Like many things during this pandemic, the Chelsea Flower Show is happening in a virtual world, Each day this week, on the R.H.S. website there’s a great mix of well-known designers & gardeners talking about their gardens & giving plant advice.
I was hoping for more of a look round their gardens, but they’re more of a backdrop as they talk. Never the less, it’s good to see the likes of Adam Frost & Sarah Raven talking about plants.
These are some of my favourite memories of Chelsea gardens from recent years.
Another Andy Sturgeon garden, full of sumptuous planting. The detail is wonderful, little things like the perfect detail of the rusty metal screen picked up in the shade of the Iris.
Pavilions & small buildings feature in many of the gardens at Chelsea. The moveable screens on this one can create different views onto the garden, I like how it hovers over the paving & cantilevers over the pool. Meticulously designed by Luciano Giubbelei.With bold topiary & classic stone walls, this garden by Cleve West from 2014, is made modern by the contrast of naturalistic, slightly wild planting. In more recent times, this garden designed by James Basson in 2016, had beautiful, natural planting representing the agricultural landscape of Provence.
Another garden by Cleve West, green & restful, using chunky stone & oak trees & fencing. The huge stones had shallow bowls cut into them, filled with water.Another clever, shapely pavilion in a garden designed by Sam Ovens.One of the nice things about the Show are the small areas of planting dotted through the Grounds, it’s a great way of getting ideas for combinations of planting & colours. This beautiful patch of planting was designed by Butter Wakefield.
It’s more difficult to achieve great planting using minimal plant colours, in this case mostly green with a few small, white flowers. It relies on contrasting shapes & textures, beautifully done here by Tom Stuart-Smith. It was right in the middle of the bustling Great Pavilion, but felt calm & peaceful.
Everything in the garden was recycled, many of the plants had been used in his previous Chelsea gardens.Sitting on the low chairs gave different views of the plants, & a chance to look more carefully from a new angle.
Chelsea is on the BBC all week, during the day & in the evening, looking back at the Show during the past decade.
Have a look at the Chelsea Flower Show online here.
This pandemic has been a difficult time for all of us, & for some it’s been tragic. The magic effect of a garden on the soul can never be underestimated.
Look after yourselves
all photos: Jill Anderson