RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017. As the world renowned London gardening show reaches its final day, we offer you a selection of highlights.
From the show gardens, the artisan gardens, the fresh gardens and BBC Radio 2’s feelgood gardens.
Plus of course the delights and discoveries to be found in the Great Pavilion.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 – the Great Pavilion
There’s always so much to see in the Great Pavilion; it really deserves a separate visit. A whole day to really find out all the fascinating facts in the Discovery Zone, discuss the various merits of the Plant of the Year and Product of the Year finalists. To sniff the flowers and wonder at the floral displays.
The RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year
The winner this year was a fruit. Mulberry ‘Charlotte Ruse’. A dwarf form of Mulberry (Morus) bred especially for small gardens, patios and container growing.
Among the educational stands this year were Kew with their State of the World’s Plants display. Based around the report of the same name which was published last week, we were given a whistlestop tour of the globe.
Finding Natural Solutions to Invasive Plant Problems showed what is probably the best way forward in dealing with the likes of Japanese Knotweed.
Oh and there were some stunning floral displays of course!
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 – The Gardens
The gardens are divided into different categories.
- The show gardens are the big showstoppers; the ones everyone wants to see and which are situated on the main thoroughfares.
- The artisan gardens are the smaller gardens within easy hearing distance of the music at the bandstand.
- The fresh gardens are generally more ‘concept’ orientated; a garden to explain an idea or theme rather than a garden design inspired by a theme.
This year there was a special fourth category: the feelgood gardens.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 – Show Gardens
Water seemed to play a strong role this year, in contrast to last year’s drought tolerant planting. Although the best in show winner, M&Gs Malta garden was, for all its pool, a very arid landscape.
Unlike the Welcome to Yorkshire garden, with its coastline sound effects.
There were some wonderful structures in the show gardens; ones that actually gave to the garden rather than taking it over.
Breaking Ground garden, with metal ‘walls’ and the Morgan Stanley garden with its oak loggia both had a theme of geometry running through.
It’s often the clever little touches that make a garden special. For example, the seating in the 500 Years of Covent Garden looked like it had been made from packing cases (posh ones).
Plus colours, whether soft greens, the greening of grey Britain or the vibrancy of the Silk Road Garden.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 – Artisan Gardens
The shady avenue where the Artisan Gardens are situated was very welcome on the hot days of this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. Three of the 2017 artisan gardens had an obvious link to water pursuits.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission celebrate their Centenary this year. Their garden included receycled headstones, and a mirror, for reflections on war and peace.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 – Fresh Gardens
The Fresh Gardens are smaller than the show gardens and larger than the artisan gardens. They usually have a definite ‘message’ as their design concept.
The City Living garden is an excellent example of how darker spaces can still be filled with plants and colour
Beneath a Mexican sky has an interesting juxtaposition of cottage garden style planting with drought tolerant plants
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 – BBC Radio 2 Feelgood Gardens
These gardens are a celebration of 50 years of Radio 2. Some of the radio presenters were involved in creating gardens to reflect the five senses.
Jeremy Vine Texture Garden
Jo Whiley Scent Garden
Chris Evans Taste Garden
Zoe Ball Listening Garden
Anneka Rice Colourful Cutting Garden
We were entertained and enlightened by all this and more. There will be further photos posted on Flickr, Instagram and Pinterest once we get our breaths back!
As for gardens and the great pavilion in previous years, you could download our free eBook, RHS Chelsea Flower Show – the Plews View. Available directly from our website. And if you would like to talk with us about designing your own ‘Chelsea garden’, please get in touch!