Roots in Finland Kyrö Garden
Designer, Taina Suonio, has taken inspiration from the Finnish countryside for her design for the Roots in Finland Kyrö Garden. Created as an urban garden, designed to bring some delights from the country, to those living in the city centre; this garden features many plants that are often seen growing in Finnish Gardens, including Convallaria majalis, the National Flower of Finland.
Finnish granite is a predominant feature of this garden, the floor in the sunken garden, the paving seen on the pathway, and the benches, are all comprised from Finnish granite.
Betula pubescens f. rubra, an unusual form of silver birch that produces dark maroon coloured leaves features within this garden. Other notable plants include, Juniperus communis, an important ingredient in gin, which is used by the sponsor, Kyrö, in their gin production. While Rosa pimpinellifolia ‘Plena’, a popular rose, frequently planted in the gardens of Finnish country houses is also featured.
Viking Cruises: The Art of Viking Garden
Designer, Paul Hervey-Brookes, has set out to create an original, engaging space, that’s inspired by art. To create his design, Paul has taken inspiration from Norwegian artist, Jakob Weidermann’s painting, entitled, ‘Impressions on Nature’. Much of this garden’s features and design are centred on art. Cube sculptures, created by Paul Hervey-Brookes, are said to represent travel and new ideas.
Multi-stemmed silver birch trees, the hedging, lovely log store wall, and Salix purpurea ‘Nancy Saunders’ provide a feeling of seclusion, in this water themed garden. While Angelica archangelica adds freshness to this contemporary garden. Designer, Paul Hervey-Brookes, has created a water meadow, patio garden for Viking Cruises – I like it!
The Manchester Garden
The Manchester Garden has been created to raise awareness of the possibilities for our city centres, demonstrating how our urban environments can be improved and enhanced by the transformative effects and clever use of plants.
The Manchester Garden’s Designers, Exterior Architecture, want to challenge some of the pre-held concepts of Manchester and raise awareness of the city and all it offers. Designed to highlight the regeneration of Greater Manchester, by publicising the reinvention of this area, this garden also raises awareness of the possibilities of greening city centres and the importance of urban green infrastructure in our towns and cities.
The ten trees in this garden represent the ten boroughs of Manchester. The designers have chosen to plant Pinus sylvestris, Metasequoia, Platanus x hispanica, Corylus colurna, and Sorbus aucuparia. These trees have been chosen as they’re resilient plants, which are thought to be able to cope with the potential changes brought about by climate change.
After the RHS Chelsea Flower Show closes, the plants and features in this garden will be relocated to Greater Manchester, where it’s hoped that some of these plants will be planted in each of the ten boroughs.
Best Artisan Garden
Family Monsters Garden
Designer, Alistair Bayford, has been invited to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Family Action – a charity that helps families by providing practical, emotional, and financial support, and the 100th anniversary of Idverde – a European company that provides landscape construction projects and grounds maintenance work, in his design for the Family Monsters Garden. This artisan garden is set to highlight the strains that families experience, reminding us that life isn’t perfect and we all have our challenges to face.
Designer, Alistair Bayford, reminds us of the importance of plants and nature and the positive, calming, and soothing effects that plants have on our mental health and well being. This artisan garden serves to remind us that we all need to spend time outdoors, and a garden is a calm and nurturing place where we can enjoy gardening, watching the bonds between our plants and families grow, as we spend time together and nurture each other.
People’s Choice Award
The Donkey Sanctuary: Donkeys Matter
Designer, Christina Williams, celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Donkey Sanctuary, in her design for the Donkeys Matter Garden. This artisan garden highlights the ways in which donkeys help people in some of the poorest communities. Donkeys carry water, food, and materials, helping their owners while negotiating roads that are inaccessible to vehicles.
The planting in this garden has been designed to reflect the Mediterranean areas where donkeys live and work. So we see plants that are suited to growing in a drier, more arid landscape, such as lavenders, cypresses, and pines.
Walkers’ Forgotten Quarry Garden
Designer, Graham Bodle, has taken inspiration from the quarry at Walkers’ Nurseries, in his design for the Walkers’ Forgotten Quarry Garden. A reused inspection tower is a predominant feature, standing tall, stretching up above the textural pine trees planted in the garden. The other industrial features in this garden have been collected from quarries, with many items being well weathered or rusted, by their years discarded outdoors.
The Walkers’ Forgotten Quarry Garden reminds us how powerful nature can be, as nature reclaims the forgotten industrial areas of our landscape. While a wildlife pond reminds us of the importance of nature and wildlife.
Miles Stone: The Kingston Maurward Garden
The Kingston Maurward Garden was designed by Michelle Brown and sponsored by Miles Stone.
Celebrating 70 years of land based education at Kingston Maurward College, the Kingston Maurward Garden highlights some of the various expertise taught at the college with bespoke features constructed from techniques taught at the college. Purbeck stone collected near Kingston Maurward College is used to reflect the college’s local area. While modern and traditional techniques are used to show the different styles that can be achieved.
The prominent feature in the Kingston Maurward Garden is the bespoke cupula, which adds a romantic beauty to the garden. This artisan garden is sure to inspire the next generation of land-based professionals.
I always look forward to seeing designer Kazuyuki Ishihara’s Chelsea gardens; his delightful combinations of Acers, moss, and water are always inspired. Kazuyuki Ishihara’s latest design recognises the stresses and strains of modern day, city life. The designer acknowledges our need for time to relax and unwind, highlighting the importance of spending time with plants and nature to restore our own mental and emotional well-being.
Green Switch is a design for city living. This Azumaya, or garden house, is the modern dream! This home features a pond and waterfall, a tea room that over looks the garden, the all important parking space, and a sedum covered green roof. There’s a lot of glass in this abode, to bring the view of the garden as the most prominent feature inside the home. There’s even a glass shower, so the resident can feel at one with the plants outside, whilst bathing.
Colourful Acers with handsome leaves in tones of green, orange, and red, really make this attractive, modern garden. There are two waterfalls and a pond, where watercress is growing, alongside iris, and mosses.
The High Maintenance Garden for the Motor Neurone Disease Association
The High Maintenance Garden has been created to raise awareness for the Motor Neurone Disease Association. This artisan garden highlights the effects of this destructive disease, which leaves its sufferers trapped, with their minds active and fully functioning, but their bodies unable to complete their requests.
The High Maintenance Garden shows a car left unused in the garage, as the garden’s imagined owner, who suffered from Motor Neurone Disease, wasn’t able to enjoy the retirement they saved and planned for. This garden is slowly being returned to the wild, as nature and plants take over the once tended space.
Other articles that might interest you…………
To see the first part of my overview of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019, please click here.
To find out about Mark Gregory’s Chelsea garden that was inspired by the Huddersfield narrow canal, please click here.
To see the top twenty shortlisted plants, including the finalists and the winner of the RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year 2019 Competition, please click here.
To see the new roses launched at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019, please click here.