It's that time of year once more with the Royal Horticultural Society's flagship event - the Chelsea Flower Show in London kicking off this week. This is arguably the most high profile Flower and Garden show in the world (not least due to the annual attendance of the Queen and other members of the Royal Family).
The Telegraph has sponsored a Show Garden at Chelsea for years and in my opinion never disappoints. This year, the garden has an elegant and serene atmosphere created by a reduced colour palette, a combination of natural & clipped planting with directional cues from the lime trees and paths. The added lawn gives this garden a strong residential appeal.
The four images below feature the Laurent Perrier Garden designed by Luciano Giubbilei which has won the highest accolade at Chelsea - Best in Show. The designer has worked with Laurent Perrier before, and has an interest in the interplay between form, texture and light. The garden explores relationships between the abundance of foliage, natural planting and then very formal lines and structure, created with concrete walls, and the use of water with a stunning rill and pool.
The Extending Space garden below references the Pfyn National Forest Park in Switzerland from it's pine forests to meadows. It won a Silver Gilt in the Show Garden category.
The Togenkyo - A Paradise on Earth garden (below) won Gold as the best Artisan Garden at Chelsea this year. It is inspired by the fable 'Togenkyo' about a place so beautiful that it has the affect of helping people forget their woes - and is so special that once visited you cannot return. The garden attempts to recreate this ideal, and hopefully leaves a lasting impression for those that visit - particularly resonant due to the temporary nature of this garden (after the show it will be taken down).
We couldn't resist this image below - really, where else in the World could you be except London?
The Great Pavilion at Chelsea is also a real show-stopper for it's floral displays such as the Auricula Display below. (Bowler-hatted gentleman a bonus!)
The Mind's Eye Garden has been created for the RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) by LDC Design and it's purpose is to stimulate our senses - and thus prompt our imagination or 'mind's eye' to create the visual links. It won Gold in the Best Fresh Garden category this year and is divided into 4 distinct areas with water being used to link all four (the glass cube is the main water feature).
The Waterscape Garden designed by Hugo Bugg has won Gold in the Show Garden category (incidentally not only is this his first Chelsea appearance, but the 26 year old is also the youngest ever recipient of a Gold at Chelsea). This garden is designed to illustrate responsible water management in an urban setting, highlighting how to harness storm water for use in the garden and not lose it through drainage systems. Chelsea provides 'the perfect platform to highlight water conservation and propose solutions' clearly shown here by the way water is directed through the garden, varying it's gradient, speed and flow.
There is so much to see at Chelsea and we can only catch a small glimpse from a far! However, we love the free forming natural planting with the use of water in rills, pools and for Hugo showing us how it can be harnessed and not wasted if we plan properly. (Particularly vital in the part of the world we live in).
Finally - there's always room for fun in a garden - what do you think?