RHS Chelsea 2018 Inspiration
The Wedgwood Garden
Jo Thompson designed a garden inspired by the patterns and colours of Wedgwood pottery to beautiful effect. Pale yellow creates a lovely juxtaposition between purple, in turn contrasting with rusty tones supported by a foil of frothy grasses and white flowered perennials. The garden will have a lasting legacy at Wedgwood’s HQ in Barlaston.
The Morgan Stanley Garden
Despite winning the accolade of Best in Show, in my opinion Chris Beardshaw’s garden was not the best. There were some lovely plants in there but they didn’t work harmoniously together. Notable plants which I did like within this scheme were the vertical accents of Camassia ‘Pale Pink’ and Valeriana pyrenaica and the textured shade planting including Asaram europaeum, Rodgersia henricii and a variety of ferns. It also introduced a new plant to me, Myosotisium hortensia, a New Zealand native for shade with vibrant blue flowers. However, Chris did grow the majority of the plants himself which is an impressive achievement.
Although Robert Barker used a very small palette of plants, he showed that you do not need a large plant mix to create something striking. The combination of delicate foliage with bold pops of colour from Aquilegia ‘Ruby Port’ and Iris sibirica ‘Persimmon’ worked particularly effectively. His conceptual garden saw planting filling pockets within a landscape of concrete cubes to represent the sufferers of different skin conditions.
Urban Flow / Thames Water
Tony Wood’s garden was my favourite at the show, combining a stunning planting palette of deep purples and pinks with interesting structural elements. It also had an important message to convey in response to a changing climate and the importance of minimising water consumption. Since it was designed as a sustainable and usable space, the planting included drought-tolerant species such as Salvia ‘Mainacht’ and edibles such as Purple Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’).
Silent Pool Gin Garden
The Silent Pool Gin garden was another of my favourites. David Neale created a garden based around the UK-based gin’s branding to build a garden comprised of the complementary colours of oranges and blues. It featured Anchusa ‘Dropmore’ which appeared in quite a few gardens this year as well as the Chelsea favourite, Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’. These bright colours were balanced with the perfect proportion of foliage.
The Embroidered Minds garden was designed around the experiences of those with epilepsy with planting representing the chaotic state of the mind. This was a fascinating concept with an interesting bench blending into the chaos of a green wall. One section of the planting featured a lovely mix of purple (Verbascum ‘Violetta’) through to white (Rosa ‘Winchester Cathedral’) supported by evergreen groundcover from Asarum europaeum and upright elements from Libertia grandiflora.