Top Trends from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show
One of the major events in the horticultural calendar took place in London at the end of last month – the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show. It’s the place to go to see innovative, cutting-edge garden design, as well as new plants. Here Madingley Mulch, who supply soil conditioners and mulches from our base on the edge of Cambridge, take a look at some of the key trends from the show.
The 2023 Chelsea Flower show recognised the fact that gardens are havens where people go to relax, particularly if they have a physical or mental disability.
The Best Show Garden was Horatio’s Garden, designed by Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg. It was a wheelchair-accessible garden that has been designed for patients recovering from spinal injuries and will be relocated to the grounds of the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield. Its key features included plenty of trees, such as river birch and field maples, as well as several herbaceous plants and grasses.
The Best Show Garden (People’s Choice) was Myeloma UK’s A Life Worth Living Garden, designed by Chris Beardshaw. This garden included a pathway between temples and a water feature, layered canopies of trees and shrubs (including acers), and delicate blooms provided by aquilegas, geraniums and symphytum. Again the idea was that anyone suffering from myeloma (a rare form of blood cancer) could find somewhere to relax and contemplate the beauty of nature.
The National Brain Appeal’s Rare Space Garden won Best Sanctuary Garden and the accompanying construction award. The idea here was to create an outdoor space that could be enjoyed by people living with rarer forms of dementia. The garden included blue benches and shelters, a single pathway through it, and plenty of brightly coloured plants including parrotia persica (a deciduous shrub), astrantia burgundy manor (with deep red flowers), and chloranthus sessilifolius ‘Domino’, which has scented fluffy white flowers.
This year there was a far greater focus on letting nature take control, with more native plants and trees. Many of the gardens themselves will be reused and repurposed so they will ‘live on’ long after the show is over. For instance, The Best Show Garden will be transplanted to the grounds of the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, for patients and staff to enjoy.
Parts of the A Life Worth Living garden will be reused and repurposed in two different Scottish locations, The Hurlet Crematorium in East Renfrewshire and the Beatson Cancer Centre in Glasgow.
Another of the key themes was biodiversity, and particularly the rich variety of wildlife (including insects) you can find even in the least promising environments.
The Royal Entomological Society Garden (designed by Tom Massey) showed how plants (and insects) can survive and thrive even in dead wood, bare sand, piles of rubble, and rammed earth floors. Colours were provided by pink poppies (Beth’s poppy) and electric blue Echiums (pictured above). Again, the garden will be reused at the centre of business development in Stratford, East London.
The Samaritan’s Listening Garden (which won a Silver-Gilt Medal) uses material reclaimed from building sites and scrapyards, such as concrete boulders and benches. The garden contained a water feature, intentionally-planted dandelions and other ‘weeds’, spiky plants as well as some ‘softer’ species’.
Soil Conditioners in Cambridge from Madingley Mulch
Whatever affects you want to achieve in your garden, whether inspired by the Chelsea Flower Show or not, Madingley Mulch will be able to help. We supply a wide variety of mulches, barks, soil conditioners and composts to help your plants thrive, whether they are echiums, poppies or acers.
Our exclusive soil improvers include Tony’s Tonic and Denise’s Delight, a natural soil conditioner with an exclusive mix of Black Fen soil, horse manure, wood shavings and other plant nutrients.
We also stock a variety of hard landscaping materials. These include building sand and ballast, plus a selection of gravels, round stones, shingle, decorative stones and pebbles.
For more information check out our online shop here. You can also call us on 01954 212144 with your queries.
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