Chelsea 2018


Well Chris Beardshaw finally did it – after years of winning gold at other shows he has at last won Chelsea Gold and Best in Show – well done Chris! A rather lovely garden changing character completely as it moves from the planting to the tranquil depths of the pool. Added to which some more unusual plants than seen in other show gardens, grown specially by Chris and his team.

Sadly I don’t think there was a real showstopper amongst the main show gardens. The David Harbour/Savills garden was probably the most eye catching, so as a platform to showcase David Harbour’s sculptures designer Nic Howard definitely hit the mark. It did however only win a bronze and I felt there was something just not quite right about the balance of the garden.

Space to Grow was an interesting new category of gardens, supposedly inspiring visitors with ideas for their own garden. Obviously that isn’t meant too literally, but even so a 12ft high glass head sculpture weighing 7 tonnes?! In this category was however one of my favourite gardens of the whole show. Tony Woods’ Urban Flow garden showcased sustainability particularly with respect to water (it was sponsored by Thames Water) in a way that in no way compromised the design. The colours, materials and planting were sumptuous, whilst forming excellent functions in sustainable drainage.

It’s not all about the show gardens of course, there are also all the plant growers and trade stands. I first saw Tom Raffield’s work on Grand Designs. He makes beautiful steamed wood lamp shades and was using the same techniques to clad his self-build house with curving forms that morphed from wall into bench. A few years ago he started exhibiting at Chelsea in the artisan huts area but this year it was great to see him on Main Avenue:

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This post was written by Christine Whatley on May 25, 2018 3:08 pm

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