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Making the most of the world famous show

Last year's Best in Show winners Adam Hunt and Lulu Urquhart reflect on how best to use the platform of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show

We feel that Chelsea is the annual opportunity to learn from our incredible horticulturists on a number of levels; about how plants benefit not only plants and soil but our bodies too. Surely this is as relevant as finding out the latest on cultivating a stunning rose, and there is a place for both.

Weeds are taking centre stage at Chelsea this year – and with good reason. Weeds are our pioneer plants and are all healers, in one way or another. They are natural, wild plants. They form the basis of all our human medicines, and now is a brilliant moment to bring them to centre stage and really address what else they can bring to the table, or bring to us if we give them the space.

Our A Rewilding Britain Landscape at last year’s Chelsea was not about simply letting plants run wild; it showcased our plantsmanship, plant specialism and finest horticultural practice, speaking to our collaboration with nurseries to achieve the healthiest garden possible for soils, insects, creatures and humans. We used native planting because of its fundamental contribution to a healthy and flourishing biodiversity, for our insects and birds and mammals – where the ecological trajectory starts reverting to where it should be, rather than its current downwards spiral.

As part of this, we also veto the use of artificial pesticide, herbicide and fertiliser, not only for soil and species protection, but also for air and watercourse health, preferring to incorporate and promote the skilled techniques behind organic land practise, biodynamics and nourishing composting methods. Many designers and plant growers across the industry feel the same way and so it is not surprising that the rising trend is towards a more coherent system and a deeper look at what can be achieved when working within a more reasonable resource and supply frame.

Surely this is the space and moment, each May at the Royal Hospital Chelsea showground, for our brightest and boldest pioneer designers, for the highest innovation, excellence and ideas in horticulture and gardens, and for our explorers and celebrants of the plant kingdom, to come together and give the public a truly magical and inspiring ride, with fresh and informative content to get us all thinking, dreaming, and imagining.


© Dave Watts

About Urquhart & Hunt

Urquhart & Hunt believe that creating beauty through careful design is an essential part of ecological restoration.  Paying respect to the natural and cultural history of a landscape, they weave a tale of connection to the earth that increases biodiversity and habitat health, celebrating plants and people through horticultural prowess.

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