RHS Chelsea Flower Shower Review 2012

Wow – the second hot year in a row.  As always plenty to see at Chelsea, far more than just one blog post could possibly manage! So here are some photo highlights.  What was striking was the extent of naturalised planting.  Although there were some formal elements and dressed stone it was noticeable that almost all gardens contained new wave and naturalistic elements.   This trend has been growing over the last few years with even Luciano Giubbilei’s garden last year having uncharacteristically natural elements.  Perhaps because of the lack of other events with show gardens Chelsea does seem to have an issue with trending that is not evident in other disciplines.  Cleve West joked that when creating his garden he thought of what ‘had not been done’ in the last five years.  His answer was , rather masterly as it turned out, topiary.  So with that in mind I make the prediction that this is possibly the zenith of this style and that next year we will see a return to heavily structured gardens (perhaps topiary led!).

With so many photos to show I thought I would pick a selection which summarised the recurring theme of the natural versus the structured.  Whilst Cleve West’s immaculate garden won best in show we were particularly impressed with the World Vision Gardens by Flemons Warland Design and their use of concrete versus corten steel (more on corten later).  The Home Base Teenage Cancer Trust Garden by Joe Swift was immensely beautiful and its red orange palette and wood structures looked staggering in the setting sun.   The M&G Garden by Andy sturgeon was truly stunning and had a real depth of concept running through hard landscaping, planting and art which must have made it a very close competitor for best in show.

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