tag archives: best show garden


one word could describe many of the award winning show gardens at the 2019 chelsea flower show:



rhs chelsea flower show

21-25 may 2019

royal hospital chelsea | london | united kingdom

the m&g garden

best show garden | gold medal winner | rhs chelsea flower show | 2019

designed by andy sturgeon | built by crocus | sponsored by m&g investments

photo credit rhs


the layers of naturalistic gardens could be compared to the levels of natural habitats.

family monsters garden

best artisan garden | gold medal winner | rhs chelsea flower show | 2019

designed by alistair bayford | built by idverde | sponsored by idverde family action

photo credit via rhs


naturalistic gardens, like the new perennial movement gardens and meadows of dutch landscape designer, piet oudolf, could also be considered eco-friendly.  and, could also be described as wild.  or, painterly.  or, dreamscapes.

country living magazine described the 2019 morgan stanley garden as:  paint[ed] with plants’.

chris beardshaw, the designer of the garden, ‘paints’ by building up layers of plants.  and, by repeating plants in three or more places.  the repetition of colors and textures creates visual connections within the garden as well as continuous circulation through out the garden.

the morgan stanley garden

gold medal winner | rhs chelsea flower show | 2019

designed by chris beardshaw | built by chris beardshaw ltd | sponsored by morgan stanley

photo credit paula mcwaters via country living


i am now reading ‘joan mitchell: lady painter’ after seeing joan mitchell:  i carry my landscapes around with me at david zwirner gallery in new york.

mitchell’s method was also additive.  her technique was physical.  and, she painted spontaneously.  yet, she would stop to contemplate the structure of the composition, and the relationship between the colors, before adding another layer of paint.


“the painting has to work,’ joan believed,

‘but it has to say something more than that the painting works.”

-from mitchell paints a picture‘, an article from artnews by irving sandler, originally published in october 1957

joan mitchell (1925-1992) | posted | 1977 | collection walker art center | minneapolis, MN

photo credit (c) estate of joan mitchell via david zwirner


what do you think makes a design ‘work’?

are you a garden person?



chelsea flower show gardens 8-xlarge_trans++qVzuuqpFlyLIwiB6NTmJwfSVWeZ_vEN7c6bHu2jJnT8

best show garden | the telegraph garden | designed by andy sturgeon | 2016 chelsea flower show

photo credits jonathan brady/pa | irish times, rhs, and the telegraph

or, a plant person?




diamond jubilee award | great pavilion | ashwood nurseries | 2016 chelsea flower show

photo credits ashwood nurseries, ashwood nurseries, and michael perry | plantgeek

financial times newspaper columnist, robin lane fox, thinks that even though the show gardens receive more press coverage, the real chelsea flower show occurs in the plant pavilions.

the chelsea flower show.  it’s one of london’s most spectacular annual spring events.

rhs (royal horticultural society) chelsea flower show

royal hospital chelsea

london, united kingdom

19-23 may 2015

and, one of the most crowded.  the exclusive members’ days are (slightly) less crowded than the public days.  so, one way to beat the crowd is to become a rhs member, like my husband, bob, and i did when we lived in london.


2015 chelsea flower show | public visitors to the show gardens

photo credit geoff pugh

some think that the show gardens are the major attraction.

chelsea 2015|laurent-perrier chatsworth garden|dan pearson|daily ad 5 20 15



2015 | best show garden | gold medal winner | the laurent-perrier chatsworth garden | designed by dan pearson

a representation of the rockery and trout stream in the 105-acre garden at chatsworth house | derbyshire, united kingdom

photo credits rhs/neil hepworth


the rockery | designed by sir joseph paxton | chatsworth house | derbyshire, united kingdom | 1842

photo credit chatsworth


the trout stream | designed by sir joseph paxton | chatsworth house | derbyshire, united kingdom | 1835

photo credit the telegraph

chelsea 2015"perfumer

A-Perfumers-Garden-in-Grasse-by-LOccitane-03_940x627A-Perfumers-Garden-in-Grasse-by-LOccitane-04_940x6272015 | gold medal winner | a perfumer’s garden in grasse by l’occitane | designed by james basson

inspired by the history of the provencal perfume industry in the world’s perfume capital, grasse, france

photo credits rhs/neil hepworth

chelsea 2015|morgan stanley healthy citis garden|daily ad 5 20 15


2015 | gold medal winner | the morgan stanley healthy cities garden | designed by chris beardshaw

designed to mark the morgan stanley global healthy cities initiative

photo credits rhs/sarah cuttle

chelsea 2015|homebase garden|adam frost|daily ad 5 20 15




2015 | gold medal winner | the homebase garden-urban retreat | designed by adam frost

inspired by modernist architect marcel breuer

photo credits rhs/neil hepworth

chelsea 2015|cloudy bay garden|vital earth|daily ad 5 20 15


2015 | gold medal winner | cloudy bay garden in association with vital earth | designed by harry rich and david rich

a reflection of the taste and character of cloudy bay winery’s new zealand sauvignon blanc and pinot noir

photo credits rhs/tim sandall


chelsea 2015|brewin dolphin garden|darren hawkes|daily ad 5 20 15




2015 | gold medal winner | the brewin dolphin garden | designed by darren hawkes

floating slate platforms, inspired by prehistoric dolmens and quoits, referencing sculptors james turrell and richard serra

photo credits rhs/neil hepworthchelsea 2015|telegraph garden|marcus barnett|daily ad 5 20 15


2015 | gold medal winner | the telegraph garden | designed by marcus barnett

inspired by the de stijl dutch artistic movement

photo credits rhs/neil hepworth

but, i was always most impressed by the plants displayed in the pavilions.


 2015 | gold medal winner | auriculas | w & s lockyer nursery

photo credit upi/landov/barcroft media