Sunday, 10 June 2012

Chelsea 2012: Best in show

The standard of the large show gardens in Chelsea this year certainly seemed up on the last few years (as demonstrated by the RHS judges decision to award 9 Gold Medals between the 16 show gardens).

Raise a glass to... The Laurent-Perrier Bicentenary Garden

As ever, we didn’t exactly agree with all the judges’ decisions, but how a garden fulfils its own brief is important to them, while it is irrelevant to the rest of us as we never get to see the brief.

Even so, just looking at all of the show gardens, it must have been a trickier year than most to pick a Best In Show.

RHS Best In Show: The Brewin Dolpin Garden

The Judges selected the Brewin Dolpin Garden, designed by Cleve West, which was very impressive, as was the similar Laurent-Perrier Bicentenary Garden, designed by Arne Maynard. Both were very much on trend – with a combination of highly organised hard landscaping and a riot of planting (often using wild flowers). This was also seen in many other gardens, most notably: the Arthritis Research UK Garden, by Thomas Hoblyn; the Telegraph Garden, by Sarah Price; the M+G Garden, by Andy Sturgeon; and the RBC Blue Water Garden, by Nigel Dunnett.

Hard and soft: The Arthritis Research UK garden

Either of the West or Maynard gardens would certainly be wonderful to own, and had many good ideas we’d be happy to replicate. However, there were a couple of other gardens we liked at least as much….

The Rooftop Workplace of Tomorrow

The Rooftop Workplace of Tomorrow, designed by Patricia Fox (no relation – as far as we know…), had the best living roof at the show and several other interesting touches, while Diarmuid Gavin’s Westland Magical Garden won the RHS award for the Most Creative Show Garden, and if they had added the word Ever it would have been hard to disagree. They were the only gardens to really come up with good answers to how we should incorporate more green spaces in densely populated urban areas, but both received lower awards than we thought they deserved.

Most Creative: The Westland Magical Garden

We really liked both of them, but our choice for best of show had to be Gavin’s creation, a true multi-level approach to gardening in the city. In those countries that allow scaffolding using bamboo poles it would look even better....
Black bamboo with black scaffolding

It also provided the best view of Chelsea

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