The gardener's eye

The Gardener's Eye

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Best in Plants at Chelsea

While I was at the Chelsea Flower Show last week, I was struck by the interesting plant selection in two Show Gardens. The best plantings, in my opinion were The Arthritis Research UK Garden designed by Chris Beardshaw and the Best Show Garden winner, The Trailfinders Australian Garden designed by Philip Johnson.

The focal point of the Radiant Garden was a sculpture by Anna Gillespie called To the Limit

The planting used a palette of pinks, purples, blues and oranges including Iris germanica ‘Supreme Sultan’, Lupinus ‘Masterpiece’, Lunaria ‘Corfu Blue’, Tanacetum parthenium, Escholtzia californica, Echium pininana, Geranium palmatum and Anchusa ‘Loddon Royalist’.

The orange of Escholtzia californica pops on edge of the planting while the spires of Echium pininana tower above

The gigantic umbels of Angelica edulis add texture to the planting to this Show Garden which also won the People's Choice Award

A studio structure appears to float above the The Trailfinders Australian Garden consisting of plants native to Australia. The garden incorporates a sustainable design in an urban environment that includes water capture and conservation, the use of recycled materials and the promotion of biodiversity. The studio has solar panels that provide enough power for the entire landscape.

It was the tapestry of textures in the foreground of the garden that caught my eye.

None of the plants were familiar to me. Maybe my blogging friends from Australia will help with some plant ID's!


  1. You have made me jealous.

  2. I was jealous of all those plants. You can do most of them, I'll be. So maybe I'm jealous of you, Les!

  3. Michael, I think the tree-like plant in the second photo from the bottom is a Dasylirion. I recently attended my high school reunion in Canton, Miss., where I learned a classmate, Joseph (formerly "Kenny") Smith grows and imports large specimen plants from Mexico and ships them all over the world. The February-March issue of Garden Design featured him in an 8-page article in which I saw many Dasylirions. (This may have been Garden Design's final issue.) Of course, I was fascinated to learn this. Hope your visit to England was great.

  4. James,
    I had a great trip. I don't think that plant is a Dasylirion. It is not on the plant list and all the plants in the garden are from Australia. Billy would surely know that plant. Maybe he will see this post and enlighten us....



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