It's that time of year again - the famous Chelsea Flower Show in London - arguably the most prestigious garden show in the World. We couldn't resist our annual 'walk through' at some of the best gardens at the Show, and also outside in Chelsea's streets (more about that later)...
The Brewin Dolphin Garden above, designed by Darren Hawkes won a Gold medal - and we love the use of slate and naturalistic planting. The garden was designed to be both a contemplative space as well as exciting the senses - with an underground stream running into a pool and the sculptural structures delineating the space.
In contrast to the sharp lines of the first garden, the Royal Bank of Canada garden by Matthew Wilson has soft flowing curves breaking up the space - as well as being themed into three zones - a dry no-irrigation garden, a water capture zone and then an edible garden area.
Now The Chelsea Flower Show just isn't Chelsea without an Aussie being involved - and this award winning Silver Gilt garden is by Australian Charlie Albone at his first Chelsea appearance. The inspiration behind it is a highly emotional one inspired by his Father; “I designed the garden with the idea that if I was ever to meet him and tell him about my life as a man — he only knew me as a boy — I wanted to have a place to meet him.”
This is also the first appearance at Chelsea by the designers of the Kranhi garden which is inspired by it's namesake suburb in Singapore. Creating a lush tropical oasis with gushing water resulted in a Silver Gilt medal.
Adam Frost has created a garden which is inspired by the age-old dichotomy of nature versus the urban, man-made environment. He won a gold last year for Homebase and has done it again this year!
Marcus Barnett has designed a garden with a formal structured feel combined with block planting of plants reminiscent of the Essex rural landscape of his childhood. Influenced by artist Piet Mondrian which is particularly obvious in the concrete panels, the garden won a Gold medal.
We love the theatrical elements and characters that occur at Chelsea! Synchronised swimmers accessorised with swimming hats made up of 800 dance chrysanthemums add their charm to the Silver Gilt award winning M&G Retreat Garden's natural dipping pool.
Very evocative of Middle Eastern cultures, this Silver Gilt garden designed by Kamelia Bin Zaal aims to represent the serenity, beauty and artistic and trading heritage of Islamic cultures. Planting such as orange, olive, fig, pomegranate with cardamon and jasmine are representative of the Spice Road trade routes.
It is as if a corner of Derbyshire has been transplanted into London with this ambitious garden below by Dan Pearson. It is a tribute to the iconic Chatsworth Estate - home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, and represents a rockery in the gardens there and a trout stream meandering through the landscape. It is romantic, bold and captures the essence of the Chatsworth landscape - and has won Gold and Best in Show as a result.
Finally - a frivolous tribute to Chelsea has been going on in the surrounding streets, in this salubrious part of London. It is the Tenth year of Chelsea in Bloom, the festival for local retailers and businesses to join in and create floral masterpieces in celebration of Chelsea. This year the theme is 'Fairy Tales' - you can vote for their favourite (here) - scroll through to see the amazing creations below!
We almost feel as if we have been there - Who's the fairest of them all?!!