The world’s finest flower show is back in May this year and fast approaching. So we’re taking a first look at some of the gardens on show to bring you stunning design inspiration and concepts from their designers. RHS Chelsea Flower Show returns on the 24th – 28th of May and this year there’s a timely focus on sustainability.
Chelsea Flower Show brings together like-minded horticultural enthusiasts to share ideas. Here’s our top picks to look out for at this year’s show.
A Textile Garden for Fashion Revolution
Plant texture not only plays a big role in how your garden will be planned, but it also impacts the way in which your space is perceived by visitors (Check out Tranquil Textures in the Garden for an easy-breezy list of plant texture pairings that can transform borders).
This garden aims to inspire visitors to reimagine the link made between what we grow and what we wear. Highlighting the creation of possibilities and new innovative ways of thinking on how we can use our resources to help create sustainable solutions.
Plants have always played an important role when it comes to fashion, with natural dyes and floral themes connecting us to the environment. However today the connection has been lost with the majority of clothing being made using fossil fuels and harmful chemicals, which are damaging our health and the environment.
The Textile Garden for Fashion Revolution is trying to gain that connection back between plants and fashion. Its purpose is to represent natural textiles, using planting separated into blocks of colour that imitate woven fabric. The reflective pools represent dye baths and fabric soaking in their natural dyes. The paved seams lead you through the planting design and reveal the beauty found in plant-based dyes and fibres.
The St Mungo’s Putting Down Roots Garden
We were delighted to see St Mungo’s featured in this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show as we had the privilege of recently completing a project in partnership with St Mungo’s and Oxford City Council, transforming the disused car park of an outreach hub into a place of safety and green tranquility.
St Mungo’s ‘Putting Down Roots’ programme helps people recover from homelessness and gain the confidence to grow their skills, whilst providing help to rebuild their lives through gardening. This urban park symbolises their work and the aims of the Putting Down Roots programme.
The garden is an inclusive space made to bring people together and highlight the ways that green spaces allow people to gain personal, social, health and well-being benefits. It’s also a celebration of the 10 year anniversary of the St Mungo’s Putting Down Roots programme and Cityscapes working together to help transform people’s lives in the community.
The planting design in this garden focuses on bringing a sense of tranquillity through accents of soft floral colour and green textured foliage throughout. This contrasts with vibrant colours throughout the hard landscaping, made from recycled materials. Large planters have been placed around the space to provide height and a sense of enclosure to envelope visitors and encourage the feeling of a safe space. A pavilion structure and seating provide opportunities for calm and relaxation, away from the pressures and extremities of city streets.
The Perennial Garden ‘With Love’
This garden has been designed by Richard Miers and the charity Perennial, who believe that gardens are the gift of love, giving endless pleasure to their owners, throughout the year. It’s inspired by and aims to highlight the horticultural family; the designers, gardeners, landscapers and the ground staff who Perennial support, providing free and confidential advice, support and financial assistance to people of all ages working in, or retired from horticulture. This help extends to spouses, partners and children too.
The mix of classical and contemporary garden design shows off Hornbeam hedging which encloses the garden and provide a sense of shelter. Alongside, eight flat-topped hawthorn trees provide structure and symmetry around the central rill, while four multi-stem Parrotia persica trees have been planted to contrast with Taxus baccata and Prunus lusitanica.
The green palette that washes over the garden design is softened by subtle tones of white and plum to create a calm atmosphere for each visitor.
The Potting Balcony Garden
Recently, our new trends for 2022 story featured balcony gardens, so we’re happy to see that our prediction was shared by the good folk at the RHS and that balcony gardens are being showcased this year.
The designers of this garden have made the most of the small space using functional design to create a place to relax among the plants and enjoy the views from above. Being clever with space allows The Potting Balcony Garden, sponsored by Viking, to rethink how we use our space for a more hands-on approach to gardening and we think it will be well-worth a viewing.
The Wild Kitchen Garden
Kitchen gardens are a garden design are a specialism here at The Oxfordshire Gardener, so always on our list of must-sees. We’re passionate about helping people experience the pleasure of grow their own produce and enjoying their super-fresh, healthy goodies with friends and family.
The Wild Kitchen Garden brings all things edible to a small urban garden. The planting is colourful, natural and tasty, and would fit in perfectly in a townhouse garden. The planters are recycled, galvanised metal and include edible aquatics. The sink and prep area found at the back of the garden makes it easy, keeping the growing and the prep all in the same place. This garden is inspired by a selection of recipes by the late Roger Philips and is full of delightful edible surprises.
Each of these gardens brings something special to the show this year and we can’t wait to see what else is showcased, as more gardens to be announced before the first day. The RHS Chelsea Flower Show will open its doors on the 24th-28th May 2022.