Trends from the Chelsea Flower Show
With forward-thinking and avant-garde creatives descending on London to celebrate the biggest and brightest innovations, you can be forgiven for thinking London Fashion Week was due to take place, not the Chelsea Flower Show. While the latter might not be quite as glamorous as the former, they share the same status as the pinnacles of their respective fields.
Incorporating trends from Chelsea Flower Show into your own garden is far easier than incorporating trends from London Fashion Week into your own wardrobe however. To help you transition what you’ve seen from the premier gardening showcase on earth into your own home, we have assembled a list of some of the most easily achievable crazes.
Greenery and yellow
Either garden designers are conforming to Pantone’s declaration that ‘greenery’ is the colour of 2017 or they are merely re-asserting control over what is, after all, the colour of nature. It’s up to you to decide. What is concrete though, is that the natural green hue was omni-present throughout the showcase. The eternal favourite buxus was a particular favourite, as was unclipped yew.
Off-setting the earthy green, was an abundance of yellow hues. Its popularity in part stemmed from its natural prosperity during the spring, and early summer months, of which we are just into now. Yellow is supposedly the most attractive proposition for pollinators and is therefore customary amongst the first flowers to bloom.
Replicating either of these trends couldn’t be easier. The vivid zizea aurea championed by Charlotte Harris, designer of the Royal Bank of Canada’s offering at the show, can easily be introduced into your own garden. As for the ‘greenery,’ I am sure you can already account for it without making any alterations. And if, somehow you can’t, mulberry ‘Charlotte Russe’ (Matsunaga) is a more than worthy recipient of your affections as the winner of the Chelsea plant of the year award.
Water is often overlooked because of the complications of actually installing it in a garden setting. However, this year’s show made a habit of making it abundantly clear that it is worth the effort.
Gentle aquamarine pools were intersected by geometric squares of layered paving in the Beneath a Mexican Sky garden. Nestled at the edge of the water were three agave americanas, whose imposing, jagged, unfolded leaves were resplendently reflected in the still pool. Whilst many gardens included water, the title of the most ambitious is reserved for The Welcome to Yorkshire garden, which hosted its own reconstructed sea.
Your efforts needn’t be so grandiose. Ridding your pond of any contaminating substances is an important first step, and it can be as simple as getting your hands on some dirty water pumps, which will subsequently allow you to decorate the pond as you see fit.
This, potentially, isn’t the most feasible of introductions, but it is nevertheless worth noting. Abrasive and angular surfaces, both paving and walls, provided a stark contrast to the plethora of plant life on show. Nowhere was this better exemplified than the Gold medal-winning Breaking Ground garden. An irregular patchwork of York stone blocks were knitted together to startling effect. I’m not suggesting you do this yourself, but you may want to reconsider just throwing your dismantled decades-old patio into a skip.
Fully-fledged overarching themes are no doubt impressive, but that doesn’t mean that the understated introduction of a single plant cannot add a great deal of quality to your garden. A favourite of the show, so much so that it placed third in the Chelsea plant of the year award, was the hibiscus ‘petit orange.’ With vibrant orange petals, it was certainly a well-deserved acclamation. Equally lauded were foxgloves – seven of the gardens included the distinctive cascading tubular flower. Both would be superb additions to any garden.