Designers of the Balcony and Container Gardens at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show, are full of inspiration to help the UKs gardeners tackle extreme weather conditions from gale force winds to rising temperatures.
Storm resilient plants take centre stage in the mgr Changing Tides Garden which celebrates the specialist plants that have adapted to the harsh conditions found along the strandline of the UK’s shingle beaches.
Designer Lucy Mitchell wants to shine a light on the coastal plants* that can withstand and thrive in some of the most extreme weather conditions providing inspiration for people across the UK looking for tough, tolerant plants that will withstand the sort of stormy weather that has hit the UK in recent weeks.
In direct contrast designer Michela Trinca is featuring Mediterranean plants that can withstand rising temperatures in her Italian inspired Balcony Garden.
The garden highlights plants such as citrus and bougainvillea that can now be grown in a UK climate because of global warming and the microclimate created by the balcony’s proximity to the building and shelter.
With UK summers projected to become hotter and drier, Tomie’s Cuisine the Nobonsai by Japanese designer Tsuyako Asada explores ways of reducing water consumption through incorporating a “No-waste gardening” method reusing garden waste such as pruned twigs, stems, weeds, and leaves by cutting them into small pieces and placing them on the soil’s surface to retain moisture and using cardboard and newspaper instead of soil at the bottom of pots to further lock in moisture.
As rainfall patterns are becoming more unpredictable due to the effects of climate change, Sam Proctor has focussed on water conservation in The Water Saving Garden sponsored by Affinity Water, showcasing methods to capture, store and re-use water in an affordable and easy to introduce way that reduces maintenance and fuss.
Other gardens in the Balcony and Container category focus on the sanctuary small outside spaces can provide with Elisabeth Wright-McCalla showcasing how you can transform an unloved piece of concrete into a vibrant yet calming and restorative place, whilst Tom Bannister’s The Ecotherapy Garden promotes the benefits of immersing oneself in nature whilst also embracing the current cold plunge therapy trend with a plunge pool enveloped in lush planting as the centrepiece of the garden.
Sonja Kalkschmidt’s Sanctum offers an oasis amidst the chaos of contemporary corporate life and The Addleshaw Goddard Junglette Garden by husband and wife duo Mike McMahon & Jewlsy Mathews creates a biodiverse haven for people and nature featuring a tranquil pond, bird nest, bat box and vibrant flora.
The Balcony and Container Gardens at RHS Chelsea are all designed by first time RHS Chelsea designers giving them an opportunity to design a garden at the world’s most famous flower show.
A full line up of the Balcony & Container Gardens can be found here: https://www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/rhs-chelsea-flower-show/gardens
RHS Chelsea Flower Show runs from 21-25 May 2024 and tickets are available online at rhs.org.uk/chelsea
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