Chelsea flower present: eight nice concepts to steal | Life and elegance

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Versatile, crowdpleasing euphorbias.

Euphorbia ‘Black Pearl’ in Chris Beardshaw’s backyard. Photograph: Sophia Evans for the Guardian

1 If you are taking residence 1 slice of Chelsea, make it this: spurges, AKA euphorbias, are the unsung heroes of the sunny border – unfussy to the purpose of thriving on neglect, dealing with droughts and offering long-lasting acid-green flowers which can be the right foil for extra ephemeral spring delights reminiscent of tulips and irises. I used to be significantly drawn to the compact evergreen cultivar Euphorbia ‘Black Pearl’ in Chris Beardshaw’s Morgan Stanley backyard, though I additionally noticed architectural caper spurge (E. lathyris, usually maligned as a weed), bright-yellow-flowered Wallich spurge (E. wallichii) and lime-yellow cushion spurge (E. epithymoides) everywhere in the showground.

The architectural stalks of Equisetum hyemale contrast with a charcoal wall in Nic Howard’s garden.

The architectural stalks of Equisetum hyemale distinction with a charcoal wall in Nic Howard’s backyard. Photograph: Sophia Evans for the Guardian

2 Fancy giving room to the prehistoric-looking black-ribbed stalks of scouring rush (Equisetum hyemale), which popped up in a few Chelsea gardens this 12 months? Don’t be postpone as a result of it’s a relative of the horribly invasive weed horsetail: this can be a sensible low-maintenance architectural plant that loves swampy spots and pond edges. It was proven off to good impact in Nic Howard’s backyard, set towards a easy charcoal-grey wall and softened with Mexican fleabane (Erigeron karvinskianus). Stuart Towner paired it with Hosta ‘Devon Green’, Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra), Gunnera magellanica and European wild ginger (Asarum europaeum). Scouring rush will unfold relentlessly if given free rein, so comprise it in a trough or water function.

Sarah Price’s garden, with its clever use of gravel.

Sarah Price’s backyard, with its intelligent use of gravel. Photograph: Sophia Evans for the Guardian

3 If you’re searching for low-maintenance, low-cost alternate options to paving your entrance backyard, gravel has a lot to suggest it, and at this 12 months’s Chelsea a number of gardens took this theme in several instructions. Sarah Price confirmed the best way to use a Mediterranean plant palette with the papery pink flowers of the Cretan rockrose (Cistus creticus) and the vivid pink flower clusters of the blood pink (Dianthus cruentus). Gravel’s additionally an excellent mulch for shade planting: see Nic Howard’s row of the massive (and fortunately slug-resistant) leaves of Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ planted in gravel alongside a slim mattress that might work completely in a dismal facet return.

A collaboration between Ikea and Indoor Garden Design offers clever ways to display plants indoors, from space-saving hanging planters to planters on peg boards.

A collaboration between Ikea and Indoor Garden Design presents alternative ways to show vegetation indoors, from space-saving hanging planters to planters on peg boards. Photograph: Sophia Evans for the Guardian

4 If I used to be in any doubt in regards to the rise of the houseplant, the guests swarming over the shows of cacti, succulents and orchids within the Great Pavilion have been proof of their endurance. It’s not solely as a result of these vegetation are so Instagrammable – Popsy the Cactus from Craig House Cacti is now so well-liked she has her own Twitter account – however as a result of for many people with out a lot outdoors area, an air plant or 2 is a much more practical prospect. A collaboration between Ikea and Indoor Garden Design presents intelligent methods to show vegetation indoors, from space-saving hanging planters to planters on peg boards. You’ll see houseplants creeping into present gardens, too, from the blue chalksticks succulent (Senecio serpens) in Sarah Price’s backyard to the cast-iron vegetation (Aspidistra elatior) dotted via Stuart Towner’s backyard.

Jo Thompson’s garden, which used York stone slabs as furniture.

Jo Thompson’s backyard, which makes use of York stone slabs as furnishings. Photograph: Sophia Evans for the Guardian

5 Want backyard furnishings that can by no means require repainting and doesn’t want protecting in winter? What a couple of slab of rock? Jo Thompson’s show garden for Wedgwood exhibits the way it’s performed, with flat-topped chunks of York stone serving as chair or desk or each; merely add a snug cushion or blanket. Just be sure you think twice about the place to place them, as you gained’t have the ability to transfer them simply. If you’re extra of a wooden kind, take the lead from Nic Howard, whose backyard seats are easy cubes of oak, charred and formed to make the right resting spot.

The Pearlfisher garden, by John Warland and the Pearlfisher team, uses succulents and other house plants. It also highlights the problem of plastics in the ocean.

The Pearlfisher backyard, by John Warland and the Pearlfisher crew, makes use of succulents and different home vegetation. It additionally highlights the issue of plastics within the ocean. Photograph: Sophia Evans for the Guardian

6 If summer time bedding leaves you chilly, attempt planting up containers with succulents as a substitute. The Pearlfisher garden cleverly employed echeverias, kalanchoes, sedums, crassulas and the prefer to mimic an underwater scene, whereas speaking its message in regards to the perils of marine plastic air pollution. The key to success is a really free-draining rising medium (use cactus and succulent compost, and select a pot with loads of holes within the backside) and the sunniest spot you may muster. Remember to convey them inside to a frost-free place as soon as summer time begins to fade.

Foliage dominates in Tom Stuart-Smith’s Weston garden.

Foliage dominates in Tom Stuart-Smith’s Weston backyard. Photograph: Sophia Evans for the Guardian

7 It would be the flower present, however some gardens demonstrated that large and daring foliage can supply as a lot influence. Stuart Towner’s Spirit of Cornwall garden is a masterclass in combining totally different shapes and textures to create a big-leaved border, utilizing the palmate-leaved false castor oil plant (Fatsia japonica), the pleated leaves of rodgersias and the massive corrugated leaves of Chilean rhubarb (Gunnera manicata). If you desire a actually uncommon bold-leaved foliage shrub in your backyard, get your arms on a spikenard (Aralia cordata), as proven off by Tom Stuart-Smith in his Weston garden within the Great Pavilion.

Concrete cubes in Robert Barker’s Skin Deep garden.

Concrete cubes in Robert Barker’s Skin Deep backyard. Photograph: Sophia Evans for the Guardian

8 Bare concrete in a backyard is often shorthand for one thing ugly and municipal, however this 12 months’s Chelsea exhibits the best way to use this materials in an impressed manner, from the concrete cubes that break up frothy planting in Robert Barker’s Skin Deep conceptual garden to Stuart Towner’s easy oval concrete patio in his Spirit of Cornwall garden. Just be certain the traces are clear, the end skilled and the planting considerable.


Jane Perrone from theguardian.com

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