Virtual Chelsea – Looking back at our Favourite Gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show
Tuesday, May 19 , 2020
This year we can’t exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We are looking forward to exhibiting in 2021! We couldn’t let Chelsea week go unnoticed so here is a look back at the gardens we have loved over the years. Here’s to a virtual Chelsea! We will be posting a number of blogs this week to keep us all #gardeningtogether! We also have an exclusive interview with the multi-award winning garden designer and sculptor, John Everiss. Click here to read it.
The Artisan gardens are always very special. Tucked on the leafy east side of the Chelsea Flower Show, these gardens always surprise and delight visitors. With a petite plot of 4mx5m each garden is well planned and tightly planted to create the maximum impact. The depth of imagination paired with detailed designs make these smaller garden truly memorable each year. These smaller spaces are often more accessible to charities and demonstrate that you can create a huge impact from something small.
The Meningitis Now Garden 2016
Our favourite of all time is the People’s Choice Award winner – The Meningitis Now garden by John Everiss. This garden was so evocative, you couldn’t help feeling moved by it! The garden represented the affects the disease has on the children and young people who are struck by it. The sculptures were modeled on real children, some who sadly lost their battle against the disease and others who faced disabilities as a result. The temple at the center represented the charity Meningitis Now as it supports families and helps them to cope.
Chilstone worked with John Everiss to create the bespoke temple and our talented on site engraver carved the gold lettering, “Believe Achieve.”
Supershoes – Laced with Hope 2018
Designed buy Laura Anstiss, this garden was a riot of colour. Created to raise awareness of the charity, Supershoes, that offers custom designed trainers to emotionally support children suffering with cancer. This garden depicts the emotional roller coaster the children and their families face after a diagnosis. With a rainbow of roses, alliums, lupins and irises this garden was made as a beacon of hope to remind children of their identity and the things that brought joy into their lives to help them cope with the hard realities of cancer treatment.
Many of the gardens on display at the Chelsea Flower Show are concept gardens that push design to its limits to create a high impact space. They show technical skill and expert planting, but not many would be feasible in your property. There are some gardens, however, that look like they could just be transported to make a domestic garden look incredible!
The Claims Guys: A very English Garden 2018
This garden is one of the few show designs that can be replicated at home, which is why we love it. Designed by Janine Crimmins this compact space was framed with stone gate piercaps and ball finials with formal block flower beds, brimming with old fashioned roses, foxgloves and delphiniums. This traditional look is one of our specialties!
Gardens Encouraging a more natural approach
This garden was distinctly different, created by the RHS especially to encourage more engagement with nature.
The RHS Back to Nature Garden 2019
This space designed by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, with Andree Davies and Adam White, was designed to be played in. Prince George and his sister Princess Charlotte had great fun exploring it. Even little Prince Louis loved it! The concept was to reconnect children with nature and it certainly achieved that! Many of the adults would have liked a turn too!
Thought Provoking Gardens
Some gardens and exhibits at Chelsea stay with you and raise important issues within our society. These thought provoking displays stay with you long after the show is over.
The Modern Slavery Garden 2016
This garden by Juliet Sargeant celebrates the passing of the Modern Slavery Act in parliament in 2015. It features numerous brightly coloured doors show the outside face of this hidden crime while the interior of the doors are painted to black to represent the hideous conditions people are forced to suffer as slaves in captivity.
Juliet Sargeant is based in Brighton, but born in Tanzania, won a gold medal for this garden. The oak in the garden is the tree William Wilberforce sat beneath when he vowed to help end the slave trade.
The Windrush Garden in the Great Pavilion 2018
This garden was bursting with details. Designed by Baroness Floella Benjamin this garden celebrated the merging of two cultures when the ship, Empire Windrush, docked in the UK seventy years ago, bringing people from the Caribbean to live and work here after the Second World War. The garden mixes the vibrancy of plants indigenous to the Caribbean with icons of the UK, such as the NHS and red double-decker buses. This is to show children their heritage and celebrate bringing people together. This masterpiece won gold.
Most Elaborate Gardens
Sometimes the more elaborate gardens do not win the highest medals, but the visitor love them! These gardens not explanation. The scale and the amount of effort needed to create them speak for themselves!
David Harber Garden
This garden featured a huge sculpture in the center which was spectacular! With opulent planting and the Chelsea must have lupins, this was incredible.
See Wuhan Water Garden
Although Wuhan is not on anyone’s must see destination list right now, this garden was glorious. It popped with reds and purples to celebrate the silk trade. It was incredible that it was put together in such a short amount of time with multiple water features and moving elements!
Welcome to Yorkshire
This garden was a perfect slice of Yorkshire, with a stone cottage, complete with wood burning stove. With such incredible attention to detail, it even had a flourishing vegetable patch. No wonder this won the People’s Choice Award in 2018 and again in 2019!
Kazuyuki Ishihara’s creates an Artisan Garden each year, but this is our favorite, his garage artisan garden from Chelsea 2016. A compact home with a roof garden and garage. This was utterly gorgeous and so detailed. A real joy! You could just have just stepped over the barrier and moved right in!
These sweet spaces are what Chelsea is all about. Evocative, detailed and gorgeous! We can’t wait to go back in 2021!
Watch this space for more virtual Chelsea this week!
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