pro landscaper magazine
pro landscaper magazine

17 Key Highlights from Chelsea Press Day

by | 20 May 24 | Domestic Landscaping, Garden Design, Long Reads, Sustainability | 0 comments

RHS Chelsea Flower Show

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show has returned to the Royal Hospital Chelsea show ground this week and there’s already plenty to talk about from the world renowned show. Press day saw a series of launches, celebrations and awards being announced. Here are our top highlights:

1 Crocus going out on a high

It has been at all 22 shows that have taken place since being set up in 2000, but Crocus’ founder Mark Fane revealed last month that this year’s Chelsea will be the company’s last – and what a way to bow out. The nursery and contractor built the National Garden Scheme Garden for renowned designer Tom Stuart-Smith and the Muscular Dystrophy UK – Forest Bathing Garden for rising star Ula Maria. 

2 The first Environmental Innovation Award winner being announced 

The World Child Cancer Nurturing Garden designed by Giulio Giorgi and built by Landesigns won the inaugural RHS Environmental Innovation Award, recognising the team’s efforts for reducing the environmental impact of their garden.  

3 Carbon being significantly reduced at the show 

The new Green Garden Audit led to a 28% reduction in carbon emissions across the Show and Sanctuary Garden categories, making it arguably the most sustainable Chelsea yet. Eleven gardens across both categories vied for the first Environmental Innovation Award at the show. 

4 A garden pieced together from previous Chelsea gardens 

The RHS Chelsea Repurposed Garden, designed by Cityscape’s Darryl Moore and Toby Magee, has been created almost entirely out of repurposed materials from past show gardens dating back as far as 2010. It includes two Corten steel columns from Andy Sturgeon’s The Daily Telegraph Garden which won Best in Show 14 years ago. 

5 Most of the gardens being cement free 

Three quarters (74%) of the gardens across the Feature, Show and Sanctuary gardens at this year’s show were built without the use of cement, according to our calculations. Contractors including Landform Consultants and Living Landscapes have stated that they will never again use cement to build a show garden either.  

6 The first garden designed by children, for children 

Harry Holding – who recently announced new venture, LDN Horticulture – has spent the last few months working with primary school pupils to design and create the RHS No Adults Allowed Garden, which of course adults were eager to enjoy on the day.

7 Water saving was a key theme 

From Tom Massey and Je Ahn’s WaterAid Garden, to Flood Re: The Flood Resilient Garden by Naomi Slade and Dr Ed Barsley, to The Water Saving Garden by Sam Proctor, there were numerous gardens showcasing various ways that visitors – and the horticulture industry – could reduce water usage in gardens and harvest rainwater. It’s a good thing, too – a recent WaterAid survey revealed that a third of gardeners have struggled with water shortages. 

8 Ann-Marie Powell making her debut on Main Avenue  

Despite previously appearing at Chelsea and other RHS shows, this year sees Ann-Marie Powell’s first large garden on Main Avenue, and she’s using it as a “big, green, horticultural soapbox”, channelling one of the National Trust’s founders Octavia Hill on a garden sponsored by the charity and Blue Diamond. On top of that, Dame Judi Dench placed a seedling from the Sycamore Gap tree in the garden. 

9 The new RHS Children’s Choice Award winner being unveiled

Children were invited to judge the gardens at Chelsea for the first time, and The Octavia Hill Garden designed by Ann-Marie Powell and built by The Landscaping Consultants caught their attention. Primary school pupils picked the garden as the first RHS Children’s Choice Award winner.

10 New fund launching for edible skatepark landscapes 

On an All About Plants garden that has a granite skate ramp as its centrepiece, a new funding initiative launched to support the rollout of edible skatepark landscapes across the UK. The Planet Good Earth Fund sees these spaces as benefitting the mental health and wellbeing of young people by bringing together skateboarding and community gardening. To celebrate the launch, skaters from The Ben Raemers Foundation enjoyed Chelsea’s first edible skatepark today. 

11 Celebrating six decades of Britain in Bloom 

The Friendship Garden designed by father and son duo Jon and James Wheatley marks the 60th anniversary of the Britain in Bloom competition, which highlights the best of accessible communal green spaces. Elements of the garden will be reused at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival in July. 

12 Netflix’s first show garden to celebrate new series of Bridgerton 

Following the launch of the third series last week, Bridgerton – one of Netflix’s most popular shows – has a theatrical garden at this year’s Chelsea inspired by one of the characters, Penelope Featherington. Two stars from the hit show appeared on the garden today to mark the occasion. 

13 National Garden Scheme CEO being presented with prestigious award 

George Plumptre, CEO of the National Garden Scheme, received the Elizabeth Medal of Honour from Keith Weed, president of the RHS, on the RHS Britain in Bloom 60th Anniversary: The Friendship Garden. Plumptre said he was “honoured and humbled” by the award. 

14 Plants to be sold from the National Garden Scheme Garden 

The garden boasts having the likes of National Garden Scheme (NGS) president Mary Berry and Alan Titchmarsh enjoying a cup of tea in it today, and following the show, people will be able to take a piece of the magic home with them. With the garden’s relocation not taking place immediately after the show, a selection of its plants will be up for sale at Chilworth Manor in Surrey to support the charity behind the garden.  

15 New RHS patron King Charles explored the show 

His Majesty King Charles III visited the showground with Queen Camilla after recently being announced as patron of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). 

16 A “piece of garden theatre” for the Society of Garden Designers 

Member Rosemary Coldstream has designed a gardenscape stand for the Society of Garden Designers, with the backdrop being an image of a garden designed by fellow member Sue Townsend. Featuring products and services from the SGD’s affiliated business partners in an English country garden setting, the stand showcases the work of members, with QR codes to designers’ websites. 

17 Garden House Design launching Renson’s new canopy  

Renson’s luxury louvered canopy, the Amani, has now been launched to the UK market through exclusive distributor Garden House Design, a premium ambassadord for the manufacturer. Creative director Debs Winrow says its Chelsea stand shows visitors “features in a canopy that they didn’t know were possible and didn’t even know that they desired.” 

Get the latest news to your inbox every week

Free newsletters with industry updates, product news, latest projects and more

Join our community.



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
    Your Basket
    Your basket is emptyReturn to Shop
      Calculate Shipping
      Apply Coupon
      Available Coupons
      test99 Get 99% off