Chelsea Garden Show is like Fashion Week for plants. The visitors are not only looking to be wowed by the skill and daring of the show gardens but they’re paying close attention to what’s in and what’s out this year. So here’s my take on this seasons trends for both planting and styling. Is orange the new black? Let’s find out.
Above: Yes! orange is the new black. It’s not just any old orange though, it’s a burnt orange, maybe mustard or rust. And most of it seems to be connected to Irises. This one is Iris Cigarello.
Above: There was a definite burnt-orange theme here at The Pure Land Foundation garden (gold medal winner).
Above: Verbascums are everywhere in the show gardens. The colour though is important. They are quite muted. Think Edwardian ladies, dusky pinks, pale orange with just a peek of pink. This one is Verbascum ‘Clementine’.
Above: Verbascum ‘Merlin’ making an appearance in Chris Beardshaw’s Morgan Stanley Healthy Cities Garden (gold medal winner).
Lysimachia ‘Beaujolais’ figures in many of the show gardens this year.
Foxgloves are still the stalwart of Chelsea.
As are (inexplicably) Lupins.
Japanese moss balls! They are popping up everywhere but were especially prevalent here at The Edo no Niwa – Edo Garden by Ishihara Kazuyuki Design Laboratory (gold medal winner). I love the way that their rounded edges echo the pebble steps.
There were some plants that are conspicuous by their absence too. Two years ago you couldn’t look at a Chelsea garden without seeing Aquilegia and Astrantia. This year there is less Aquilegia and almost no Astrantia.
Well, those are the plant trends but what about hard landscaping? Yes, there were some definite trends there too.
Dead wood and stumps used as sculpture are one of the big trends for styling this year at Chelsea. Above: The Sculptor Picnic Garden by Graham Bodle took away a gold medal in the Artisan gardens sections.
Above: The charred remains of a tree creates an almost bomb-like black hole in this garden representing the brutality of the Battle of Waterloo 200 years ago. The Living Legacy Garden (silver-gilt winner) by desginers Andrew Wilson & Gavin McWilliam.
Dry stone walls, both above water and below.
Metal sculptures of people. Sometimes elegant.
Predictions? Well, maybe since Dan Pearson did so well this year we’ll see a rise in the popularity of rock gardens. Stranger things have happened.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on all of this. What do you think of the trends? Will you use them in your garden? I’m tempted to rush out and buy those pink Verbascums, I have to admit.