• Nick

A Magical Chelsea 2016


Friday found us at the Chelsea Flower Show. What an amazing day! The show gardens were both outstanding and inspiring. Here are some of my highlights:

The Show Gardens

Andy Sturgeon's Daily Telegraph garden (above) hit Gold and also won Best in Show.

The dramatic use of large angular slabs of steel really did create an almost 'Jurassic Park' feel to the garden, but the bold landscaping was brilliantly balanced with some wonderful subtle planting.

As with so much of Andy's work, there are always aspects of his design and planting that can be adapted for much smaller spaces.

The Winton Beauty of Mathematics Garden by Nick Bailey (above) was designed around the concept that every plant is driven by mathematical algorithms, which were represented brilliantly and inventively throughout the garden.

Nick Bailey's planting was, in my opinion, superb - and i was pleased to be able tell him so myself. Not only a great gardener, but a true artist as well.

The use of sculpture in a garden never fails to impress. The Brewin Dolphin garden (above) designed by Rosy Hardy had this wonderful coccolith sculpture.

Gardens for Health and Well-Being

This was a key theme at this year's Flower show:

Chris Beardshaw used a beautiful statue of a young child with arms open wide in this stunningly planted and very atmospheric garden he has created for parents to sit and reflect in at Great Ormond Street Hospital (above).

This garden really did have the most incredible atmosphere. Created for parents to sit in a tranquil space and find emotional and spiritual renewal was the inspiration for this garden.

The photo above, of what I interpreted as a mother's face in repose, was deeply moving. This truly was an outstanding example of the healing powers that a garden can give.

I also loved the LG Smart Garden designed by Hay Joung Hwang (above). This demonstrated how the garden can be brought into the home, or the home can be brought in to the garden.

The huge cantilevered pergola running the length of the garden room looked fabulous and the planting was beautiful.

The RHS 'Greening Grey Britain' garden designed by Ann-Marie Powell (below) showed that you can grow plants and vegetables in all kinds of places and situations.

I thought this garden was brilliant and had a real fun and dynamic atmosphere. This bright orange container had been converted into a great outdoor room and the roof had lots of planters growing a wide range of flowers and vegetables. I loved all the bright splashes of colour!

Designed to promote the health and wellbeing benefits of greening-up grey spaces, this garden was a big winner with the many thousands of people who spent time in it. Brilliant!

The Great Pavilion

Whenever I walk into The Great Pavilion at Chelsea I have an almost 'out of body' experience! To see such perfection and the entire gardening year in flowers before you is so humbling.

It is here that you realise just what masters of their craft all the growers and nursery men and women truly are. Bloms Bulbs had an incredible display and these huge tulips (above) were stunning!

This wonderful 'Living Wall' (above) really impressed me, especially as it had water running through it. The water had a calming and cooling effect and would be a great addition to any city garden.

I had to share this wonderful picture (above) of the Heucheraholics stand. Not only does it show the incredible range of foliage that these plants can give you, but the vibrant colours of the sheds brought an immediate smile to everyone's faces. I loved it!!

2016 was a great year at Chelsea and one to remember for a long time. As orange was the colour theme of the show this year, I had to end with this picture of the magnificent Leucospermum Cordifolium.

Can I have one please?

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