RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015
This year we made our way to the oasis that is the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in the hustle and bustle of central London to get ideas, see innovative designs, and find out about new and exciting flower varieties that you can try in your own garden at home.
We were there, in the sunshine and alas in the rain, getting some top growing advice from fellow experts and seeking out new plant introductions. If you can get to the show, you may find it hard to fit it all in. Here are some of our favourite highlights.
Designer Dan Pearson captures the naturalistic essence of Chatsworth Garden in the gorgeous and atmospheric Laurent Perrier Chatsworth Garden – winning the Best Show Garden 2015.
Violas and pansies are fantastic bedding plants that make great flower displays through all seasons. We liked seeing them displayed by Victorian Violas, which picked up a Gold Award, where there is one variety only for each container. A simple concept but effective and calming.
Wyndford Farm Plants, picking up a Silver-Gilt Award, displayed violas growing with flowering perennials to give a lovely cottage-garden effect. When combining violas with other perennials, place the violas at the front to show off their natural flower power, and dead-head them as the individual blooms fade to further the flowering season.
One of the most captivating scents of the Great Pavilion comes from the displays of roses. Here’s the place to see an array of varieties- patio, hybrid tea, floribunda and climbers- to name a few and you can grow the different types in your garden for different situations.
Harkness Roses, who got a Silver-Gilt Award, is exhibiting a beautiful patio climber rose 'Harwhistle’ – otherwise known as Susie. It produces gorgeous citronella-scented blooms that are both numerous and luxurious. Try them in a container with supports on a patio in full sun or part shade.
Water, water everywhere
There are water features everywhere at the show this year. The designers of the Show Gardens have added that extra dimension by adding pools of moving water, cascades, rivulets, rills and well-planted ponds. You can introduce water to your own garden, whether it be a small, modest pool made from filling a sunken bowl or a larger pond.
All the nooks and crannies
When you’ve used all your bedding space, it pays to be inventive and opportunistic. If you have a patio or paved area, consider taking away a paving square to create a planting pocket.
Here, the designer has removed just one paving stone and packed in a rhododendron with surrounding bedding and trailing ivy. It breaks up the paving beautifully and adds a splash of colour to an awkward corner.
Use lawn grass in innovative ways
You can create beautiful and extensive lawns with grass. But there’s no reason why it has to stop there. You can achieve some really smart and formal displays using grass and turf in containers.
Try planting a square container with a focal plant in the centre, and add a border of turf around the edge. Unusual and yet really effective.