Three of the Talking Tables team went to Chelsea Flower Show in May 2023.
As flowers are a great source of inspiration and drive multiple interiors and table scaping trends we are sharing each of their thoughts.
I now treat myself to a visit each year and go along on the RHS members day. We enjoy sharing it with friends who also enjoy gardening and share a natter on matters horticultural.
For me the biggest change in May 2023 was the rationale underlying the gardens. There has been a huge swing to the gardens being directly linked to charities and human causes. As I understand it, Project Giving Back is making the funding possible for these gardens with a good cause. Many of these gardens will be re-sited at the charity for ongoing use and solace. And of course, we know, gardens and gardening in themselves are well known for being restorative.
The start of the garden was bristling with prickles and thorns; concrete fragments hanging in the air as elements that cause chaos and spikes in your mind… but ultimately moving towards a serener, calmer place in the garden.
This charity uses power of art to support after trauma, so fascinating to see this brought to life via planting. The garden was infused with dark purples, but as the trauma began to pass some bright lighter moments arrive (eg bright yellow buttercups in the midst of the darker tones).
Designed for a charity that supports children with art and creativity. They asked the children what they would like to see in a garden: they wanted a quirky, mechanical looking water feature; bright flowers that looked like sweets and weird and wonderful tree shapes, plus audio sounds and dancing grasses.
The planting this year was very British and naturalistic making it feel close to home and familiar, eg from buttercups, to geums, poppies, irises and cow parsleys. Since returning home, I have been more forgiving of the bright yellow buttercups in the middle of my herbaceous borders.
A few gardens were cut from a different stance, eg the Indian garden with bright garlands representing an Indian celebration and to celebrate diversity. I understand a wedding was hosted on the stand which is a lovely story.
As a birthday present for my Husband, we both enjoyed exploring Chelsea flower show this year on its last day. What a beautiful day it was, full of sun, song, and breathtaking gardens. I had only landed back into London six hours prior but the buzz and brightness of the day filled me with energy …. We had both watched the BBC coverage during the week and found it fascinating to hear how the gardens are built in the three weeks before.
A few standouts from our day …..
The growth of decorative product design that supported or, in some cases, became part of the garden were just breath-taking.
As the late -spring gardening season is upon us , I was fortunate to visit the RHS Chelsea Flower Show recently. Judging by the number of visitors to the show it is evident that in a busy, digital world we are increasingly drawn to gardening and nature as a way of relaxing and improving our health.
A few of the standout areas for me as an urban gardener were the small space/balcony gardens and the artisan houseplant studios, that each year are getting increasing visibility ,helping to attract a new generation to gardening. Proving you don’t have to have a large plot of land to create a haven to immerse yourself in.
My personal favourite show garden was the Savills garden designed by Mark Gregory. I loved the mix of ornamental and edible planting and the fact there was a working kitchen where each day a group of Chelsea Pensioners enjoyed lunch from the produce grown.
After the show – one of the features of gardens is their re usability -and this is being taken to a residential centre in Nottinghamshire.