Just a week to go until this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show and as usual the focus is firmly on the spectacular show gardens from some of the leading lights in garden design.
The show gardens at Chelsea always produce some great ideas, and with fifteen showcased at this year’s event we’ve picked out a few of the highlights from the class of 2010.
The Tourism Malaysia Garden
This garden, from David Cubero and James Wong, recreates the lush, tropical setting of a Kuala Lumpur courtyard. Framed with minimalist white Portland limestone, the garden mixes the feel of a modern Malaysian garden with the wildness and chaos of the tropical rainforest.
Many plants have been chosen for their usefulness, but have been planted so as to appear wild.
“For example, Alocassia, the wild yam, is an edible root tuber. It is an invasive weed in Malaysia mainly because it is really popular and planted so much – it grows quickly and escapes from the gardens,” explains James.
Visitors stepping into the garden might well feel as though they’ve been magically transported to Malaysia, but the designers have tried wherever possible to source plants and materials locally.
The Laurent-Perrier Garden
This romantic garden from Tom Stuart-Smith is an understated study in elegance and peaceful reflection.
It eschews showy planting in favour of a natural woodland look; a pattern of paths weaves between river birch and spring woodland flowers, including the lilac blues of Phlox divericata.
The garden is bordered by York stone walling and at its heart lies a sculpted bronze pavilion overlooking a long pool of water. Colours have been carefully chosen for a warm, muted, and relaxing effect.
The Victorian Aviary Garden
Designed by Jonathan Denby and Philippa Pearson, this stunning garden harks back to the ornate, manicured gardens of the Victorian period.
The centrepiece of the garden is beautiful Victorian aviary, framed with woodland planting and colourful borders enlivened with tulips, peonies and white foxgloves.
Visitors entering the garden will be greeted by a magnificent 4m x 3m peacock mosaic path created by artist Maggie Howarth. The path, which leads a raised Cumbrian slate terrace housing the aviary itself, features dozens of ceramic bird designs along its border.
If you would like to see any of these gardens first-hand, the 2010 RHS Chelsea Flower show runs from 25-29 May.