The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is always a great place to spot the latest garden and flower trends and this year is no exception, with exhibitors going all out to wow the crowds in the event’s centenary year.
The show not only gives an indication of what we can expect to see at other garden shows throughout the year, it also helps inspire amateur gardeners who are busy planning their own summer displays.
Here’s our guide to the top trends from this year’s 100th RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Garden gnomes have certainly stolen the show at Chelsea this year, as they are welcomed with open arms following a 100-year ban. Some 150 of the miniature men and women took part in a ‘parade’ for the Queen, with many decorated by celebrities such as Elton John, Dame Maggie Smith and Laurence Llewelyn Bowen.
Previously, some exhibitors have hidden gnomes in their displays but we expect to see them displaying their ornamental friends proudly this year. Past winner Jekka McVicar has already revealed her gnome, Borage, has a new jacket especially for the occasion.
It is likely that the publicity surrounding garden gnomes at Chelsea this year will see them springing up in gardens across the country this summer.
Technology plays an important role in most areas of our lives and it is now sneaking into our gardens.
This year one garden has been designed to respond to Twitter activity about the RHS show. The garden, which was created by staff and students at the University of Lincoln, features a panelled Perspex wall running diagonally across it, which will open or close depending on how many tweets use the hashtag #rhschelsea.
While amateur gardeners may not be incorporating social media into their flower beds just yet, they may well be inspired by some of the other technological advances showcased at the event, including a geodesic Solardome glasshouse which offers an optimum growing environment.
As this year marks Chelsea’s 100th anniversary, a number of exhibitors (ourselves included) have chosen to celebrate the show’s heritage and the changing trends in gardening and floristry over the past century.
Horticolous Landscape and Garden Design’s 100 Years of Horticulture garden will chart growing techniques over the years, while Cornwall’s Burncoose Nurseries will be coming up with a display which aims to illustrate what an exhibit would have looked like in the early days of the RHS Flower Show.
As we are celebrating an anniversary of our own (our 90th birthday), we’ll be depicting the past nine decades in flowers which will be showcased alongside classic items from each period.
To create a heritage look in your own garden, try planting some classic flowers such as roses, lupins and rhododendrons; all blooms which have been staples at Chelsea for years.
Flowers so good you could eat them
Grow-your-own has been hugely popular for some time now, and this year the exhibitors at Chelsea have gone beyond the fruit and veg you can plant in your garden to flowers you can actually eat.
This year the show’s new Feast Zone will feature Jacqui Brocklehurst’s ‘Eat My Garden’ – a tea party of herbs and edible plants, while a number of eateries in the Chelsea area are serving themed afternoon teas featuring floral delights such as orange blossom and rosewater.
A surprising number of flowers can be incorporated into salads or desserts, so expect to see chrysanthemums, gardenias and pansies on dinner plates across the country this summer.
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