Trending at Chelsea

May 28, 2012

Chelsea Flower Show week is now over and quite frankly I’m feeling a bit Chelsea’d out!  This year I was too busy to attend and I do find the crowds somewhat spoil my visitor experience. So, as there’s always so much media coverage, I decided to save my energies for Hampton Court in July when one of my pals, Simon Webster, is designing a conceptual show garden... one with a (shazzam) difference! But for now, its back to the coalface - do give me a call or drop me a line with any questions!

fashion week with a difference

Just as catwalk fashion is interpreted by high street chains and finds its way into our wardrobe, so the show gardens at Chelsea do the same.  I’ll wager retro caravans will start appearing in people’s back gardens from this day onwards!  Anyone want garden planting designed around an old caravan?  Please get in touch, your scented Honeysuckle, Jasmine & Roses await you… My lovely Twitter chum - Jo Thompson - who I mentioned in my last newsletter won a Silver Gilt medal for her design for the Caravan Club.  You may have seen the silver vintage van called Doris that featured in her garden.  This was Jo’s first Chelsea Show Garden and to win Silver Gilt really is a sterling effort.  Hurrah & well done Jo! There are all sorts of medals, badges & trophies to be won at Chelsea and not just for the gardens.  Plant of the Year went to a peachy pink Digitalis (Foxglove).  Digitalis ‘Illumination Pink’ flowers from June to November and is a tall perennial.  Perennials are my favourite group of plants. You can see it in the Plant of the Year photos gallery. Cleve West won a Gold medal and Best in Show (as he did last year) with a design using Topiary and a safe restricted plant choice. I'll be using a couple of Cleve’s choices in some of the designs I’ve got coming up. The garden looks good in all the photos although it’s not what I would call cutting edge design. That said, none of us would complain at having such a design for ourselves!  It really does tick most of the boxes. Is your current garden design and layout ticking your boxes?  For instance, does it provide sufficient space for entertaining; can you make use of the sun and the shade when you want to; does it put a smile on your face?  Not sure?!  Send me an email and let's have a chat or take a look!

grow a little bit wild

Not as much ‘grow your own’ plantings at Chelsea this year.  The overall feel and message was for a more natural planting look with plenty of wild flowers on display. I’m working with one of my clients in Berkhamsted (swanky apartments) to increase the wildflower planting. Historically it’s been strimmed and sprayed to death but now one or two wild flowers are emerging. We’re going to supplement these with some Primula & Digitalis on the shady riverbank and some Oxeye Daisy, Poppy, Toadflax & Knapweed elsewhere in the grounds to start with. Next year these plants will have self-seeded and who knows where they’ll pop up.  If you’d like help with wild flowers in your garden give me a call.

tasks for you and your gardens

What to do in your gardens now... I mean what’s not to do?  Below are my top priorities for you:
  • Collect rainwater like it’s going out of fashion!
  • Hoe, hoe and hoe again - don’t let them weeds set seed!
  • Plant out all your summer bedding; red, white and blue are in short supply so speak to your garden centre now to check on deliveries.
  • Greenhouse jobs - everything!  Especially increased shading.  Call or email if you've any specific queries.
  • Dig up your Daffodil clumps, separate gently. and leave somewhere shady to dry, before replanting in the Autumn (more later in the year).
  • Build a proper BBQ this year!  You know you’ve been meaning to do this. Call or email me if you get stuck... I know a man that can!
  • Grow your own - your work will be cut out just keeping up with the watering in this heat.  However, now’s the time to plant out your seed-raised plants.

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