RHS Chelsea Flower Show Highlights

I love Chelsea week, I didn't get to go this year, but I love watching on TV, seeing plants and gardens take over our screens in a similar way to big sporting events, even if it's just for a week. It is always fascinating to see what the forefront of the industry is working on, here are my favourite take-aways from this years show gardens.


1. Permeable surfaces
Many of the gardens this year featured gravel, resin bound and natural paving materials, allowing any rain water to seep back into the ground and therefor your garden and planting, rather than into the drain systems. There were also many interesting water collection ideas as we all adjust to our changing garden needs.
My Favourite: The Nurture Landscapes Garden by Sarah Price

2. Embracing Colour
There were several gardens that were bold in their use of colour on walls, seating and other hard landscape or furniture elements. using a bold colour really makes a statement and is a great way to let your personality out in the garden, or to zone the space, with different tones for different areas. 
My Favourite: The RHS and Easter Eye Garden of Unity by Manoj Malde 

3. Loose Natural Planting
There has been a lot of talk about weeds this year, and the redefining of weeds vs wildflowers. There are lots of sides to this discussion, but my take is to embrace the 'weeds' if you like them. If you are going to pull them up to leave bare soil, let them stay, or remove some but not all, even moving them to a wild area of the garden. The gardens this year used lots of self seeding plants, giving a really lived in, natural feel which I loved.
My favourite: Cleve West CentrePoint Garden

4. Birds & Bugs
Many of the designers this year were sponsored by environmental causes or animal charities, showing the real push towards thinking of our gardens as homes for more than just us. Not only by using a wide spectrum of flowering plant to provide food, but also with some fantastic habitat ideas, Such as Tom Massey's log feature wall, and the beautiful bird houses on Cleve West's Centrepoint garden. 
The RSPCA garden by Martyn Wilson.


My overall favourite was The Platform Garden by Amelia Bouquet and Emilie Bausager. It was so clever. A container garden based around a train station platform, with fantastic water capture ideas, exquisite tiles and hard landscaping ideas, and of course, great planting! Such an inspiring vision, imagine if all our train stations could look like this. 

All images from rhs.org.uk