The Chelsea Flower Show, which is the most famous design event in the garden industry, is in full swing this week. Green ideas for gardens are flooding out of the London based show. This is the third of three big trends that I see this year. (To see what the other two are, check out the first part of my Chelsea coverage on Apartment Therapy.)
The green movement has hit Chelsea big time. This year, show gardens feature everything from edible ideas and low impact, vertical, sustainable planting ideas to insect walls, rain gardens, and solar powered garden sheds. The ideas for greening your garden space are abundant.
The Royal Bank of Scotland's New Wild Garden (designed by Dr. Nigel Dunnett) is the first true rain garden ever exhibited at Chelsea and it not only features water wise plants, but it aims to raise ecological awareness by exhibiting ways to encourage wildlife and beneficial insects in the garden.
Marney Hall designed a garden for a garden designer (or anyone else who might wish to have an office in their garden). Her eco-design called the SkyShades Garden, features a natural and wild planting scheme, as well as a planted roof combined with solar panels to power your computer and other office necessities.
There are two kitchen and food based gardens, the more traditional potager designed by Bunny Guinness and the exciting vertical garden presented by B&Q. The B&Q garden is the tallest garden ever at the show, and it features a towering vertical garden that is completely comprised of edibles. It also has a potting shed that incorporates composting, rainwater harvesting and storage, a thermal chimney, photovoltaic panels and a wind turbine.
The Winds of Change Garden by Jamie Dunstan is comprised of reclaimed and re-cycled materials and makes an exciting design feature of wind turbine power.
The show's organizers (The Royal Horticultural Society) have also added a completely new category for garden design this year. Doing away with the Courtyard Gardens, they have replaced it with the Artisan Gardens and all seven gardens in the group are designed with the remit that invites contributors to use "natural, sustainably resourced" materials "in an artistic manner".