Chelsea Trend: Subtle Combinations

Bold is not always best, as demonstrated this year at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Many of the designers went lower key with their planting and materials, favouring softer colour combinations and more naturalistic planting. Even sculptures and water features were less imposing and blended a bit more harmoniously with their surroundings.

Sculpture in The Wedgwood Garden against rusty metal wall. Design: Jo Thompson. Sponsor: Wedgwood - © GAP Photos

Sculpture in The Wedgwood Garden against rusty metal wall. Design: Jo Thompson. Sponsor: Wedgwood – © GAP Photos

In the Wedgwood Garden, designed by Jo Thompson, a contemporary Corten steel sculpture is softened by lush soft planting of Euphorbia mellifera and Osmunda regalis.

The Morgan Stanley Garden, designed by Chris Beardshaw, sponsored by Morgan Stanley, RHS Chelsea Flower Show, 2019 - © GAP Photos/Anna Omiotek-Tott

The Morgan Stanley Garden, designed by Chris Beardshaw, sponsored by Morgan Stanley, RHS Chelsea Flower Show, 2019 – © GAP Photos/Anna Omiotek-Tott

The colour palette in The Morgan Stanley Garden, designed by Chris Beardshaw, is rich but subtle, with bronze, yellow and purple among the green. While it keeps the style low-key, combined with the modern hard-landscaping and established shrubs and trees, the garden feels sophisticated.

RHS Garden Bridgewater Display supported By British Tourist Association - Design: Tom Stuart-Smith at Chelsea Flower Show 2019 - © GAP Photos

RHS Garden Bridgewater Display supported By British Tourist Association – Design: Tom Stuart-Smith at Chelsea Flower Show 2019 – © GAP Photos

Laying different foliage plants with the delicate flowers of Tiarellas creates a soft visual display.

Chelsea Trend: Green Textures

Mixing numerous foliage plants to create texture and understated interest has been popular at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. The style lends itself well to woodland planting, and shady areas, where colourful flowering perennials might struggle to thrive. Grasses, ferns, hostas and perennials such as Rodgersia and Thalictrum are all great examples of plants which offer interesting texture. Combining them often creates a relaxed and sometimes even exotic style.

The M and G Garden, sunrise on woodland garden, shade loving plants, sustainable burnt oak timber sculpture by Johnny Woodford, – Designer: Andy Sturgeon - Sponsor: M and G Investments  Chelsea Flower Show 2019 - © GAP Photos/Stephen Studd

The M and G Garden, sunrise on woodland garden, shade loving plants, sustainable burnt oak timber sculpture by Johnny Woodford, – Designer: Andy Sturgeon – Sponsor: M and G Investments
Chelsea Flower Show 2019 – © GAP Photos/Stephen Studd

In the gold medal-winning garden, The M&G Garden, designed by Andy Sturgeon, the varied textures of ferns and other foliage plants are brought to life by a heavy backdrop of blackened timber.

Ferns planted around rocks in The Resilience Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019. Designer:  Sarah Eberle - Sponsor: The Forestry Commission. Gold medal - © GAP Photos/Annie Green-Armytage

Ferns planted around rocks in The Resilience Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019. Designer: Sarah Eberle – Sponsor: The Forestry Commission. Gold medal – © GAP Photos/Annie Green-Armytage

Here, the differing textures of ferns and other foliage plants add interest and useful ground cover around these large boulders, in the Resilience Garden, designed by Sarah Eberle.

The RHS Back to Nature Garden. Designed by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge with Andree Davies and Adam White, RHS Chelsea Flower Show, 2019 - © GAP Photos/Anna Omiotek-Tott

The RHS Back to Nature Garden. Designed by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge with Andree Davies and Adam White, RHS Chelsea Flower Show, 2019 – © GAP Photos/Anna Omiotek-Tott

Although predominantly green, this woodland RHS Back to Nature Garden, designed by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge with Andree Davies and Adam White, still looks magical, as the different shapes and textures of the plant’s foliage play against each other in the dappled sunlight.

Chelsea Trend: Naturalistic Planting

It is not often that weeds are looked upon with so much admiration, but at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show, naturalised planting schemes were celebrated for their natural beauty. For as much as we weed and cut back, allowing some areas to naturalise and go wild can often yield even better results than expected, as native and cultivated species grow together to create their own balance and order.

The Welcome to Yorkshire Garden, view of the  planting by the lock which includes Digitalis purpurea, Camassia leichtlinii subsp Caerulea, Daucus carota -Designer: Mark Gregory - Sponsor: Welcome to Yorkshire - © GAP Photos/Annaick Guitteny

The Welcome to Yorkshire Garden, view of the planting by the lock which includes Digitalis purpurea, Camassia leichtlinii subsp Caerulea, Daucus carota -Designer: Mark Gregory – Sponsor: Welcome to Yorkshire – © GAP Photos/Annaick Guitteny

The planting style in The Welcome to Yorkshire Garden, designed by Mark Gregory, emphasises the beauty of established naturalised species, including foxgloves, Camassia and wild carrot.

The Savills and David Harber Garden. Designed by Andrew Duff, Sponsored by David Harber Savills, RHS Chelsea Flower Show, 2019 - © GAP Photos/Anna Omiotek-Tott

The Savills and David Harber Garden. Designed by Andrew Duff, Sponsored by David Harber Savills, RHS Chelsea Flower Show, 2019 – © GAP Photos/Anna Omiotek-Tott

The Savills and David Harber Garden, designed by Andrew Duff, uses a naturalistic planting style to compliment the woodland setting. Here the planting style, along with the shade of the trees and use of calm water, just adds to the peaceful atmosphere.

Canal lock and lock keeper's cottage with native flora including red campion and willow, The Welcome to Yorkshire Garden, Design: Mark Gregory, Sponsor: Welcome to Yorkshire, Gold Medal Winner - © GAP Photos/Andrea Jones

Canal lock and lock keeper’s cottage with native flora including red campion and willow, The Welcome to Yorkshire Garden, Design: Mark Gregory, Sponsor: Welcome to Yorkshire, Gold Medal Winner – © GAP Photos/Andrea Jones

The Welcome to Yorkshire Garden, designed by Mark Gregory won a gold medal, and provides a very natural representation of the Yorkshire Dales.