With the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this week, it’s always good to see what could be the next big thing, or what designers choose to use in the wider horticultural industry and those already familiar with the latest plants, reliable returning elders or materials from around the world. The most salient themes for me at the moment are the environmental and wellness benefits of gardens, many designers have clearly thought about nature with their designs as well as what gardens can mean for mental health and the sense of people. calm in a stressful world. So here are some ideas around what I think you could transfer to your own space.
make it fun
The Space Within garden, by Dorset designer Michelle Brown, shows how a smaller area can be divided to create different zones.
It includes a bench to provide a sociable space for friends and a secluded spot with a daybed for lounging and reading a book. A stamp tunnel with an angled top provides fantastic support for a gorgeous white wisteria, which adds to the seclusion and separation of the seats – it’s like emerging into a secret childhood lair where you can escape into your own little world of fun.
Spectacular bold plants such as King Sago Cycas, Phyllostachys Bamboo, and the Trachycarpus palm provide some very nice architectural touches, and they are easy to obtain and add architecture to any uninspiring space in the home. Try zoning your own space with trellis plants to create the same effect.
READ MORE: ‘Best use of outdoor space’: how to make your garden bigger – ‘add structure’
Go big or go home
Chris Beardshaw is on the money here championing a trend we saw last year, in the RNLI garden he planted structured layers in the borders so they have real impact with decent height.
It’s all about plant choice, Chris isn’t on my payroll but he recommends the pink flowered Dahlia imperialis which “pops out of the ground like a rocket in the spring”, it was one of our best sellers here last year, and we already have a waiting list for stock this summer.
When opting for different heights for layering a border, it’s all about being smart with your plant choices and picking something that works for you. Digitalis foxgloves 1.5m towards the middle of the border, 50cm Garaniums like Rozanne or Wargrave rose in the front, with it all framed by those dramatic Dahlias or perhaps a Cynara cardunculus – the ornamental artichoke with foliage amazing silver.
Add a few grasses such as miscanthus that can sway in the wind to make your own borders flowing and graceful rather than just a regimented clump.
The Perennial Garden: With Love designed by Richard Miers is a perfect example of a calming garden using symmetry and repetition to create this effect. Richard’s color palette is made up of greens and whites, with rich plum tones carefully added to provide additional interest.
It all complements each other beautifully and it’s a technique straight out of the design manual, you can easily turn 2 + 2 into 5 when you combine the right colors because they stand out when they catch your eye.
The main plants to look out for used here are double white peony, foxgloves and Chelsea’s ubiquitous favourite, alliums. A sense of security through delineation of hornbeam hedges and repetition in canopies of hawthorn adds to the soothing effect of this garden.
The effect is delightfully soothing, as is the sense of security and enclosure engendered by the hornbeam hedges and eight flat-topped hawthorns.
The last garden in my roundup here (there just isn’t enough space to cover the rest) is the one I really hope I can catch. It’s called The Core Arts Front Garden Revolution and was designed by Andy Smith-Williams.
This garden is all about the magic that can happen when two neighbors remove the boundary and work in unison to create a special front garden space, which attracts passers-by to be sociable while you garden in this respectful shared spot. of the environment.
Andy had suggested using free-draining gravel to prevent runoff as well as randomly shaped recycled flagstones for hard landscaping to create a stone path. This is something you can easily try at home. Planting is complemented by ornamental grasses with splashes of color added with hardy perennials Verbascum and Gladiolus byzantinus.