Chelsea Flower Show 2020 - Trends to watch

We now all know that nature and gardens keep us sane. They are calming, peaceful and restorative but they can also be refreshing, enlightening and invigorating. The RHS Chelsea Garden show every May has been a beacon for the Landscaping and Gardening world. Most of us sit and watch in wonder, a few get to visit but many of us are influenced for years to come by the design inspiration that starts at Chelsea. So, as we enter a strange year where the show will be, for the first time ever, virtual – what are the threads we can pull from this year’s show and incorporate into our own gardens?

Ok, my job would be easy if I could say 2/3’s of the gardens this year used ….reclaimed bricks, or dry stone walls, or York flag paving – but they don’t. It is all a bit more subtle this year. In fact, if you read my interior trend 2020 blog it is looking a bit familiar.

Well the overarching main theme this year is GREEN!


The prestigious M&G garden highlights this by explaining that 30% of the Worlds population live in Cities and that using neglected spaces and urban greening is necessary. So repurposing space as well as materials is to be a fashionable thing. So, it is time to take the before photos of your neglected garden and get to work! Every farmer in the land will know the photo friendly landscapes that we all love are managed. There is someone in the background planting trees, hedges and headlands full of wildflowers or building drystone walls and barns. Leaving nature to itself is ok but actively getting involved creates better spaces for wildlife and plants.


Water availability tend to slosh from one end of the seesaw to the other – we either have too much or too little! Water clearly need to be managed! From saving precious water to use and enjoy to encouraging excessive water to drain away without negatively impacting us. Imaginative ways to capture water using repurposed tanks, troughs and containers can be focal points and magnets for wildlife. They can be put on different levels for everyone to enjoy safely and be as small as a tub or as large as you like. Water is used in nearly every show garden, it is used to create movement and sound to immerse and lead the visitor through the space. Or it is used in quiet, literally reflective spaces to stop and calm the visitor.


The tactile and sustainable characteristics of timber as well as its malleability has also been used in many of the gardens. From being used as functional benches and seating to forming ribbons of structure creating flow and movement through the space linking and framing areas. One of the prettiest uses is to create a pergola. Reclaimed Sea Groynes are set with stained glass panels to create a secluded seating area that would look amazing as the sunlight shone in the Bicester Garden design.


Chelsea has always been a strong advocate of the reclaimed materials industry. In fact, gardeners over the ages have made to most of spare local materials hard landscape their creations. This year there were reclaimed bricks forming walled gardens, reclaimed metal piping weaving sculptural shapes, dry stone walling and large rocks punctuating designs. All of which can be sourced from a local reclaim yard. They are natural, local, with low carbon footprints and best of all work seamlessly with nature. Within a very short time they become home to a wonderful array of wildlife which you simply don’t get with new landscaping materials.


Most of the gardens were intent on creating a space that recreates nature, to sooth and relax. Or using the choice of medicinal plants and natural materials to create a healing, cosseting environment. There was little formality and when it was presented there was a softness in the planting and plant choice. The future senses a need for us to heal both ourselves and our relationship with our environment.

Did you know? We created a show garden for the RHS Malvern spring show in 2007. We were awarded a

Silver Gilt Medal of which we are hugely proud.

If you would like to create a show garden all of your very own, please get in touch. We love to help guide and support you through the ideas, planning, development and execution to create a garden to dream in.

Tel 01242 609564


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