There are rarely any bad gardens at Chelsea, but the past few years the show has at times felt a little like something has been missing. Not this year.
From earth and grass just three weeks ago, the show gardens have risen to be horticultural masterpieces, with such attention to detail in the planting and design they look like they have been there for years, sometimes hundreds.
As is the case with Cleve West’s Gold winning Centrepoint garden, set amongst the rubble of a derelict Victorian terrace house, and Jihae Hwang’s ‘A Letter From a Million Years Past’ garden, which uses an amazing range of Korean plants to show the relationship between people and nature.
The Great Pavilion is also on another level this year, feeling fuller than ever with exhibits from some sensational plant nurseries, florists and even mushroom growers.
The David Austin roses have never smelt stronger, perhaps all down to their new introduction ‘Dannahue’ a highly fragrant apricot coloured rose that takes centre stage.
Themes to look out for
It’s getting hotter
There is a subtle move to gardens that are more Mediterranean in style, acknowledging the changing climate, especially in London and the South of England.
Look out for the earthy tones of Silver-Gilt winning Hamptons Mediterranean Sanctuary garden, Designed by Filippo Dester of Garden Club London, and the beautiful Stone pines in Sarah Price’s Cedric Morris inspired Gold winning garden on Main Avenue.
Wild has not gone away
Gardens embracing nature are still big at this year’s show, with Jihae Hwang’s Gold winning Korean mountainside landscape, and Jon Davies and Steve Williams Silver winning Centre for Mental Health Garden, using rubble and weeds to show how nature turns human spaces into healing spaces.
But nor have gardens
For all the talk of weeds before the show, you’d think there was nothing else in the gardens at this year's show. Far from it. Luscious planting can be found in the Gold winning gardens of Charlie Hawkes, Chris Beardshaw and Harris Bugg, showing that gardens don’t have to just be rubble and weeds.
Medals in full
GOLD & BEST SHOW GARDEN
Harris Bugg Studio
GOLD & BEST CONSTRUCTION AWARD
The Centrepoint Garden
The Nurture Landscapes Garden
Myeloma UK - A Life Worth Living Garden
A Letter From a Million Years Past
RBC Brewin Dolphin Garden
Gavin McWilliam and Andrew Wilson
Memoria & GreenAcres Transcendence Garden
The Savills Garden
Samaritans’ Listening Garden
The Royal Entomological Society Garden
Jon Davies and Steve Williams
Centre for Mental Health’s The Balance Garden
The Fauna & Flora Garden
GOLD, BEST CONSTRUCTION & BEST SANCTUARY
National Brain Appeal The National Brain Appeal's Rare Space Garden
London Square The London Square Community Garden
The Biophilic Garden Otsu - Hanare
Hamptons Hamptons Mediterranean Garden
The RSPCA Garden
The Boodles 'Best of British' Garden
Taina Suoni & Anne Hamilton
Cavernoma Society The Cavernoma on My Mind Garden
Balcony and container gardens
The St George 'Alight Here' Balcony Garden
GOLD & BEST BALCONY AND CONTAINER GARDEN
Feels Like Home
Katherine Holland Garden
Design The Folio Society's Reading Room Garden
The Restorative Balcony Garden sponsored by Viking
Amelia Bouquet and Emilie Bausager
The Platform Garden
Joanne Edmonds and Camilla Windsor-Clive
The Hampden Stargardt Garden
The Chelsea Gardener
The Shifting Garden
Gini Denison-Pender, Philippa Craddock and Anna Garner
The Doorstep Library Garden: Words Take You Places
Julie and Andrew Haylock
The Mary Anning Space to Learn Garden
All about plants gardens
GOLD & BEST ALL ABOUT PLANTS GARDEN
Joe & Laura Carey
The Talitha Arts Garden
Nicola Semple and Susan Begg
Teapot Trust: Elsewhere Garden
The Natural Affinity Garden for Aspens
School Food Matters The School Food Matters Garden
Choose Love Garden
The Sadler's Wells East Garden
The Great Pavilion Awards
The Best Exhibit in the Great Pavilion: Kells Bay House & Gardens for The Ferns of Kells Bay Gardens
The New Design Award: Mushrooms - the homegrown edibles collection - by Caley Brothers
Best Discovery Exhibit: Sparsholt College’s Rustic Recipes Reimagined
House plant awards
Best House Plant: Geb & Green’s Steam.Clean.Plant. Repeat
Best Floristry Exhibit: The Beauty of Recycling Floral Bin by Hubbards Florist
Ambassadors’ Choice: Emma Thistlethwaite for Annual