Green was the main theme at the RHS Chelsea Flower this year, in both the colour and the concept. With a more relaxed and natural planting theme across most of the gardens, green was the go to colour for many designers with wonderful examples of foliage and green flowers to be seen. We saw fantastic specimens of trees, shrubs, perennials and conifers being used together not only to bring various different green tones to gardens but also height, structure and form. Whereas previous years have seen formal, clipped topiary this year's gardens were softer, more naturalistic with conifers rubbing shoulders with grasses and ferns.
This year saw an increase of plants that grow wild in the UK in the Chelsea gardens, with the likes of Digitalis and Deschampsia lending themselves wonderfully to the naturalistic and woodland themes. Andy Sturgeon's 'The M&G Garden', inspired by nature's power to regenerate, won 'Best Show Garden' with it's woodland landscape where a fabulous array of green foliage was complimented by soft, gentle flowers. A shaded area of your own garden could be planted with Thalictrum, Hakonechloa, Trollius and Dryopteris to create a similar affect.
Geum have been a long-standing favourite of the Chelsea garden designers and this year was no exception as we saw them in abundance. With such a great selection of varieties to choose from it's easy to see why they are so popular, whether it is the native Geum rivale, perfect for natural planting schemes or the colourful, eye-catching Geum 'Scarlet Tempest'
Plant of the Year
2018 Plant of the Year winner, Hydrangea 'Runaway Bride' has proved to be incredibly popular, so how will this years winner fair? Sedum 'Atlantis' may be have taken the top spot but we're particularly impressed with the second and third placed plants:
- Digitalis 'Firebird' - a beautiful variety of this classic British garden perennial. 'Firebird' has been bred in the UK and has gorgeous deep pink and apricot toned flowers from May to October
- Agapanthus 'Fireworks' - this evergreen perennial is a real show-stopper with eye-catching purple and white bi-colour flowers from July to September.
Our other favourites from the shortlist are:
- Osteospermum 'Purple Sun' - a stunning variety with large, daisy like flowers bearing a bold purple to orange fade
- Clematis 'Elodi' - with lovely mauve colour flowers this Tudor Patio clematis is dwarf and compact making it perfect for containers, hanging baskets or borders
- Nepeta 'Neptune' - a compact cat-mint with large blue flowers, ideal for containers or mixed borders