The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021 has been much anticipated and entering the grounds on a surprisingly sunny September’s day, I was most eager to see how the planting would reflect this time of year.
There were plenty of plants packing a colourful punch, but one stood out far above the rest for me: the hydrangea. It weaved its way through Bodmin Jail: 60° East – A Garden Between Continents, was sprinkled throughout The Boodles Secret Garden, and sat alongside wildflower-style planting in the RHS COP26 Garden.
The best part, for me, is when you can tell designers and contractors have had fun. This was certainly the case for Ian Drummond, as he told us himself. As if a DJ set performed by RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Season 1 competitor Crystal wasn’t enough, The Green Room was one of six houseplant studios at the show and was packed full of plants and playfulness, all ‘suspended’ in a monster macrame plant hanger – in neon pink, of course.
A first for Chelsea and another favourite for me – besides Gemma Collins in a bright yellow cape –were the balcony gardens. There to help inspire visitors with even the smallest of spaces, they were certainly small but mighty. Alexandra Nobel and The Landscaping Consultants’ Balcony of Blooms offered a delicate way to provide privacy; James Smith and The Landscaping Consultants’ Green Sky Pocket Garden used every inch for growing (including the gaps between paving slabs – effective and efficient); and Nicola Hale and The Landscaping Consultants’ The Landform Balcony Garden created a much-needed wildlife corridor.