The little gems of the Chelsea gardens
While the show gardens can be overwhelming and imposing, the smaller categories, Artisan and Space to Grow (more on this tomorrow) offer ideas on a more manageable scale – but good stuff comes in little bundles!
This year, there are seven Artisan Gardens. They use traditional materials and methods which are revitalised through new design approaches. Rustic combines with modern twists, resulting in bold and exciting gardens.
O-mo-te-na-shi no NIWA – The Hospitality Garden
Sponsor: G-Lion & Cat’s Co Ltd. Designer: Kazuyuki Ishihara. MSGD Contractor: Ishihara Kazuyuki Design Laboratory Co Ltd
Inspired by ‘Omotenashi’, a Japanese concept of sincere hospitality received with gratitude. The garden also focuses on Ikenobo, the oldest Japanese flower arrangement.
Key features are a waterfall, pond and octagonal garden house, while a low entrance gate encourages mindfulness. Traditional roof tiles, Bengara painting and patina copper plate means plants and the building can be integrated into the landscape.
Planting concentrates on mixtures of light and dark green with bursts of colour from maples, pines, leopard plants, iris and moss.
The Claims Guys: A Very English Garden
Sponsor: The Claims Guys. Designer: Janine Crimmins. Contractor: Andrew Loudon
This garden’s inspiration comes from the Arts and Crafts movement. A dry stone half-domed niche is the focal point, looking on to jewel coloured plants. The garden is constructed using 30 tonnes of English stone hand dressed on site.
The Warner Edwards Garden
Sponsor: Warner Edwards. Designer: Kate Savill & Tamara Bridge. Contractor: Frogheath Landscapes
Inspired by the Warner Edwards Distillery’s home, Falls Farm, in Northamptonshire. Terraced gardens, once part of a medieval manor house, sit alongside natural springs. A Bee Bole set into old stone walling reflect the farm’s beehive. Two copper seats offer the perfect place to sit and enjoy a gin and tonic.
The garden has roughly 40 different plants, many members of the Lamiaceae family, said to promote good health in bees. Others reflect the flavours of the gins, including elderflower and sloes.
The Embroidered Minds Epilepsy Garden
Sponsor: Embroidered Minds. Designer: Kati Crome. Contractor: Conway Landscapes
Inspired by Leslie Forbes’ novel ‘Embroidered Minds of the Morris Women’, which investigates William Morris’ daughter’s experience of epilepsy in the Victorian era.
There are three sections: the pre-seizure area is calm with greens and whites, including Acanthus mollis and Valeriana officinalis, an early epilepsy drug. There is a sudden change as a ‘seizure’ hits, with harsh, brown plants – sedges, Rumex flexuosus, Geranium Sanne, Oxalis corniculata var. atropurpurea and teasels.
The post-seizure planting is vivid with orange, blue, black and white: Eremurus, Iris, Physocarpus opulifolius Amber Jubilee, Aquilegias, Centaurea montana Black Sprite, Paeonia Claire de Lune and Cenolophium denudatum.
The Viking Cruises Wellness Garden
Sponsor: Viking Cruises. Designer: Paul Hervey-Brookes. Contractor: GK Wilson Landscapes
Inspired by the spa and wellbeing intrinsic to the Nordic way of life. The garden is imagined to belong to a single person or couple. The sauna and plunge pool form the core with rugged natural slate and smooth natural timbers.
It’s a place to relax in and to recharge from the stresses of life. The planting is designed to give a feel of semi-wild Nordic planting with an emphasis on herbs and ‘wild’ culinary plants.
British Council Garden: India – A Billion Dreams
Commissioner: British Council India. Designer: Sarah Eberle. Contractor: Belderbos Landscape
This garden marks the end of the UK-India Year of Culture and represents the historic and contemporary ties between the countries. Inspired by a documentary on cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, it is a metaphor for the hopes of every young Indian.
The structure is inspired by the Moghul gardens of north India and parts of the game of cricket, including Pietra Dura marble, a pool, grass crease and stumps as columns.
Plants have a link with Indian history in bursts of energetic colour, including blue Vanda orchids, Meconopsis, marigolds, red roses, tulips, jasmine, willow and banyan tree roots carved into stumps.
The Supershoes, Laced with Hope Garden a partnership with Frosts
Sponsor: Frosts Garden Centres. Designer: Laura Anstiss. Contractor: Frosts Landscape Construction
This garden aims to offer some insight into a child’s journey through cancer whilst highlighting the work of the Supershoes charity. As you walk through the garden, you become conscious of the words that often form part of a new language of families fighting cancer.
The planting works in harmony with the artwork and sculptures represent the children and their family, with a lace sculpture tying the whole garden together.
Plants include Prunus maackii Amber Beauty, roses Chandos Beauty, Pure Poetry, Westerland and Night Owl.