Thursday, May 24, 2012

Chelsea 2012: Show Gardens

The Show gardens were divided in three categories this year, large show gardens, smaller Artisan gardens and Fresh gardens. 

Of the main show gardens our personal highlights were the "Quiet Time: DMZ Forbidden Garden", Joe Swifts first entry to Chelsea "The Homebase Teenage Cancer Trust Garden", Flemings "Trailfinders Australian Garden". The overall winner was Cleve West's Garden.

The M&G Garden

Fantastic Garden by Chris Beardshaw, best hobbit house in the show!

Flemings Australian Garden
Cleve West's prize winning garden.

The Homebase Teenage Cancer Trust Garden

Diarmuid Gavin's Pyramid in the background and DMZ forbidden garden in the foreground.

The Artisan gardens were also interesting, our favourite (and the Judges Favourite too), was the "Satoyama Life" Japanese  styled garden.  We also particularly liked the Scottish Agricultural College Garden which had a theme relating to an imaginary plant hunter.

Scottish Agricultural College Garden

Satoyama Life

The Fresh gardens is a new concept this year, and we didn't really think it worked too well, the basic idea was to do something different, modern or unusual, but it just didn't seem to gel very well. The Fresh gardens were placed with various retail displays, and some of them (for example the Sculpture Park display) were far more interesting than the actual gardens in this category. It seems the Chelsea judges were also disappointed with only one garden attaining the much coveted Gold Medal.

Spot the spray-painted Agave...
The Renault Garden
This was the winner in the Fresh Gardens category
After a busy day its been fun to watch the more relaxed TV coverage and compare the gardens (they look bigger on TV!)



  1. Gaz, thanks for your coverage of the Chelsea Garden Show. Fascinating to see what designers come up with. I seem to like the more traditional and romantic garden schemes best so my favorite is definitively Cleves West's garden and the Japanese style one.

  2. We liked the Cleve West one and can see why it won. However, there were quite a few gardens with a similar style of planting so gardens such as the Japanese one really stood out - plus we love the Japanese style of planting anyway!

  3. These are some great gardens. Fantastic plantings and design both.

    Cher Sunray Gardens

  4. Thank you for the lovely tour! I particularly like The M&G Garden and the Scottish Agricultural College Garden.

  5. Cher - Glad you liked seeing them

    CG - glad you liked the pics and the gardens.

  6. Ok, my favorite is the hobbit house garden! I also love the Scottish Agricultural hHouse Garden, also the prize winning Fresh Gardens display. So many lovely gardens to see there. Thanks for the tour!

  7. I've been taping Chelsea but haven't seen any yet. Thanks for the foretaste, I shall keep my eyes peeeled for you two. I love the SAG garden too. They have a best hobbit house medal? Never knew! Dave

  8. Debs, the Hobbit house is lovely (although I don't suppose they call the building by that name!)

    David, I think we should suggest that as a category from now on :)

  9. I was disappointed with Cleve's garden this year. I liked the dementia garden he did a few years back more. Good to see bearded irises making a comeback. I had forgotten how much I like them. Very enjoyable Chelsea posts. Thanks

  10. How fantastic to have your very own pictures of the Chelsea flower show. I was pleased to see Joe Swift get a gold with his first entry to Chelsea. I must say, as a presenter its hard to beat the enthusiasm of Carol Clyne.

  11. Great to see the gardens through someone else's eyes. I always find when I get home I've missed something! I agree the Fresh gardens concept didn't work. And the one with the jewel-like sculptures was VERY similar to one at Tatton a few years back - not very fresh!

  12. Thank you so much for sharing the show with us. I found lots of nice ideas to possibly incorporate into my garden in the future.

  13. Like David, I have got the Chelsea coverage recorded and waiting for me to sit down long enough to go through it, but it is always more interesting to hear other people's impressions of the show, so I shall have to delve back into your other posts on it. The one programme I did see made me fall in love with Cleve's planting (as always), Joe's garden and the DMZ garden so good to know they held up well "in the flesh" - or should that be "in the green"?

  14. Janet, glad you enjoyed the photos :)

    Alistair, We really liked Joe Swifts garden, it was one that you could actually imagine being a real garden, and yes Carol is very enthusiastic!

    Ian, interesting to hear that the Jewel one wasn't new, I wonder if the Fresh Gardens will be back next year?

    Bom, looking forward to seeing how you develop your ideas!

    Janet, Enjoy watching all the coverage!

  15. the hobbit house was called the Lantern
    see why at


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