World-renowned and quintessentially British, the annual Chelsea Flower Show in London is a celebration of horticultural excellence and innovation.
As a brand that prides itself on British craftsmanship, we visited RHS Chelsea Flower Show with high expectations – and this year’s event was nothing short of spectacular. With 11 Show Gardens, six Artisan Gardens and over 80 of the world’s best florists housed in the Great Pavilion, we were considerably spoilt for choice when it came to floral inspiration.
Even the entrance to the flower show was a spectacle of its own – an organised swarm of tea dresses and panama hats strolling towards the magnificence of the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
But each year, it is the walk along Main Avenue that seems to be the most highly anticipated part of the event, and 2019 was no exception. Internationally-recognised designers pulled out all the stops with world-class creations in their bid to win the coveted award for Best Show Garden.
And there was definitely some fierce competition on display this year.
Twenty-time gold medal winner at the Chelsea Flower Show, Mark Gregory took home yet another award for his ‘Welcome to Yorkshire’ garden. Pulling its creative inspiration from the county’s proud history, his display was reminiscent of the urban regeneration that has taken place along many of Yorkshire’s canals.
Commissioned to celebrate the Forestry Commission’s centenary, ‘The Resilience Garden’ by Sarah Eberle shed light on the challenges facing forests of the future. Exploring ways our woodlands can be made resilient to the changing climate, the garden featured exotic species alongside native species, mimicking existing and probable effects of climate change.
Although it didn’t pick up an award, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge’s Feature Garden, ‘Back to Nature’, certainly made the highlight list for the 2019 Chelsea Flower Show. The woodland retreat was designed as a haven to create special family memories. The hanging swing seat, paired with a cool, calm colour palette of green and blue, simply oozed tranquillity.
But it was The M&G Investments exhibit that ultimately won the much sought-after title of Best Show Garden. Voted one of the top 10 garden designers in the UK, Andy Sturgeon won the title for the third time, creating a garden influenced by rock formations on an Australian beach. Drawing on nature’s power to regenerate, the woodland landscape was populated by unique plants and jewel-like flowers, with handcrafted streams trickling down through the garden.
Smaller than the Show Gardens, yet just as effective at raising awareness about important issues, the Artisan Gardens made a welcome return at the Chelsea Flower Show this year. An enlightening roam around Ranelagh Gardens alerted visitors to the importance of charities such as The Donkey Sanctuary and the reality of conditions like motor neurone disease.
The Great Pavilion has long been the jewel in Chelsea’s crown. This year, in a space big enough to park 500 London buses (factually true!), the usual floral extravaganza was accompanied by celebrations for Queen Victoria’s 200th birthday. Young florists went head to head in a bid to design a royal flower crown to commemorate this special occasion.
It resulted in Elizabeth Newcombe from Rhubarb and Bramley reigning supreme as RHS Young Florist of the Year.
The Chelsea Flower Show 2019 wasn’t just a treat for the eyes. It was a foundation for this year’s top garden trends. From green, pale yellow and white calming colour palettes to sustainability and eco-friendly design, we left the show armed with spades of inspiration to help us recreate the magic of the displays we’d been ogling all day in our own homes.
Our personal highlight was the Stephen Myburgh exhibition. Showcasing his handcrafted high-end sculptural designs, Stephen brought the inside outside. His inviting swing chairs were a move away from traditional, harsh structures, and offered an alternative of lazy curves that were both soft and functional.
It’s not Stephen’s first Chelsea gig – he’s been exhibiting at the show for over 7 years.
“Each year, our favourite part of this enchanting show is getting to catch up with our past customers, sharing a glass of fizz and giving a personal tour of our latest pieces.”
We even celebrated the blooming success of this year’s Chelsea Flower Show at our very own King’s Road store, with a pop-up ‘Chelsea in Bloom’ display focusing on our beautiful Thurloe in Lovebirds.
Didn’t get a chance to visit this year? Immerse yourself in the magic of RHS Chelsea 2019 with our ‘Flower Power’ Pinterest board.