Stand-out show gardens from the Chelsea Flower Show

2016 will be my tenth year covering the Chelsea Flower Show. It’s one of my favourite days at work! I thought I’d revisit some of my favourite gardens from the past five years. Well, not quite the past five as last year, sadly, I had a funeral to attend, so it’s my pick of the best from 2010 to 2014. All photos ©Adrienne Wyper



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Recalling the landscape of Provence, this show garden appears to be sited at the base of a cliff, with a water channel and terraced beds adding to the illusion of height. Olive and pine trees are underplanted with lavender, rosemary, borage and marigolds – all botanicals which are used in the company’s best-selling products.
Awards: Silver Gilt medal

Daily Telegraph

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Steel screens slice through this contemporary gravel garden, inspired by travel with hints of the landscapes of South Africa, the Mediterranean and South America. Open clearings of gravel mingle with densely planted areas, backed by a courtyard area in the shade of a cork oak.
Rusty orange was a refreshing new shade seen this year in many gardens, most often with bronze-toned irises, displayed in big bowls here in The Daily Telegraph Garden as well as the University of Worcester Garden. This warm, coppery hue tones well with rusted metal and wood.
Awards: Best Show Garden, Gold medal


Daily Telegraph

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Exploring the nature of timelessness, this garden is a mix of formal and traditional elements such as yew edging, along with contemporary style, as in the water pipes emerging from a lemon wall. The planting is designed with self-seeding in mind, suggesting an evolution of the garden’s appearance over time: what was, is, and will be.
Award: Best Show Garden


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A fresh take on a traditional kitchen garden, this is a relaxing space that’s very productive. In just one corner of one of the willow-walled raised beds are lettuce, coriander, lavender, with climbing roses and climbing courgettes scrambling together up an obelisk. The design is framed by pleached trees, with a central pool for filling your watering can. At the rear is a glass platform sheltering a seating area beneath.
Award: Silver-Gilt Flora medal


Homebase Teenage Cancer Trust


The warm tones of this garden’s planting are offset by the fresh green foliage and cool blue-toned water feature, supplied by a shallow rusted-metal rill.

Designed to offer a series of views, contained by cedarwood frames, the garden appears as a series of snapshots.
Award: Gold medal



Evoking the natural beauty of wild places in the British countryside, this design features perennials, meadow flowers and grasses arranged around a central Chilmark limestone pool, with copper detailing inspired by the mineral wealth of North Wales and Dartmoor. A natural-looking stepping stone walkway leads to a casual seating area. The whole is framed by a stand of birches.
Award: Gold medal


RBC Blue Water Roof Garden

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An urban rooftop garden, this design blends recreational space with wildlife-friendly features.The garden includes a striking living wall of flowerpots, which need no watering, with insect shelters built into the wall. A central ‘wetland’ area captures rainwater run-off. Among the planting are bright blue Himalayan blue poppy (Meconopsis).
Gold Medal

Trailfinders Australian Garden

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Showcasing sustainable landscaping, this garden focuses on water management and natural habitat gardening.

All of the garden’s surfaces channel rainwater into a tank and a billabong, intended as a natural swimming pool. When the water tank is full, the overflow is directed into a creek which flows into the billabong.

The striking terracotta-coloured space is a studio, with a design based on the waratah flower.
Award: Best Show Garden


A Garden for First Touch from St George’s

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This garden’s watercourse, encased in weathered metal, represents the journey that premature babies and their families follow. The source at the top of the stylised valley is turbulent but then the flow becomes gentler. The garden is planted mainly in soothing blues and greens, set in pale gravel.
Award: Silver-gilt Flora


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Designed as a series of defined layers, the layout is cool and contemplative with natural elements in a geometric setting. The garden features vivid lemon and lime shades with plants including Euphorbia palustris and E cornigera, lemon Lupinus ‘Chandelier’ and ‘Cashmere Cream’ and Geum ‘Lemon Drops’.
Best Show Garden, Gold medal





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