The plants have been potted, the lawns have been manicured and the finger sandwiches have been quartered – yes the famous Chelsea Flower Show has returned for another year.
Every May, crowds of gardening buffs descend on the five-day show to marvel at the imaginative designs from some of the UK’s top horticulturists.
This year’s competition is bigger than ever, and has already played host to a number of royal guests including the Queen, the Duke of Cambridge and Duchess of Cambridge, who helped to co-design one of the gardens on display.
It was the M&G garden though, designed by Andy Sturgeon, that took the best show prize at his year’s competition – a woodland nirvana with huge burnt timber sculptures.
We took a walk around some of the prestigious plots and found plenty of inspiration for our next sunny weekend tending to the weeds.
From the serene to socially aware, here are some of our favourite gardens that also won gold prizes.
1. The Resilience Garden
Commissioned to celebrate 100 years of the Forestry Commission, this thought-provoking garden explores some of the challenges facing forests of the future – such as how we can make our woodlands resilient to climate change and diseases.
2. The Green Switch Artisan Garden
Designed by Kazuyuki Ishihara, this peaceful Japanese garden gets our vote as the most serene spot in the whole competition.
A living space – including an office – overlooks a moss covered rock pool and two tumbling waterfalls.
The RHS says: “The ‘green switch’ represents the space we inhabit when we ‘switch off’ from the stresses of contemporary urban life and seek the things we like to do, such as spending time in nature.”
3. Giving Girls a Space to Grow in Africa Garden
This inspiring garden serves as a reminder of how important it is to empower women and girls in some of the world’s poorest communities that are being affected worst by climate change.
It’s essentially a mock-up of a female-led, climate-smart agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa.
In front of a representation of a Zimbabwean classroom sits a homegrown plot that has been planted by the children with edible crops like iron-enriched beans, papaya and banana trees and sweet potatoes.
4. Welcome to Yorkshire Garden
Yorkshire is home to great tea and brilliant scenery, and this garden hopes to inspire more people to visit the county.
The RHS says it is “inspired by the county’s proud history of industry, manufacturing and innovation, as well as its stunning natural environment.”
A nod to the urban regeneration that’s happening across Yorkshire’s famous canals, the garden showcases a towpath running and meadow that borders a pair of narrow canal lock gates and a lock keeper’s lodge – and there’s even a cute little private garden and vegetable patch.
5. Facebook: Beyond The Screen
Day 16: garden finished. Assessment done. Judging to come this morning. What a great team effort this has been and looking forward to everyone seeing it in the days to come. Could quite do with a sit down in one of those comfy chairs now 😅 #facebookgarden #beyondthescreen pic.twitter.com/47DA9pfV5O— Joe Perkins (@joeslandscapes) May 19, 2019
Social media often gets a bad rep, but this garden celebrates the benefit that spending time on networking sites can have on our lives.
Designed by Joe Perkins, the RHS say that the garden “uses the natural connectivity of water and the ocean to represent the interconnectivity between our online and offline lives.”
Whether it’s connecting people with a niche hobby or keeping relatives who are thousands of miles away in touch, the garden is designed to get people thinking about how social media can actually play a positive part in our lives.
- Press Association