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Chelsea Flower Show

31/05/2023

Our team is brimming with fresh ideas and inspiration after their annual trip to Chelsea Flower Show in May. Will, Jackie, Jason and Vicky had a fabulous time at the event and have created a special Inspired by Chelsea display to showcase some of the creative and cutting-edge planting they saw.

Inspired by Chelsea

Regal purple was one of the dominant colour choices that appeared in many of the show’s award-winning designs at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Our stunning selection of purple-hued blooms includes Eryngium Big Blue, Geranium Rozanne, Penstemon heterophyllus Electric Blue and Salvia nemorosa Caradonna.

An image of Geranium Rozanne
Inspired by the Chelsea Flower Show - an image of white Agapanthus

Gavin McWilliams and Andrew Wilson’s Memoria & GreenAcres Transcendence Garden featured a pared-back palette, mainly in green and white with splashes of purple. This created a very calming environment that highlighted the healing power of nature. To recreate the look, add a dash of white to your scheme. One of our favourite white flowering plants is Arenaria montana Avalanche, a lovely low growing perennial that produces a mass of small flowers from May to August. Another popular choice at Chelsea was Agapanthus Everwhite with its multiple spikes of brilliant flowers that bloom in early spring.

Purple mixed with zesty lime made another beautiful pairing and was seen in Gold Medal and Best in Show winning Horatio’s Garden. This garden boasted an incredible depth of planting and is well worth checking out online.

Inspired by the Chelsea Flower Show - an image of purple lupins and digitalis
Inspired by the Chelsea Flower Show - an image of peach lupins

The magical display of Lupinus Manhattan Lights also made a big impression on our team. This magnificent variety combines vibrant purple and soft yellow and is a multi-award winning flower. We stock a selection of stunning West Country lupins in our Outdoor Area.

If space is at a premium, there were lots of ideas to maximise outdoor areas by utilising the vertical. Explore our wonderful collection of wisteria which look beautiful grown up trellis or frames. You can even create a living wall using vertical planters.

Inspired by the Chelsea Flower Show - an image of Wisteria arch
The bee room st Barton Grange includes plants for bees

Unsurprisingly, there was also a lot of wildlife-friendly planting. Martyn Wilson teamed up with the RSPCA to create a contemporary take on a Sanctuary Garden which was full of ideas you can easily recreate at home, whatever space you have. All the features in the garden were made of natural, sustainable or recycled materials and it included more than 2,200 pollinator plants and native trees and shrubs that are vital for birds and wildlife. There were nesting boxes for hedgehogs and for sparrows, which are a threatened species. The idea was to show that wildlife gardens can also be modern and beautiful.

We hope our Inspired by Chelsea display will encourage you to get creative and try out some new ideas in your own outdoor spaces this summer!

Display of plants inspired by Chelsea Flower Show
Group photo of staff members Will, Jackie, Jason and Vicky at the Chelsea Flower Show, pictured with Adam Frost (British garden designer and presenter on the BBC's Gardeners' World).

“The Nurture Garden was definitely one of my favourite gardens, beautifully designed by Sarah Price. What I loved most about this garden was the authentic yet elegant planting scheme. There was a good use of the Benton series Iris which brought height and subtle colour amongst lower growing perennials and grasses. This created an effortlessly calming space.” Will, Plant Area Manager

“The innovative planting combinations in the show gardens really highlighted the importance of form, colour and structure in terms of planting combinations. The selection of plants displayed together makes a huge difference to the overall impact of a space and this is something we can try to emulate when selecting stock and allocating it on the shop floor. I really loved that so many of the gardens were focused on planting for insects and wildlife, showing that wildlife gardens don’t have to be messy!” Vicky, Outside Plant Area Senior

“My favourite show garden was the RSPCA Garden which encouraged people to make more room for nature to come into their green spaces and be considerate of the environment. The Bromeliad and Streptocarpus displays were stunning as were the Bonsai and Terrariums. And the highlight of the day was meeting Adam Frost – the best Gardener’s World presenter (in my opinion)!” Jackie, Houseplants Sales Assistant

“Chelsea was amazing, there was so much to see. The size and scope of the displays on show were truly inspiring. It was also really fantastic to see just how many people are still loving gardening. The crowds were almost overwhelming. Gardening is still as strong as it’s ever been.” Jason, Senior Display Assistant