The Chelsea Flower Show kickstarts the summer calendar of events here England. Most of us are still on a high from the Royal Wedding and London is buzzing this week with the Chelsea Flower Show and Clerkenwell Design Week starting tomorrow.
It’s a real treat to attend the Chelsea Flower Show on the VIP day when it’s so much easier to navigate through the space without the crowds that turn out on the public days. It’s really one of my highlights of the year and it’s always interesting to see the garden designers of the moment. To be fair, I probably love garden design as much as I love interior design, but with the weather here in the UK, it just doesn’t get much of my focus, not like it did when I lived in South Africa.
Which brings me to the first show garden that caught my eye. The Trailfinders South African Wine Estate. This garden features a traditional Cape Dutch homestead and parterre garden. A vineyard is accessed through a wooden gate, and beyond that, the ‘fynbos’ vegetation, some of which is recovering after a ‘veld’ fire.
Welcome to Yorkshire was proving to be a real crowd pleaser, this garden had the most crowds around it and you can see why. It’s phenomenal how the designer Mark Gregory has recreated this peaceful scene.
Inspired by the Yorkshire Dales and set on the edge of a woodland, a tumbling beck runs past a stone bothy into soft pastures. The limestone walls dissect the garden and add an earthy warmth to the scheme.
David Harber and Savills brought city style to the Chelsea Flower Show with their garden which is designed to portray man’s interaction and involvement with his environment over time. The main focal point, Aeon, quite a substantial sculpture is captivating and you closely follow this as you move around the garden.
The LG Eco City garden takes us that one step closer to city living, this could be a vast penthouse terrace. This garden is designed to combat air-pollution and improves well-being in a visionary model for a sustainable future. The design is very pleasing and even though it’s set out quite formally, the natural elements soften it and make you feel at peace.
In the great pavilion, the plant growers from across the UK were showcasing their best specimens. This tent is a riot of colour and the fragrance from all these flowers is truly incomparable.
There’s always a few clever designs that pop up at the show each year and I thought this seamless glasshouse was really lovely, something you would add to your garden and would sort of disappear into the background.