I love to visit the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, for me this is the most prestigious and exciting event of the horticultural calendar!  I enjoy seeing Chelsea’s show gardens of every size and style, I am always interested to discover the latest gardening products, and I really look forward to finding new favourite plants, whilst being reminded of old favourites.  I so enjoy visiting Chelsea’s Grand Pavilion, which is filled with over one hundred exhibits created by expert growers, from nurseries that seem to specialise in growing almost every kind of plant.

It’s so important to appreciate, look after and cherish every square inch of earth, every inch of our planet.  For those living in town centres or cities, or areas where outdoor space is at a premium, it can sometimes be hard to find inspiration of how to green up and make the most of the limited areas of ground, roof, or wall space that are available. 

Garden designer Dr Catherine MacDonald devised the Seedlip Garden as a celebration of the pea – Pisum sativum.  The Seedlip Garden features peas and plants related to peas – plants from the pea plant family – Fabaceae.  This Space to Grow Garden also honours the work of three men and their work in relation to peas.  The first man that the Seedlip Garden commemorates is Gregor Mendel (1822-1824). 

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018

The highlight of the horticultural calendar, The Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show is the world’s most prestigious flower show!  Over the past three weeks, award winning garden designers from all over the world, together with their teams, made up of some of the best landscape architects, project managers, builders, technicians, horticulturalists, artists and crafts people, have been working solidly to transform the Royal Hospital’s grounds at Chelsea into an oasis of gardening ideas and inspiration!

The Welcome to Yorkshire Garden

At this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show I couldn’t wait to visit the Welcome to Yorkshire show garden, which was designed by Mark Gregory and built by Mark and Landform Consultants.  This show garden took a picturesque, heart-warming view of the Yorkshire countryside to the centre of London, where I was there, ready to welcome the garden with open arms! 

Daisy Roots is a small, independent nursery, run by Anne Godfrey in Hertfordshire.  Anne Godfrey specialises in growing drought tolerant, hardy perennials and ornamental grasses, which Anne propagates herself from seeds and cuttings, at her nursery in Hertford.  All of the plants sold by Daisy Roots are hardy, healthy, and drought resistant.

Last year, I celebrated Daisy Roots Gold Medal win at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017, where I loved the beautiful irises, Verbascums, Anthemis, Aquilegias, and ornamental grasses that made up the nursery’s Gold Medal winning display! 

At the RHS Chelsea Flower Show every single show garden, in every category has the opportunity to win a Gold Medal.  There are no limitations on the number of Gold, Silver-Gilt, Silver, or Bronze medals that the judges can award, nor is there a requirement for any medal to be awarded – if none of the gardens are of Gold Medal standard, then no Gold Medals will be presented. 

New David Austin Roses!

At this time of year, I love to see the new rose buds developing on my favourite roses, as they burst into life and produce the first flowers of the year.  At the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, I am always filled with excitement as I meet the new introductions from David Austin Roses for the first time! 

Jonathan Hogarth of Hogarth Hostas holds a National Collection of Small and Miniature Hostas.  In 2016 Jonathan exhibited his Hosta collection at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, where the RHS judges presented him with a Silver-Gilt Medal, and at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, where Jonathan was presented with a Gold Medal and the Best Plant Heritage Exhibit by the RHS judges.

Specialist Plant Nurseries

The RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show features an array of award winning specialist nurseries, this is a fabulous place to buy plants!  Whether you’re looking for South African plants, hardy plants, drought tolerant plants, indoor plants, air plants, orchids, ferns, ivy, clematis, herbaceous perennials,  bulbous plants, or succulents, you’re sure to find your favourite at this special show!

The Royal Horticultural Society’s Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, supported by Viking Cruises, is the world’s largest annual flower show!  This family orientated Show covers 34 acres of ground, occupying both sides of the Long Water, in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace.

This year Garden Designer Juliet Sargeant has designed the RHS Kitchen Garden, which has been created to showcase a number of innovative methods used to grow edible plants.  

