8 June 2017
The Breast Cancer Now Garden: Through The Microscope by Ruth Willmott
At Trend Bible we take inspiration from many different sources to inform and cultivate fresh, innovative concepts. This year we once again attended the RHS Chelsea Flower Show to explore new thoughts and techniques within the best of British garden design.
Below we share some of our favourite designs and highlight key themes from the world renowned exhibition.
Greening Grey Britain and City Living
From left to right: Greening Grey Britain Garden by Professor Nigel Dunnett, City Living by Kate Gould
The focus of this year’s show was our evolving relationship with the cities in which we live and the actions that humans need to take in order to protect the increasingly fragile environments of our planet.
With this in mind, one garden which really stood out was that of the Greening Grey Britain campaign, conceptualised by The Royal Horticultural Society in collaboration with Professor Nigel Dunnett. With an urban apartment block backdrop, they focused on transforming increasingly grey concrete spaces into green spaces, blending private and communal with decorative horticulture. This included integrating plants alongside functional bin and bike storage solutions and sculptures to attract wildlife.
Similarly, the ‘City Living’ garden by Kate Gould explored beautifying solutions that introduce gardens into urban spaces. Built across three levels the garden used innovative materials and overhead screening to provide privacy. A celebration of nature, the garden explored the possibilities of using tough, tropical plants to form leafy and alluring environments.
The M&G Garden
The M&G Garden by James Basson
We also saw a number of gardens pay homage to landscapes and ecology of countries across the globe. This year’s ‘Best In Show’ winner, James Basson, exhibited limestone columns, shrubland and clifftop scenes, taking inspiration from the quarried landscape of Malta. Looking at garden environments from a sustainable point of view, the presentation focused on the vulnerability of Malta’s natural landscapes and resources, and the importance of their preservation. Exploring the diversity of vegetation in this Mediterranean country, the presentation even featured the carob tree, a protected species in Malta.
Beneath a Mexican Sky
Beneath a Mexican Sky by Manoj Malde
Another designer to turn to global influences was Manoj Malde with his garden, ‘Beneath a Mexican Sky’. Inspired by the work of Mexican Modernist architect Luis Barragan, Manoj Malde injected colour on a large scale creating vivid, dynamic visuals. Colour-washed walls with zesty clementine and coral created a dramatic canvas for the foliage, balanced by calming concrete slabs set over an aquamarine pool.
BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens
From left to right: The Jeremy Vine Texture Garden by Matt Keightley, The Anneka Rice Colour Cutting Garden designed by Sarah Raven, The Zoe Ball Listening Garden by James Alexander-Sinclair
The BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens were another favourite at the show. In celebration of their 50th anniversary, BBC 2 Radio DJs presented a series of gardens in partnership with landscape designers. Focused on health and wellbeing, the exhibit displayed how plants can enrich and indulge each of the senses through five experimental installations.
Designed by Sarah Raven, James Alexander-Sinclair, Jon Wheatley, Matt Keightley and design duo Kate Savill and Tamara Bridge, the gardens celebrated a multitude of scents, sights, sounds, flavours and textures and their uplifting qualities.
The gardens delved into memory-evoking aromas, investigated how plants can stimulate your palate, experimented with sound and its visible patterns in water features, explored varying material finishes and tactile foliage, and exhibited a patchwork of vibrant flowerbeds.
We were impressed with the quality of the individual coaching. Not obtrusive or interfering, but genuinely steering the team to target objective.