For the first time, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge has co-designed a garden, along with Andree Davies and Adam White, a pair of landscape architects who have twice won the coveted RHS gold medal. The royal project, named The RHS Back to Nature Garden, focuses on woodlands as inclusive settings where families and communities come together to make happy memories. By emphasising the role that nature plays in physical and mental health, the design nods to the RHS's partnership with the NHS.
HRH The Duchess of Cambridge plants containers at RHS It's Your Neighbourhood group King Henry's Walk Garden in Islington
Other highlights include the usual offerings from the big-name designers dotted along Main Avenue. Seven-time gold medal winning designer Andy Sturgeon is representing show sponsor M&G Investments this year, with a garden that celebrates nature's ability to regenerate. His woodland landscape will be populated with young trees and burnt timber structures. Once again, Main Avenue gardens are taking inspiration from all over the world: last year’s People’s Choice winner Mark Gregory is returning as designer for a canal-inspired Welcome to Yorkshire display, Jon Snow for Trailfinders is sourcing inspiration from the rainforests of South America and Thomas Hoblyn is aiming for an arid, Middle Eastern feel in The Dubai Majlis Garden. Perhaps the most emotive garden is The Greenfingers Charity Garden designed by Kate Gould, which was created for a hospice to provide a space where seriously ill children can come together and enjoy the fresh air with their loved ones.
The design of the Welcome to Yorkshire Garden (c) RHS Chelsea Flower Show
The smaller, slightly more quirky Artisan Gardens are also worth a visit, as are the Space to Grow Gardens which will have plenty for home gardeners looking for horticultural inspiration. Space to Grow Gardens that stand out this year include Joe Perkins's The Facebook Garden: Beyond The Screen which demonstrates the evolving nature of the coast and The Viking Cruises Garden by Paul Hervey-Brooks, who has created a water meadow with multiple streams running through to a pool and concrete terrace.
In the middle of it all stands the Great Pavillion, filled to bursting with exhibits from both UK gardeners and those from around the world. Eight nurseries are making their Chelsea debut this year, alongside RHS veterans David Austin Roses, who will be celebrating their 50th Anniversary at the show with a sensual display of award-winning roses. For the first time, the Great Pavilion will also host a judged walk-through Show Garden by British Designer Tom Dixon and IKEA. The immersive garden, which at first glance resembles a natural hillside landscape, hopes to show that it is both possible and rewarding to grow your own food in the city using sustainable urban growing techniques.
Pack a picnic or visit one of the numerous artisan food stands, and don't forget the obligatory glass of champagne.
|What||RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019: booking now open|
|Where||Royal Hospital Chelsea, Royal Hospital Road, SW3 4SR | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Sloane Square (underground)|
21 May 19 – 25 May 19, Ends at 5.30pm on Saturday 25th May
|Price||£from £30.00 with members discounts available|
|Website||Click here to book tickets|