I visited the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 today – what a day! It’s always a privilege to be able to go to this amazing show. The Show Gardens, Artisan Gardens and Grand Pavilion are truly inspirational (not to mention colourful) and it’s hard to come away without wanting to add a bit of Chelsea magic into your own outdoor space.
The concepts behind the garden designs are both of the moment and thought provoking, highlighting human and global issues that are right at the forefront of today’s agenda, and how plants can help combat these in both environmental and therapeutic ways.
The planting combinations cover all conditions that you’d find in a typical UK garden as well as abroad, including planting ideas for shade, sun, dry or moist, damp soils. One thing I noticed this year is the spectrum of vibrant shades used. Soft and airy planting schemes are a lovely thing, but bold, vivid flowers are definitely making a comeback. Gone are the days of brash bedding plants that put the younger garden market off colour. This year you can really see how it’s possible to make a wonderfully tasteful planting scheme using plants of contrasting colours – bright orange flowers are partnered with ultra-violet and yellow, for example. I just love it! I’ve always liked this colourful style of planting, you just have to forget everything you know about clashing colours when it comes to flowers, I just don’t believe there are any two flowers that clash when planted together. The wonderful Beth Chatto, who sadly passed away this spring, always included all colours in her planting schemes. I will always remember one of her planting tips for borders, which I was told by a former Head Gardener of Trinity College in Cambridge while I worked there. This was to plant cool shades towards the ends of a border and more vibrant, warm shades in the middle. You wouldn’t necessarily notice it to look at, but it’ll draw your eye through the border and balance out perfectly. Since then, I’ve always seen the beauty in plants of all colours and how they complement each other to give a beautiful overall effect. So I would say, be brave with colour this year – you won’t regret it!
I was busy putting my photos on Instagram for a lot of the day – here are some of the highlights: