Six things in my garden you might have seen at Chelsea

Six things from RHS Chelsea Flower Show Green Fingered Blog
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is the highlight of the horticultural year, filled with ideas and inspiration for gardeners. It's dazzling show gardens are designed by the top designers, built by the best contractors and full of plants grown by the best growers. 

So is there anything on show at Chelsea this week that you can recreate in your own garden? Of course there is, and I'll prove it...

Six things in my garden you might have seen at Chelsea


Even though the Chelsea Flower Show falls at the perfect time for Peonies, there seem to be even more of them at this year's show than usual. They are so easy to grow at home. 

I've no idea of the variety of mine, they have been here a very long time, but I hardly do anything to them. They reappear from beneath the ground every spring and flower spectacularly every May. And the traditional warning that they cannot be transplanted is also a myth. We brought them from our previous house and they have thrived. 

Peonies Chelsea Flower Show Green Fingered Blog
Peonies are show stoppers, but easy to grow

A Living Edible Wall

The LG Eco City Garden by Hay-Joung Hwang featured a living wall of edible plants. Functional as well as eye catching, it was just one of many ways the garden was made super efficient and eco-friendly. 

My version is much less high tech, but just as effective. 

I grow watercress in guttering attached to my garden fence, and it works great - we should be harvesting in a few weeks time.

It's really easy to build, and if watercress isn't your thing, it could be used to grow a wide range of salad leaves, herbs, or strawberries. Why not give it a go?

Watercress Living Edible Wall Chelsea Flower Show Green Fingered Blog

Blue poppies? Or Orange Ones?

The Morgan Stanley Garden for the NSPCC, designed by Chris Beardshaw, won the Best in Show Award. Amongst the beautiful planting were some blue poppies - Meconopsis betonicifolia.

They are renowned as being rather fussy and difficult to grow, and you may be setting yourself up for disappointment by attempting to do so, unless you have the perfectly moist, free draining, acidic, fertile, sunny but sheltered conditions they originate from in the Himalayas.

Those of you seeking an easier life should choose the Welsh poppy instead - Meconopsis cambrica. 

These seed themselves around my garden so I will never be without them. Which is fine, as although they are orange rather than blue, they are still a charming, and easy to grow, substitute.
Poppy Chelsea Flower Show Green Fingered Blog
Welsh poppy - meconopsis cambrica

Alpines in containers

The Darcy and Everest stand at Chelsea features huge containers of alpine plants growing amongst gravel and rocks. But the great thing about alpines is that they are effectively miniature plants which will fit into the smallest of spaces.

I grow some in what's left of an old broken terracotta pot. You can too:

Moss Chelsea Flower Show Green Fingered Blog
Mini alpine garden in a broken pot

Grow moss instead of killing it

Many people go to a lot of trouble to keep moss out of their garden, but several show gardens at Chelsea featured it heavily. Like anything else, in the right place, moss is a worthwhile addition to a garden, and if you have the damp shady conditions in which it thrives, then make the most of it.

In my garden, I let it fill the gaps and cracks in some of the paths on the shadier side of the garden. 

It lends the Japanese themed area a bit of authenticity, and greens up the hard landscaping in a natural way. 

Apparently the 12 square metres of moss used in the LG Eco City Garden will absorb as much carbon from the atmosphere as 275 mature trees. This seems remarkable, but if it's true then it's another reason to give moss a break, and a space in your garden.
Moss Chelsea Flower Show Green Fingered Blog
Moss growing on a path - nothing wrong with that!

Matching colours or shapes in your garden

Those clever top garden designers are very good at connecting different themes and ideas throughout the entirety of a show garden, bringing ideas together to harmonise the whole space. 

I was impressed with the way the bright orange and yellow cushions on the sofa in the middle of the LG Eco City Garden exactly matched the colours of the lupins and other plants in the beds behind the seating area.

Picking up little details in different ways is a great way of adding an extra dimension to a garden or even a single border or container. 

I've done it here not with colours, but with shapes. The lollipop shapes of the alliums are matched by the ornamental silver balls on sticks, and both float above another silver ball and a line of topiary balls below. This adds different layers and textures, but they are held together by the fact they are all spheres of different sizes. 

Why not find a way of doing something like this in your own garden?  What can you link together in a similar way? I love reading other people's ideas, so please share them in the comments below.

Alliums, topiary and silver balls Chelsea Flower Show Green Fingered Blog
Spheres of different sizes, shapes and textures make a nice feature

That's six things from my garden this Saturday. Visit The Propagator to see all the other gardeners who've linked up to Six on Saturday this week. I'll be back with more ideas from my garden and elsewhere very soon.


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