World-renowned garden designers, plant specialists, florists and nurseries once again gathered at Chelsea to show off cutting-edge garden designs and inspirational floral exhibits. Here are some of the highlights
Best Show Garden: M&G Garden
This year’s award for Best Show Garden went to James Basson (his third consecutive gold) for the M&G Garden. Inspired by the quarries of Malta, Basson showcased the rich diversity of Maltese flora, and the beauty found in even the harshest of environments.
The Anneka Rice Colour Cutting Garden
The Anneka Rice Colour Cutting Garden was designed by Sarah Raven and every square inch was packed with flowers.
Kate Gould’s garden, City Living, scooped up the best Fresh Garden on show.
Greening Grey Britain
Nigel Dunnett designed the Greening Grey Britain garden, featuring narrow balconies surrounded by edible plants and small, private sitting areas.
The Jeremy Vine Texture Garden
As its name suggests, The Jeremy Vine Texture Garden concentrated on the sense of touch and displayed bold geometric forms juxtaposed with soft, elegant planting.
The Walker’s Wharf Garden
The Walker’s Wharf Garden, designed by Graham Bodle, won the Artisan Garden category and depicted a derelict industrial space turned into a usable outdoor area.
David Austin Roses Dame Judi Dench
David Austin Roses released the ‘Dame Judi Dench’ rose, a delicate apricot rose especially for the veteran actress. It has blooms that are particularly resistant to rain damage that exude a medium-strong fragrance that experts have described as combining classic tea with a fresh note of cucumber and a hint of kiwi. As you would expect from David Austin Roses, it is a vigorous grower, producing strong, arching stems which, over time, form an attractive mound of blooms.
A new dwarf Mulberry variety
A new dwarf Mulberry variety (Morus rotundiloba Charlotte Russe), really caught the judge’s eye at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2017, so much so that it scooped up the coveted ‘Plant of the Year’ award. Bred by Japanese breeder Mr. Matsunaga, this is a unique cross between a white and a black mulberry. Very compact (150cm tall) it makes for a perfect patio pot. It fruits on both new and old wood, even within the first year (most plants mature at around eight or ten years).
Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants Salvia ‘Crystal Blue’
Picking up second place, Salvia nemorosa ‘Crystal Blue’ was discovered as a chance seedling in a nursery field. This new introduction has a unique sky-blue colour, is a fully hardy plant which not only draws the eye, but attracts bees and butterflies. Suitable for growing in any type of soil and in full sun or part shade, this herbaceous perennial has proved hugely popular in North America and will hopefully come to South Africa soon.