Chelsea Flower Show Highlights

The Planit-IE team escaped the office this week to explore some of the stunning show gardens and exhibits at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Held within the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the 2016 show featured 17 show gardens and a plethora of exhibits in the Great Pavilion and across the site.

A major attraction at this years show was the ‘Field of Poppies’ display which made for a stunning vista between the show ground and the Royal Hospital. The exhibit was in the spirit of the Tower of London poppy display and was made up of 300,000 individually crocheted poppies spread over 21,000 square feet! The blanket of poppies was hand crafted by people all over the world.

All of the show gardens used an incredible diversity of planting styles and took an imaginative approach to the use of materials in communicating their design concepts.

Highlights in our eyes were:

The M&G Garden

This garden was inspired by the designer’s memory of ancient oak woodland in Exmoor National Park, where he spent his teenage years. A stone and gravel path threads through woodland-edge planting, leading the visitor beyond stunted oaks and rocks to a smoother path, a sunken terrace and pool. The simple concept was beautifully executed, incorporating lush planting and high quality landscape materials, with an excellent attention to detail.

The Hartley Botanic Garden

Despite occupying one of the smaller plots at the show, the Hartley Botanic Garden was just as inspirational as some of the larger gardens. A glasshouse attached to a walled garden was the focal point of the garden, surrounded by woodland planting consisting of mixed native and ornamental planting with a white, blue and pink colour palette. Multi-stem birches offered a sense of enclosure and intimacy to the space, whilst the pond (populated by Coy Carp) gave the impression that the glasshouse was floating on the water’s surface.

The Morgan Stanley Garden

The Morgan Stanley Garden for Great Ormond Street features diverse plant-rich woodland with a range of perennials, a collection of hedges and mixed topiary which all come combine to form a naturally rich environment under the dappled shade of the tree canopies above. A long rectangular reflective pool spans the length of the garden leading to a Japanese inspired summer house.

The garden will move from its temporary base at the Chelsea Flower Show to its permanent home at Great Ormond Street Hospital where it will provide a private space of respite for families and their children undergoing treatment at the hospital.

Written by James Hartwell, Graduate Landscape Architect