The inspiration for this year’s Chelsea Flower Show (the most prestigious gardening show in the UK) was very much about getting back to nature in the garden. As you might have seen with Kate Middleton’s involvement with the RHS Back to Nature Garden.
I’m delighted to say the natural theme permeated the entire show in a very pleasing and design conscious way…
I love the skilful way designer, Kate Gould has used shape, form and texture in the Greenfingers Charity Garden. The tiles and swinging ball seat tie-in perfectly with the planting colours.
Garden Design Takeaway 1
If you want to re-create this in your garden, keep the colours in a gentle palette and weave plants like Shasta daisies through the planting groups. This is a really simple way to have both clarity and the natural, wilder planting style.
Another way to keep clarity in more natural looking gardens is the use of solid elements. The stone elements in both these gardens help prevent the natural style planting from looking messy.
In lots of the more obviously ‘designed’ gardens, there were still plenty of hat-tips to nature with the use of free-form curves in the walls and pool in the Dubai Majlis Garden which took inspiration from the shapes formed in their sand dune landscape.
Chris Beardshaws’ design for Morgan Stanley had a wonderful curved extension to the focal point seating area which helped soften its hard-line form.
The Manchester Garden also did a great job with their free-form metal sculpture that wove its way throughout the garden.
Garden Design Takeaway 2
Think about the shapes of walls, pools, and any functional seating areas and sculptures you put into your garden. It’s also very effective to reflect back focal points in water, doubling their impact.
Using curves always softens the look of any design and ties in particularly well if you have a view overlooking a natural landscape from your garden.
Curves also work much better when there are slopes in the garden that aren’t going to be terraced.
Patterns and textures are in!
There was a really great use of tiles to create patterns and textured patterned glass in a few of the gardens this year.
Garden Design Takeaway 3
Be really careful about how you use patterns though. It takes a LOT of skill to use anything patterned in a garden without it looking too busy. The Chelsea Flower Show designers do it well by keeping both the colour and the patterns simple and away from the bulk of the planting.
I hope that this year’s Chelsea Flower Show has inspired you as much as it has me and if you’d like to learn the inside designer secrets to successfully planning a gorgeous garden, then do join me for a FREE fast-track garden design web class.
This article was a taster of Chelsea, to see more about the show gardens visit the RHS website and watch the video below…
Learn the secret to successful designing with one of Rachel’s FREE garden design fast-track web classes.
- Photo Credits: The very wonderful Herry Lawson