Inside The Festival of Roses Marquee at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017

Each summer I look forward to being enveloped by the delightful summery warmth of the tea-rose perfume that fills the air inside The Festival of Roses Marquee, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.  Whatever the weather at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, I look forward to the wondrous feeling of being encompassed by the combined scent of hundreds of roses inside the Festival of Roses Marquee.  

The M&G Garden was designed by James Basson and built by Crocus.  The M&G Garden was awarded a Gold Medal, the Best Construction Award, and Best in Show, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017.  I caught up with James Basson at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017, to find out more about this special, award winning garden.

Beth: Are the plants going back to Malta afterwards?

I am an advocate for buying British grown plants, which have been raised and grown in our great British weather!  I enjoy purchasing plants from independent, specialist nurseries, where I appreciate finding exquisite plants, which are perfectly adapted to our climate.

Daisy Roots Nursery has been created and nurtured over the past fifteen years, by Hertfordshire Nurserywoman, Annie Godfrey.  I was thrilled to meet up with Annie Godfrey at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, where I congratulated Annie on her Gold Medal, which was presented to her by the RHS judges, for a magnificent display of drought tolerant perennials and grasses, which were all grown by Annie Godfrey, at Daisy Roots Nursery in Hertfordshire.

City Living was designed by Kate Gould and built by Kate Gould Gardens.  The RHS judges presented this Fresh Garden with a Gold Medal, and the prestigious title of Best Fresh Garden, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017!

Garden designer Kate Gould is passionate about greening up derelict, uncared for and unloved inner city spaces.  Kate is so passionate about Greening Grey Britain, that she has self funded the entire build for this Fresh Garden, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017, to inform others as to how they can improve their city living.  

The Royal Bank of Canada Garden was designed by Charlotte Harris, and built by Landscape Associates.  This Show Garden was awarded a Gold Medal by the RHS judges, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017.  I visited The Royal Bank of Canada Garden, where I caught up with Charlotte Harris.  Here is some information on the Show Garden, but read on for a mini interview with Garden Designer Charlotte Harris herself!

Heralded as the world’s most prestigious horticultural event, the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show 2017, opens to the public from Tuesday 23rd May 2017 until Saturday 27th May 2017.  Visitors will be treated to exhibits showcasing the latest new plant introductions, alongside beautiful gardens, which demonstrate the latest ideas in garden and landscape design, many of which feature new, rare, unusual, and interesting plants, grouped together with much loved old favourites.

Whenever I visit the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, I always rush over to David Austin Roses stand, with a great sense of anticipation, hope, and excitement in my heart to see David Austin’s newly unveiled roses.  I am always as keen as mustard to discover for myself the fragrances of David Austin’s latest rose releases, which are launched at this prestigious flower show each year.

Teacher Simon Pugh-Jones started the Writhlington Orchid Project over twenty-five years ago.  This amazing project has given students at the Writhlington School the opportunity to learn more about the science of growing orchids, providing the students with hands on experience of maintaining, propagating and extending, the Writhlington Orchid Project’s orchid collection.

The students working on the Writhlington Orchid Project have been given some amazing opportunities, from experiencing the beautiful, natural habitats where the orchids they grow are found naturally in the wild, to setting up orchid labs in Rwanda, Laos, and Sikkim, where the students and staff, share and pass on their orchid expertise with schools in each locality through talks and workshops, to learning about orchid conservation, to creating award-winning exhibits and displays for RHS flower shows.

On the 23rd May 1916, the Rhododendron Society held their first AGM at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show.  Since their first AGM, a hundred years have passed, during which time the Rhododendron Society has evolved, and its horticultural interests widened.  It is now known as the RHS Rhododendron, Camellia and Magnolia Group (RCMG).  To celebrate the Centenary, David Millais, the current Chairman of the RCMG, and owner of Millais Nurseries in Churt near Farnham (who is also the great nephew of J G Millais – one of the founder members of the Rhododendron Society), created a special exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016 to mark the occasion.