RHS Chelsea; the themes, the trends and my favourite gardens.

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In this first of a two-part blog post on the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012 I am going to share with you my favourite gardens and some of the key trends at the show.

Orla Kiely Vintage Styled Summer House

Orla Kiely Vintage Styled Summer House

Diarmuid Gavin Pyramid Garden

Chelsea crowds at Diarmuid Gavin Pyramid Garden

It was my fist time to RHS Chelsea and after years of watching the show on TV I w as really looking forward to actually being there. I love all TV drama of the medal’s, who is going to win gold?! All the theater of the show gardens, and all the wonderful camera shots of the vibrantly coloured blooms. The BBC coverage of Chelsea is fantastically thorough but it just cannot capture the aromas, the atmosphere and lets not forget the crowds!

The Chelsea ‘Show Gardens’ are real show stoppers; big scale,

Trailfinders Australian Garden

Trailfinders Australian Garden

big budget, designed to perfection dream gardens. These architecturally strong gardens are the stuff of glossy magazines. Along with many thousands! Of other people I enjoyed these gardens immensely but I have to say it was the ‘Artisan Gardens’ that stole my heart.

Specifically designed to show just what can be done on a small budget the Artisan Gardens capture a more naturalistic approach to gardening. It was this category that had my favourite garden; the ‘Plant Explorer’s Garden’

Scottish Agricultural College Plant Explorers Garden

Scottish Agricultural College Plant Explorers Garden

For me this garden was instantly pleasing to the eye, but it also told a story which I loved. Everywhere you looked on this plot there was something interesting to see, so many features, and I would see more plants each time I came back.

Then there was the focused and harmonic garden of Satoyama Life, telling the story of space between lowlands and mountains, people and nature, in a balanced simplistic lifestyle.

Satoyama Life

Satoyama Life

For me the key trends at RHS Chelsea 2012 were;

Foxglove’s (Digitalis) – With the 2012 ‘Plant of the Year’ being won by the foxglove Digitalis Illumination Pink

Bonsai – featuring widely in gardens and with a good show in the medals as individual entries.

Water – With a predicted dry summer ahead this was clearly on the mind of the designers this year. It’s also the subject of the second part of this two-part RHS Chelsea blog post.

But to round off my inaugural trip to Chelsea what did I take home? Only gold winning planting from Satoyama Life. Two wonderful bonsai that I will treasure….

Biking home with RHS Chelsea Gold

Biking home with RHS Chelsea Gold

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