Space to Grow - Chelsea Flower Show 2018

Space to Grow  

Chelsea Flower Show 2018

I was delighted to be asked to create a visitor zone garden for the RHS at this year's Chelsea Flower show. The garden showcased the new show garden category 'Space to Grow' and provides information and ideas for visitors to take home - no matter how small your outdoor space may be.
Plant list and supplier / contributor information is all listed below.

The garden showed some simple planting combinations for sunny and shady conditions, both in the ground and in containers. I designed some bench seats for the space which are natural and simple and separate into 3 seats or 2 seats and a table for versatility. Contemporary terracotta bird feeders are  hung in the trees to bring wildlife into the space and tone with the corten steel.

Bench by Rae Wilkinson Design and Living Landscapes, corten steel planters by Adezz from The Pot Company
Bench by Rae Wilkinson Design and Living Landscapes, corten steel planters by Adezz from The Pot Company

Bench by Rae Wilkinson Design and Living Landscapes, plank paving in blue grey granite and buff sandstone from London Stone 

Terracotta bird feeders from Weston Mill pottery, Corten steel planters by Adezz from The Pot Company
The garden provided a place to sit and relax during the show while soaking up ideas.

Container gardening notes
Container gardening is accessible and enjoyable but I think there are some important guidelines to apply both aesthetically and practically:

1. Go large - containers work best when they are a decent size, go for quality rather than quantity and give your plants or trees some room. The containers can then also provide a statement or punctuation piece in the garden.
2. Water - ensure that your containers are irrigated or that you water them regularly in dry weather. Reduced soil mass dries out more quickly and plants in containers don't survive long if they dry out.
3. Keep it simple -  go for the same container style in repetition if possible in any given area, and plant just one or a few varieties en masse rather than a mixture.
4. Give it presence - choose plants for texture, shape, colour or fragrance so that they create an interesting raised piece of planting. My own containers at home contain two combinations: Acer palmatum trees underplanted with ferns in the shade and in the sun herbs, salad and strawberries to pick or one variety of ornamental grass for texture.

The planting list for the Space to Grow visitor zone is as follows:

Sunny borders
Allium purple rain  Festuca amethystina  Miscanthus grascillimus   Salvia sylvestris mainacht   Salvia nemorosa caradonna   Stipa tenuissima   Tenacetum vulgare   Thymus vulgaris   Verbena lollipop
Sunny containers
Allium schoenoprasum  Lavandula munstead   Mentha piperita  Salvia officionlais  Parsley, strawberries
Water bowl (part shade)
Anemanthele lessoniana   Euphorbia purpurea   Pistea stratiotes (Aquatic)Stratiotes aloides (aquatic)  Tenacetum vulgare
Shady borders
Aquilegia vulgaris  Astelia chathamica   Blechnum spicant
Deschampsia cespitosa -goldtau   Galega officionalis   Hosta devon green   Matteuccia struthiopteris   Polystichum setiferum
Dryopteris erythrosora
Shady containers
Amelancier lamarckii  Hosta tardiana  halcyonHosta blue angel  Hosta Sieboldiana elegans   Matteuccia struthiopteris 

Many thanks to all our contributors: 

Designer : Rae Wilkinson

Landscape contractor : Living Landscapes

Paving : London Stone Paving

Planters : The Pot Company

Terracotta bird feeders

3D Visual : Cadscape


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