Every year when I look at the gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show I come away with garden design ideas that inspire me and motivate me to make changes in my own garden. This year’s show did not disappoint; from the playful to the serious to the just plain beautiful, there is so much to learn from this show.
Here are five gardens at the top of my list for garden design ideas.
The Laurent-Perrier Garden
The Laurent-Perrier Garden won the much-coveted award for Best Show Garden at this year’s show. This garden has strong architectural interest, with a focus on texture and forms. The plants and the materials are full of contrasts: soft and strong, wood and concrete.
This dramatic garden fills me with garden design ideas. It reminds me that water features introduce both movement and stillness to a garden. I am inspired to make more use of stone and wood features in my garden.
Peter Rabbit Herb Garden
Hooks Green Herbs and The World of Beatrix Potter collaborated on a fantasy garden to delight any rabbit – or gardener. Complete with a vegetable patch and Mr. McGregor’s greenhouse, the Peter Rabbit herb garden is an inspiration for garden design ideas. No wonder it won a gold medal at this year’s Chelsea Show!
By bringing to life the illustrations from Beatrix Potter’s books, this magical garden reminds me that gardens are more than collections of plants; through careful plant selection and arrangement a garden can represent a place, an idea, a book, or a work of art.
Vital Earth The Night Sky Garden
Flowering plants, stonewalls, spiralling metal sculptures, and reflective pools bring meteors, black holes, and constellations — the elements of the night sky — to this award-winning garden.
I’m intrigued by the way the benches are set between the stones and integrated into the garden. This is a garden design idea I will definitely use in my garden: creating seating that is part of the garden, not just added on.
The M&G Garden
The M&G Garden takes its inspiration from the Persian contemplative gardens of 2,000 years ago. With scented plants, shade, flowing water, and pieces of sculpture, this gold medal-winning garden brings a sense of calm, an oasis in the midst of the busy show, our busy lives.
I’m taking away a number of garden design ideas from this garden. Oddly enough, the scented plants are at once stimulating and calming, something I’d like for my garden. And whilst I’ve no place for a large water feature I’m inspired to install a small fountain for the pleasure of moving water.
The Telegraph Garden
An Italian garden with precisely clipped hedges and a perfect lawn, The Telegraph Garden is a delight to stroll through, sit, and admire the view.
The wildness of the bright blue and red flowers softens the formality, bringing a warmer touch. I liked the use of large container plantings as anchor points in the garden. And by positioning the sitting area at the long end of the rectangular space, visitors get the feeling of a much larger garden as they look toward the distant end of the garden. These are garden design ideas I won’t forget.
Garden Design Inspiration from Chelsea
These five gardens alone have given me more garden design ideas than I could put in place in a year. I’m going to start small, adding planters at key focal points in the garden. Then I’m going to work on my seating so it becomes an actual element of the garden.
If you didn’t get to Chelsea this year, I hope the garden design ideas I “stole” from the show will inspire you in your garden.
As a bonus, more pictures from the show!