Well there is no doubt that Chelsea was smaller this year. Gardens were smaller and, in the main, less special.
But there were some exceptions.
Probably the most spectacular was the center piece, the Silk Road Garden. designed by Laurie Chetwood and Patrick Collins
It deservedly won Silver Guilt.
Photos from Lynne Baldock and the Royal Horticultural Society.
The Silk Road Garden
The Silk Road Garden is inspired by the rich history and culture of Chengdu, capital of the ancient Chinese Shu kingdom, and since ancient times known as ‘the abundant land’ thanks to its fertile soil and favourable climate.
Probably the most wonderful thing about this garden are the many long time familiar plants that have their origins in China. I think many visitors would have no idea of the number of garden plants are Asian. They have been giving us pleasure for so long.
The spectacular spine running down the middle with its red blades representing the mountainous landscape of the Sichuan Province will also attract. This creates a dramatic feature which can be viewed from every angle. Not many show gardens allow visitors to walk around every side.
More subtle is the MG Garden designed by James Basson, inspired by a disused limestone quarry in Malta. This garden won Best In Show and Gold.
It features monumental blocks of limestone planted with grasses, evergreens, perennials and ground cover unique to arid Malta. The limestone structures show that the area used to be a quarry. And the message is that we need to take care of our fragile environment. Rehabilitate…
Inland Homes Beneath a Mexican Sky
Probably more relevant to most of the visitors to Chelsea are the gardens which seem to be more usable. One such is Inland Homes Beneath a Mexican Sky designed by Manoj Malde which won Silver Guilt.
More colourful than most British gardens this one was a delightful fiesta.
Planting is so hardy it will be tolerant of climate change and lazy gardeners. Something after my own heart. This is a small space waiting to be constructed in someone’s urban life and to make them happy.
Gosho No Niwa No Wall, No War
Probably my favorite though, is Gosho No Niwa No Wall, No War, designed by Kazuyuki Ishihara. So intricate, this garden is beautiful and the sentiment behind it, that the garden did not need wall not moat to protect it as it could not be attacked, is also close to my heart. Let us be safe.
Filled with maples and moss and rocks and water and safe places, this little Artisan garden is just beautiful. But it will need a caring gardener to look after it.