RHS Chelsea Flower Show Blog Series -2021 Part 1
It is March 2022 and a new gardening season is starting. It seems to be a perfect time to reflect on the new trends in garden design so we have some inspiration for new planting and sowing this spring and where would the best examples of the new trends be if not at Chelsea Flower Show?
This year is also a personal anniversary as I have been to Chelsea 10 times before and so I wanted to post a series blogs describing differences and similarities through the years. They will be followed by images from the show on Instagram.
The 2021 show was very special because held in the autumn or the first time in history, not in May but in September It was a different show for me as well - for the first time ever I visited on Sunday, the last day of the show and as a member of pubic so the images you see are taken during the day, standing in a crowd. The gardens seemed more realistic as the plants were not at their best any more, some started finishing flowering so a bit more decay than on the first days, too. I have a game for you to try and spot the flowers that are not a their best!
So let's start with some trends we could see at the show.
The most important continuing trend for a few years now seem to be SUSTAINABLE NATURALISTIC PLNTING with RECLAIMED MATERIALS and REPURPOSING and emphasis on local CRAFTSMEN
The Yeo Valley Organic Garden with mixed borders with ferns, Betula pendula, Astrantia 'Roma', Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Rosea' and 'Blackfield' and rusty steel water feature - Design:Tom Massey, supported by Sarah Mead - Buildt: Landscape Associates - People's Choice Best Show Garden
The trend has been growing for a few years and time we could see even more loose planting as it is good for wildlife and require less maintenance, water or fertilisers and is in effect more sustainable. Yeo Valley garden had organically grown plants in more relaxed planting schemes of the kinds that support wildlife biodiversity. They also used lots of reclaimed materials. Getting as many plants in a space as possible is a good way of to suppressing weeds so no weed killer is needed.
At the Gaze Burvill stand designed by Ann-Marie Powell, the florist Arthur Parkinson had arranged autumnal bee-friendly plants such as single and anemone dahlias, asters and grasses such as red millet, good as food for birds. I got his book in Kindle version : The Flower Yard: Growing Flamboyant Flowers in Containers published in 2021, to look for more inspiration as his floral displays at the show were amazing. The display was not very fresh on the last day of the show when I saw it, adding some additional flow of decadence to the atmosphere.
China: Guangzhou Garden. Designed by Peter Chmiel with Chin-Jung Chen, First-timers winning the Best in Show
The Guangzhou garden shows an example of introducing nature in the city, reconnecting people and natural environment, featuring a woodland space with a calming pool of water surrounded by trees, shrubs and perennials in soft hues of white, blue and yellow.
Sculptural timber pergola is surrounded by mixed planting with Betula nigra with golden Autumn colour, Eurybia x herveyii, with daisy like blue flowers, Calamagrostis and Molinia grasses. Many plants in this garden have strong medicinal properties, used since 19thc. as herbal remedies. Florence Nightingale Garden Celebration of Modern- Day Nursing - Design: Robert Myers - Buildt: Bowles & Wyer- Sponsor: The Burdett Trust for Nursing
The M&G Garden designed by Harris Bugg Studio at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021, featured a sculpture made from repurposed metal pipes. Planting combination includes Sesleria autumnalis, Eurybia x herveyii, Aster umbellatus, , Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Cassian's, Patrinia punctiflora, Amsonia illustris, and Artemisia lactiflora
NEW CATEGORIES: This year was the first to introduce a container garden category, with each plot only 3x4 meters so very small, and a dedicated balcony garden category.
The Stolen Soul Garden designed by Anna Dabrowska-Jaudi features three huge containers shaped like huge scallops filled with black-dyed, mirror-like pool, a living wall, and a large central amethyst crystal on the back wall.
Hot Tin Roof Garden designed by Ellie Edkins, had big corrugated steel planters and an outdoor shower.
Multi-layered industrial containers with ponds metal seats and forest plants such as Betula pendula, Polystichum setiferum, Asplenium scolopendrium, Dryopteris filix-mas, Dryopteris erythrosora, Astrantia major 'Florence' and Crataegus monogyna in The IBC Pocket Forest-- Design: Sara Edwards. They can create a perfect roof garden.
An old repurposed Indian door in Arcadia, a balcony garden with a seating area surrounded by plant filled containers and a pomegranate tree - Design:Martha Krempel
Sky Sanctuary, designed by Michael Coley in a Balcony Category. Tiny oasis of calm filled with dwarf shrubs, colourful flowers and herbs in planters with seating such as egg chairs, integrated benches and interesting colorful art and murals.
There were also more houseplants at Chelsea flower show in 2021 in carefully arranged HOUSE PLANT STUDIOS.
Calathea plant with decorative foliage at Dobbies stand
Blue star fern - Phlebodium aureum on a living wall at Dobbies stand
Houseplants are more than just a passing trend now as more and more people find it important for their wellbeing to have green things in their homes and want to know more about how to grow and propagate their plants and do it more sustainably. Imaginative ideas included air plants, macramé plant hangers and a fun potting bench.
Time to leave now but there is going to be another blog post on this particularly interesting show next week, when I write more on the planting schemes and individual plant stars of the show. In the meantime I will show related Images on Linked-In, Instagram and Facebook. See you there.
Keywords: 2021, alpines, Chelsea, container, Flower, Flower Shows, houseplants, naturalistic, planting, RHS, Show, stylish, summer, sustainable, texture, wellbeing
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