The world famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show is one of the best loved events in the spring calendar. Full to bursting with inspirational show gardens, breathtaking plant and flower displays, magical horticultural delights nestled amongst the trees in Ranelagh Gardens and so much more.
Sustainability, and health and wellbeing, have emerged as themes through the garden designs. From a peaceful retreat in a sustainable urban garden to one that explores the health benefits of plants, inspired by Japanese herbal medicine.
Here, we have covered just a handful of the many, many highlights that you will be able to catch either on the BBC or in the real. The show runs from 21 to 25 May.
THE ARTISAN STUDIOS
Small and perfectly formed, the Artisan Studios are a space where artisanal artists and crafts-people can re-create their world. The RHS Artisan Studios are a treasure trove of arts and crafts.
This year there are six Artisan Studios each one housing inspirational creatives. There is sculpture from Laura Jane Wylder .Delicate yet powerful, Laura Jane makes elegant pieces with organic curves which inspire a feeling of peace. Find the artist on the veranda of her studio creating a life-size sculpture which will be cast later as a limited edition.
Then there is fabric designer, Natasha Hulse who will be demonstrating how she makes an artwork from start to finish, in her Artisan Studio. Natasha’s pieces are inspired by nature and she uses both appliqué and hand-painting. Her stunning bespoke headboards are to be found at the prestigious Ham Hard Hotel in London. Here is an example of her work which we think is a little reminiscent of the design for RHS Tender Palm (its own design is inspired by the Glasshouse at RHS Garden Wisley):
You will also find a studio styled as a writing retreat inspired by the one used by Virginia Woolf to mark the 90th anniversary of her essay, A Room of One’s Own. For more on the Artisan Studios see HERE.
A DUCHESS’ GARDEN
We can’t wait to see the first garden that HRH The Duchess of Cambridge has co-designed for Chelsea with landscape architects Davies White. It’s called The RHS Back to Nature Garden and is based, we learn, in a woodland setting as a space for families and communities to meet and connect with nature.
Expect to see some enchanting features, from a crafted, hollow log for children to climb through to a den, a waterfall, a stream and even a tree house. Oh, and did we mention the Poohsticks idea. Yup, floating and chasing them along the stream will likely be a highlight.
THE GREENFINGERS CHARITY GARDEN
The inspired ideas for wellbeing continue apace. Celebrated garden designer, Kate Gould will be designing a garden that’s accessible to all. The garden is sponsored by the Greenfingers Charity, which supports children in hospices by creating beautiful gardens. The garden’s aim is, according to the RHS, to highlight and promote the therapeutic benefits of the 56 outside spaces that Greenfingers has created over the past 20 years.
The garden will be on two levels, a carefully thought-through idea that answers the need for the garden to be step free (in a limited space) complete with a lift will provide wheelchair access to the second floor. We believe this is another first at Chelsea. For more see RHS.
Here is a checklist of some of the plants, trees and shrubs you will find in the Greenfingers Garden:
- Hardy tropical plants
- Grasses such as Stipa tenuissima
- White spring flowers including Choisya, a newly-launched variety
A FIRST FOR THE GREAT PAVILION
For the first time at Chelsea, there will be a Show Garden in the Great Pavilion. The garden is conceived by design guru Tom Dixon and sponsored by IKEA. It will be fully interactive, and as our friends at the RHS reveal, will give you the opportunity to find out how we can provide sustainable, affordable and forward-thinking solutions to growing food at home and in the community. A must-see.
If you’re in with the craze for succulents (we love them here at Heathcote & Ivory), then check out the stunning collection of rare specimens from Yorkshire nursery, William’s Cactus.
We simply had to sign off with this little story. Yes, a garden inspired by donkeys, the most sustainable form of transport known to man, will be on show. The garden recreates an arid location with a wooden shelter, and a bank of lavender on higher ground. You get to the lavender via a path, which represents the journey donkeys carry out for some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. Find The Donkey Garden in the Ranelagh Gardens.
For more on the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019 take a look at the RHS website which is full to brimming with news and information.
Save 25% on our RHS collections during the flower show by clicking HERE.
Hurry! Offer ends midnight Bank Holiday Monday 27th May.
Cover image credit: The Donkey Sanctuary Garden: Image courtesy of Christina Williams and Annie Prebensen