And the best garden at the Chelsea Flower Show was…!

Here at PlantPlots we like to view gardens from you, the users, perspective; consequently, what the RHS thought was the best garden at the Chelsea Flower Show 2021 was not the one the RHS chose – and here’s why…

Chelsea is predominately a flower show; a theatre of plants and showcase of horticultural expertise. New ambitious emerging design talent showcase their ideas and designs to the RHS (not you by the way), it is the RHS judges they look to impress. Because a shiny gold medal or gong from any flower show does great things for a designers career. Gold medals and accolades given out to the horticulturalists and growers for their displays showcase these professionals expertise and craftmanship – and are a well deserved recognition for the skill and effort needed to bring plants to Chelsea. However, the general public is not as well served, in that the gardens on display, although impressive, beautiful, artful and original – aren’t gardens you or I could easily recreate at home.

But, at last some show garden small garden designs – anyone can aspire to!

Images :

See the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Balcony and Container Gardens

But this year Chelsea introduced two new categories of garden display – that on paper can be recreated at home; these being the Balcony gardens and Container gardens categories.

Hurrah, thought I, at last small garden design on a budget that most gardeners can aspire too. That will be worth visiting; alas, I and my good friend Helen (hear us on our Plotting Shed Podcast) thought we had got press passes to visit, but the RHS had to limit visitor numbers due to Covid restrictions so we hope to go in May 2022 instead.

So I was left to enjoy Chelsea the same ay as everyone else; via the BBC coverage. Surprisingly, this was really good, not because it was the Beeb, but because the main focus for all the designs and gardens was about their ability to deliver positive emotions and the healing effect gardens and gardening has. Good old Monty Don, he really has absolutely the right approach to gardening; he is a very honest man in every sense of the word.

So what was The Best Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show and why?

Officially, the three best show gardens were the Guangzhou China: Guangzhou Garden Designed by Peter Chmiel with Chin-Jung Chen; The People’s Choice Best Show Garden The Yeo Valley Organic Garden Designed by Tom Massey, supported by Sarah Mead and the The People’s Choice Best Sanctuary/Artisan Garden The Parsley Box Garden Designed by Alan Williams.

But here at PlantPlots; we thought the best garden at the Chelsea Flower Show for containers was…..

The Hot Tin Roof Garden by Ellie Edkins

and the best balcony garden was….

The Balcony of Blooms by Alexandra Noble

So why these ? Well quite simply these were the only two gardens that could be reproduced at home AND that would deliver year round interest. All the plants in the Balcony of Blooms were hard working, drought tolerant, wind tolerant and that would provide interest all year. Similarly the hot tin roof garden we thought would look amazing in a cool shady place. So not quite a hot tin roof… (bad name), more a cool shabby chic easy care calm serene space.

Listen to the Plotting Shed Podcast on Apple to hear what more of what Helen and I thought about these gardens.

Ocean Plastic Pots – winner of RHS first ever sustainable product of the year award. So well done to Ocean Plastic Pots too!

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