Our columnist, Selina Lake, and author and stylist shares her inspirations from this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 with 10 easy ideas and on-trend style tips you can copy and incorporate into your own garden.
1. All about the black Iris – flower of the show
Irises were a popular choice amongst the Show Garden designers at this year’s event and I was particularly drawn to this Black Iris used by Designer Matt Keightley in his Feel Good Garden for the RHS stand. It’s called Black Tie Affair and I’ve already ordered a few plants from irisofsissinghurst.com for my own garden - I love the modern pop of black against the green foliage. https://www.rhs.org.uk
2. Wicker Garden Lighting
La Famille used a mix of wicker decorative objects and woven cages turned into light shades, handmade by Guy Lambourne, to design and decorate their botanical installation for the show tunnel. Get the look by blending oversized filament bulb pendants with natural wicker or rattan light shades in a garden room or conservatory.
3. Breezeblock Living Wall
An affordable and brilliant way to recycle building materials, Tom Massey designer of The Lemon Tree Trust show garden created these living walls to show ideas for growing herbs in all available space. http://www.tommassey.co.uk
4. Painterly Inspiration
The romantic M&G Garden by designer Sarah Price was inspired by Monet’s paintings of his Giverny garden. I loved her painterly style of planting and the tiny dots of red and pink from the poppies against the backdrop of the textured dusky pink/peach walls made from rammed earth. If you have a favourite painting or fabric design you love try finding plants in similar tones featured in the art work, choose varieties which suit your garden conditions and plant out a new boarder or large planter inspired by the art. http://sarahpricelandscapes.com
5. Shelf Display
Gabriel Ash design and make beautiful greenhouses, their show stand was jam- packed with gorgeous styling ideas, including these lovely shelves made from recycled scaffold planks. Use different size aged terracotta pots to make your own garden display. www.gabrielash.com
6. Log Vases
A sweet styling idea for the base of a floral arch by Writtle University College. Create your own log vases by hollowing out a log using a circular drill bit on a drill, then use a chisel and hammer to remove the remaining wood. You will need to make enough space for a water tight vessel to be placed inside unseen, fill the vessel with water and use it to hold your freshly picked garden flowers.
7. Fragrant Rose Arch
This Paul Himalayan musk rambling rose on the Gold Medal winning David Austin Rose stand had the most exquisite fragrance - it really was a pure joy to ‘stop and smell the roses’. The stand in the Pavilion demonstrated how to train their roses to climb and add height to your garden. You can reinvigorate a dull wall or fence and turn it into one of the best assets in your garden by planting a climber or rambler rose. www.davidaustinroses.co.uk/
8. Cosy Nook
The Welcome to Yorkshire Show Garden by Mark Gregory included this shaded seating area under an awning attached to his dry stone walled structure. Find a spot in your garden, perhaps under a tree or at the side of your shed, where you could position two chairs and a small table, a perfect spot to enjoy a cup of Yorkshire tea perhaps? www.landformconsultants.co.uk
9. Making Gardening Easy
If you’re like me and look for ways to make simple garden tasks easier then this new power-assisted EasyPrune from Bosch is for you. I was lucky to get to try it out and would highly recommend these secateurs as they’re perfect for everyday pruning tasks. The power only kicks in when resistance is sensed, saving your hands from becoming excessively tired when cutting branches up to 25mm in diameter. Definitely my must-have gadget at the show!
10. Full on Floral
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show simply wouldn’t be Chelsea without a full on hit of beautiful blooming flowers, and the St Germain’s Truck Bar in the Artisan Food Market area certainly delivered the floral hit this year with a beautiful installation created by florist June in March (juneinmarch.com). Get the look in your garden by planting a mass of pretty modern cottage garden perennials such as pink peonies, blue delphiniums, common foxgloves, lupins and hydrangeas.
PS. I was thrilled to see my book, Garden Style, on sale at the RHS stand behind their beautiful Feel Good Garden and was delighted to be asked to do an impromptu book signing! I will be at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show on Friday 6th July hosting Garden Styling talks and Demos and another booking signing, hope to see you there. Selina x
* All photography by Selina Lake