Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Something for Everyone at RHS Chelsea 2015

If your passion for naturalistic planting remains undiminished, or you harbour an unfailing love of neat hedging blocks or rich purple palettes, Chelsea must seem like a horticultural second honeymoon. 


Dan Pearson's Laurent-Perrier Chatsworth Garden is as natural as it gets in a flower show. Exquisitely executed, this garden turns the challenges of the triangular plot into a virtue, for whether standing beneath the stone stacks, or kneeling to appreciate the delicacy of the planting, this is a garden to be explored from all sides. 


We expect beautiful plants and inspiring plant combinations at Chelsea - particularly from Chris Beardshaw. His Healthy Cities Garden is a lesson in heavenly herbaceous planting with twists of citrus zing to lift the scheme.


Away from the wilder planting schemes, the hedging elements and the obligatory beautiful Chelsea flower borders, the exotic and mesmerising Hidden Beauty of Kranji Garden by John Tan and Raymond Toh gives us foliage combinations to die for. 


As always, the tiny Artisan Gardens offer a masterclass in fine detailing. A Trugmaker's Garden is truly astonishing in its detail. I am no trug expert (apart from a tendency to dangle one decoratively over my arm during the bean picking season), but there is no mistaking a great trugmaker's garden when you see one.


The Fresh Gardens seem to be gaining in popularity; they are certainly growing busier each year. Sarah Eberle's garden highlighting the work done to monitor plant pests and diseases indigenous to one part of the world which could threaten native plants from other countries, is thought-provoking and entertaining; it also reminds us that slinkies are not just for staircases.


For many visitors to the show, the plants are the stars, and each year new plants are introduced at Chelsea. Clematis TAE ('Toltae'), is one of three Clematis introduced by Thorncroft Nursery this year. It is striking for its very pointed tepals and pink/white colouring. Bred in Japan by Ren Tanaka, it is named after his late wife.


Antirrhinum ‘Pretty in Pink’ from Hardy's Cottage Garden Plants blooms all summer and is the first truly perennial Antirrhinum.


For something rather rarer, feast your eyes upon this gorgeous Trillium. It is one for my wish list in the oh-so-distant future. All we can do at the moment is hope that Kevock Garden Plants bring Trillium grandiflorum 'Raspberry Ripple' to Chelsea next year so that we can have another drool over it. 


If pink isn't your thing, here is a beautiful plant with one of those names requiring a mid-pronunciation tea break: Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum Kilimanjaro Sunrise ('Jww5'). Exhibited by Burncoose Nurseries, its white lacecap spring blooms are followed by masses of red berries and orange-red autumn foliage colour.


It is the Plant Of The Year no less. A shrub! And not just any shrub. A Viburnum! Did anyone see that coming? Chelsea, my love, you never fail to surprise. 


34 comments:

  1. The show gardens this year were exquisite! Sorry to have missed you, but now there's next time to look forward to!

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  2. Oooh, love that Trillium. The foliage is gorgeous too.

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  3. Something for everyone at this show, it seems. My envy is palpable.

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    1. If you're thinking of visiting the UK, aim for May.

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  4. One day I will get to visit, instead I drool over posts and TV coverage for a fix. My local nursery were featured in an interview last night (Binny Plants) on the BBC - maybe I should offer my services for free in future years.
    I'm also with Jessica - the Trillium is devine! Kevock Plants, another Edinburgh nursery. We truly are spoiled up here.

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    1. You are indeed! One of my favourite things at shows is to see nurseries from further afield. Their plants might not suit my conditions here, but it is a joy to see them.

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  5. I must try and find some TV coverage on the internet... Chelsea doesn't even get a mention on our news! Thanks for reminding me!

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    1. Dearie me. At least there's plenty of coverage on-line.

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  6. thanks to kind garden bloggers - we get a distant glimpse

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    1. One of the many wonders of the Blogosphere.

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  7. The Trug makers garden looks my kind of garden. I must look on the red button to see if I can get a closer look. As for the Trillium....

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    1. The detailing in that garden will stay in my memory for a long time.

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  8. That viburnum is beautiful! How wonderful that you were able to attend! Such inspiration here. I wish I could have heard the discussion about diseases affecting natives. Thanks for passing on the goodness friend! Nicole

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    1. The Viburnum has been added to my ever-increasing wish list.

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  9. Wonderful post to sum up your visit! We can only watch from afar here in the US and glean little bits, so thank you!

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  10. Hi Sarah,
    Thank you for the tour! The Chatsworth garden is so perfect and lovely and so unlike anything I would create....details, details. The're all beautiful but that one is particularly eyecatching. I totally understand why the Trillium is on your wish list.....it's amazing!

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    1. The Chatsworth garden had the power to transport us from a busy site in London. I kept returning to it for another look.

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  11. Great to read your reflections on Chelsea, an amazing place to visit I'm sure. I always love Chris Beardshaw's designs.

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  12. Hi Sarah - I'm catching up with the coverage but a shrub and a Viburnum at that for "plant of the year"!? What were they thinking? Some of the most incredible planting and plant combinations I've seen on Chelsea are by Chris Beardshaw and Cleve West. My planting is as gaudy as Chelsea is refined. Thanks for the photo tour!

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    1. There was quite a lot of shock about the Viburnum, but it does tick all the right boxes!

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  13. Beautiful ! Thank you for sharing :) I have to go google trugmaker garden now as I had never heard ot it before!

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  14. Gorgeous photos! I have been to Chelsea and seen the gardens but not quite like this!

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  15. Oh I hope someday to visit this wonder show...lovely pictures of some very creative gardens!

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  16. What a lovely post. I'm put off by the metropolitan hustle and bustle so really enjoyed your take on it this year.

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    1. Thank you - I'm so pleased you enjoyed it.

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  17. I've only attended the Chelsea once, and I long to visit again. Until that is my good fortune, I am very happy to read a good re-cap like yours! Thank you!

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    1. Here's to you getting to visit again very soon!

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