Chelsea Flower Show is finally here! Postponed to autumn for the very first time, this years Chelsea made the most of the time of year, using autumnal colours and tones that aren’t typically seen. But the main part of Chelsea, one of the biggest reasons people from all over the country flock towards the most celebrated flower show… The trends. Chelsea Flower Show is great for many reasons – the talks, the food, and of course the displays. Every year gardeners from all around present their gardens and therefor set the newest trends in the gardening industry. Let’s take a look at trends from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021.
As we saw from RHS Tatton Park earlier this year, rewilding and sustainability has become an ongoing theme within the display gardens. The gold-winning ‘Yeo Valley Organic Garden’ embraced nature and the ‘imperfection’ that came along with it. Garden designer Tom Massey and supported by Sarah Mead, allowed plants to grow as they would naturally occur. The garden also promoted support for biodiversity, using plants that were organically grown and chemical-free. Sarah shared some great tips for those at home who wish to adapt their garden and become more environmentally conscious. By packing flowers tightly together it minimalises the amount of sunlight getting to weeds, eliminating the need for weed killer.
You might not think that there is much in common between meadows and ponds, but they both share the same biological problem. Much like wildland, we have also lost almost 80% of wetlands. Water brings so much to a garden, but aside from purely aesthetic reasons it also brings in wildlife. It is a place for birds to bathe, insects to hover and creates to take a drink. There are aquatic plants that can add a whole new look to the garden. From waterlilies, water lettuce and blue iris, many of which can be used as natural water purifiers. Water is a vital part of not just human life, but nature and life itself.
Alan Williams highlighted the trend of art becoming a part of the garden. As the award-winning designer of ‘The Parsley Box Garden’ and Creative Director of Form Plants he used sculptures tucked amongst the planting. Artisan features were used amongst many gardens, and these pieces were not your traditional stone sculptures. They included metal formations, a water feature and extraordinary wooden structures. The best part of these art pieces was the emphasis on local craftsmanship and materials used. The award-winning M&G Garden features repurposed metal pipes, something easily accessible and readily available.
RHS Chelsea has had many firsts! From it being held in September for the first ever time, to being the first year to introduce a dedicated container gardening category. This year certainly made up for its absence last year. From this new category, people were able to show what can be done in a small garden space. Not everyone has vast amounts of land or allotments, so a focus on smaller gardening practises is a great start.
Following the theme of smaller gardens and dynamic spaces, this was the very first Chelsea Flower Show to highlight houseplants with the brand new indoor gardens category! After postponing the show last year due to world events which saw us all spending more time inside it only seemed necessary. Gardening has seen a massive boost in the last year alone with more and more people seeing the positive benefits it has on mental wellbeing. There were so many designs that were able to utilise the space given and the movability that houseplants have.
Whether you were able to go to the Chelsea Flower Show this year or catch it on television, it’s clear that the trends set this year are here to stay. With a more conscious effort from the RHS to ‘get political’ by focussing on environmental issues and adapt to the new types of gardens, it is proven that this can be done with style.
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