From the 23rd to the 27th of May, the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea once again held the internationally acclaimed RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Widely considered by many enthusiast to be one of the most inspirational and illuminating botanical exhibitions in the world, the RHS Chelsea Flower show dates all the way back to 1862 when the RHS Great Spring Show first opened its gates to the public.
Our Directors spent the week taking in all the sights and sounds of the show. This is an especially fitting description, as this year the Chelsea Show featured an entirely new series of sensory gardens.
The BBC and the RHS launched the ‘BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens’. These featured 5 designs intended to appeal to each of the 5 senses, each dedicated to one of the Radio 2 presenters; The Chris Evans Taste Garden, The Jo Whiley Scent Garden, The Anneka Rice Colour Cutting Garden, The Jeremy Vine Texture Garden, and the Zoe Ball Listening Garden.
Let’s review some of the highlights of RHS Chelsea 2017.
RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year 2017
Morus rotundiloba ‘Charlotte Russe’ (‘Matsunaga’)
Exhibited by the Horticultural Trades Association and distributed exclusively by Suttons.
This entirely new dwarf Mulberry was developed by 89-year-old breeder Hajime Matsunaga. Self-pollinating, and with an average height and spread of 1.5-2m, this wonderful fruiting bush is perfect for smaller gardens. In addition, it produces berries from May right through until September. This is unlike many varieties who only fruit for around 3-5 weeks.
- Position: prefers full sun.
- Soil: all types, but best grown in pots.
- Rate of growth: fast-growing.
- Flowering period: May to September
- Hardiness: very robust, especially resistant to cold snaps.
RHS Chelsea Garden Product of the Year 2017 – Pure Glass Greenhouse
Congratulations go to the designers of Pure Glass Greenhouse, which won the prestigious title of RHS Chelsea Garden Product of the Year 2017.
The sturdy yet frameless design may revolutionise the use of home glasshouses, maximising the amount of sunlight available to plants and flowers while providing simple, elegant designs for gardens of all shapes and sizes.
Other notable finalists in this category include:
- Vigoroot Easy Table Garden by Haxnicks
- “Leda and the Swan” statue by Chilstone
- EasyCut 12 Saw by Bosch Lawn & Garden
For more information on any of these products, please visit www.rhs.org.uk
Displays and Designs
In addition to the BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens, Chelsea 2017 showcased some spectacular and unique displays. As always, the centrepiece of the show was the Great Pavilion. Many of you will remember the spectacular 1920’s Belmond British Pullman from 2016, bedecked in all manner of flowering finery. This year, the emphasis was very much on health, well-being and the environment. Visitors were invited to experience wildlife gardening and wildlife-themed products and displays. These included “bug hotels”, a Grow-Your-Own area, and also several green-wall and roof-planting displays to extol the virtues of an innovative use of space.
Best Show Garden 2017 – The M&G Garden
- Designed by James Basson
- Built by Crocus
The M&G Garden draws much of its inspiration from a Maltese quarry! Huge, imposing blocks of limestone, positioned throughout the garden to illustrate various stages of excavation, are planted with a mixture of evergreens, perennials and grasses, all unique to Malta.
Additionally, divisions within the display also separate the garden into distinct areas representing particular Mediterranean ecologies, from clifftop to shrubland. The display also prominently featured the Carob tree; a protected species in Malta.
The designer, James Basson, wished to highlight the very real dangers of environmental disruption caused by human activity, and also placed emphasis on water conservation, composting and recycling.
Learn a little more about the Royal Horticultural Society and their amazing work; please visit their website at www.rhs.org.uk