This year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show presented the perfect opportunity for horticulture enthusiasts to view the best in garden design. The event took place from May 22–26th and saw a number of awards handed out for green-fingered innovative designs in several categories.
The 99th Chelsea Flower Show took place in the stretch of lawns that joins the river Thames and Royal Hospital, a 17th-century retirement home for army veterans, and attracts 150,000 visitors each year.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh took a tour around this year’s show and had a chance to take in a special exhibit created in honour of the Diamond Jubilee.
A number of new flower varieties were unveiled to commemorate the Queen’s 60 years on the throne, including those exhibited at rose grower David Austin’s installation, where white Tranquility roses were set beside the pale pink Royal Jubilee and the Fighting Temeraire.
The 2012 show was also attended by a number of celebrities including Formula 1 boss Frank Williams who posed with a topiary in the shape of a Williams F1 car, complete with topiary pit crew.
Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden was also happy to pose next to a replica Corsican garden, which featured lavender, fragrant olive trees, rosemary and stone sheepfold.
Three garden designers walked away with the prestigious gold medal award in the following three categories:
Best Show Garden: The winner in this category was the Brewin Dolphin Garden designed by Cleve West. The impressive creation paid homage to topiary gardens of the 19th century, making use of yew topiary forms as well as looser layers of herbaceous plants. The garden was also completed by beech hedging, adding to the structured nature of the overall design.
Best Fresh Garden: The ‘Green with…’ garden designed by Tony Smith won the top accolade in this category. The futuristic design of this garden drew on themes including form and colour. Three Perspex cylinders took pride of place in the centre of the garden design, each containing orchids.
Best Artisan Garden: The winner in this category was the Satoyama Life garden by Kazuyuki Ishihara. The concept of this garden was to pay tribute to the simple beauty of the area between the lowlands and the mountains of Japan from centuries gone by. The garden was categorised by the use of simple vegetation and delicately winding stone paths.