Despite the wet weather my trip to the Chelsea Flower Show was met with a riot of colour and many ideas which I could transfer into my own garden. Here I’ve highlighted a few which captured my imagination.
Designed by Matt Keightley, the garden is hoped to raise awareness of the charity and its work providing healthcare and education to Lesotho’s most vulnerable children, many victims of extreme poverty and HIV/AIDs – the world’s second highest HIV infection rate.
Ahead of the official visit by Her Majesty the Queen, Prince Harry visited the garden in the morning, telling BBC Breakfast: “It’s fantastic. It’s everything I could have wished for. This is our way of trying to bring a little bit of Lesotho to Chelsea. If my garden was built enough I would try and move it into my garden.”
I was privileged to be allowed to walk onto the garden and immerse myself into this slice of South Africa. Many flowers which we would associate with British gardens such as Lupins, Iris and Erysimum ‘Apricot Twist’ (pictured above) filled with borders with a waterfall and rock pool at one end with overhanging rustic decking.
Away from Main Avenue on Serpentine Walk I found a collection of smaller show gardens ranging from an Old Forge to Brewers Yard.
The Trugmaker’s Garden celebrates the dying art of making trugs from willow and sweet chestnut. Serena Fremantle and Tina Vallis are first time RHS Chelsea designers.
Their theme was inspired by Mr Smith, an artisan trugmaker who, while exhibiting at The Great Exhibition was asked by Queen Victoria to create trugs for the royal family.
Mr Smith was so proud of his work he put the finished trugs in a wheelbarrow and walked with them all the way from East Sussex to Buckingham Palace to deliver them in person.
“The garden’s vibrant planting scheme of oranges and acid greens, set against greens, plums and dashes of blue and red, is intended as a means of attracting passing trade. The busy workshop if bursting with willow and chestnut wood and the traditional Trugmaker’s tools, which have been loaned by working Sussex Trugmakers.” say the designers.
One exhibit which caught my eye was Plankbridge Hutmakers. Taking an old shepherd’s hut, Richard Lee and Jane Dennison restore them, giving a new lease of life in the form of artist’s studios, extra bedrooms and garden kitchens.
Shepherd Huts were used around 1850 by farmers when lambs were due to give birth. The huts would be moved into fields far away from the farm so the farmer could live and work until lambing season was over.
I’m planning on giving my allotment shed a make-over soon, and I’ve taken many ideas from the interior of this particular Shepherds Hut.