10 things we learned from the Chelsea flower show

The trends that dominated the 2016 show ranged from copper tones to native pine trees and rough-hewn stone.

Finally, we’re over cow parsley

The meadow planting that has been so prevalent in recent years has moved in two different and competing directions. In one clutch of show gardens, the naturalism (in Chelsea parlance, a borrowed or captured landscape) of all those frothy plants has morphed into another type of landscape: the dry garden.


Water wise: Hugo Bugg’s Royal Bank of Canada garden was inspired by the flora of the dry Mediterranean pine habitat of Dibeen in Jordan. Photograph: Sarah Cuttle/RHS

Small is beautiful

The smallest gardens at Chelsea (the artisan gardens) are often the most desirable for the average punter. The garden I’d like to take home this year is the Senri-Sentei garage garden, created by Japanese designer Kazuyuki Ishihara. It’s cute, compact and beautiful, with a haze of colourful Japanese acers festooning the rooftop garden that shelters a vintage Mini.


The Senri-Sentei garage garden designed by Kazuyuki Ishihara. Photograph: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

The medium is the message

Garden sponsorship makes for odd bedfellows: while some designers are bankrolled by investment funds, others are sponsored by charities with a serious message. Can a garden make people think a little harder about Ebola or meningitis? I don’t know, but with 165,000 visitors passing through the showground last week and millions more watching on TV around the world, you can see why they try. The Modern Slavery garden by Chelsea first-timer Jukiet Sargeant is notable for its powerful message; at the centre of the garden is an English oak, symbolising the tree where William Wilberforce stood when he dedicated his life to ending slavery. Read more...

Source: The Gardian


The Modern Slavery garden designed by Juliet Sargeant. Photograph: Sarah Cuttle/RHS