Top Trends from This Year’s Chelsea Flower Show

The Chelsea Flower Show, an annual event organised by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), is the jewel in the British gardening crown. Medals here are among the most sought-after across the whole of the UK.

The show also acts as an inspiration to horticulturalists across the country. At Madingley Mulch, as garden supplies specialists in the Cambridge area, we take an interest in what’s new at Chelsea, and here we look at five top trends from this year’s show. 

The Natural Look

Mark Gregory, who won a Gold Medal for his Welcome to Yorkshire garden, put a premium on cornflowers, wild lupins and cow parsley (above) as he recreated a spring meadow in a garden setting. The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, also designed a garden called Back to Nature, which included a swing seat and a treehouse alongside a variety of wild green shrubs and trees.   

Reusing and Upcycling

Graham Bodle, who won a Silver Gilt medal for his Walker’s Forgotten Quarry entry, proved that even the most unlikely of materials can be put to good use in a garden. A rusty old stove functions as a pizza oven, while bent pipes are used as a handrail. The whole effect was completed by using reddish-brown-coloured plants such as primulas, acers, geums and epimediums.

Child’s Play

The winner of the Gold Medal in the Space to Grow category, Jody Lindgard, crammed as much as he could into his Montessori Children’s Centenary Garden. The result was an explosion of colour, with tangerine dahlias vying for space with rich blue delphiniums and bright pink peonies. He also grew upwards, with his green wall containing several different types of herbs, edible flowers and vegetables.

Be Bold with Trees

One of the most notable features of this year’s show were the number of designers who made full use of eye-catching trees. Chris Beardshaw, in his Gold Medal-winning Morgan Stanley garden, used a huge pine, while monkey puzzle trees showed up in a number of other entries.

Optical Illusions

Another space-creating idea seen at the show was the use of dramatic hard landscaping features. Joe Perkins, who won a Gold in the Space to Grow category, used weathered, reclaimed timber to create a decking, a water feature and a copper and steel canopy, all set at unusual angles. The effect was topped off with a variety of pebbles, rocks and other aggregates.

High-quality Garden Supplies from Madingley Mulch

If you want to achieve effects inspired by Chelsea in your garden, Madingley Mulch can help. We supply a wide variety of mulches, barks, soil conditioners and composts to help your plants thrive, whether you are growing pine or monkey puzzle trees, dahlias or delphiniums, or primulas and acers. Our soil improvers include Tony’s Tonic and Denise’s Delight, a 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.

Madingley Mulch operates a free delivery service on all garden supplies orders within 15 miles of our base on the edge of Cambridge. We have regular weekly runs to Haverhill, Saffron Walden, Royston and Huntingdon, along with many other towns and villages in the region. There is a standard £20 charge if you live up to 24.5 miles away, and we can also deliver further afield.  Browse our products by clicking the link above.


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