Ideas to take home from RHS Chelsea 2019

There are so many inspirational gems at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show, many are unachievable in most gardens, but here are five ideas from this year’s show to take home for your plot

Paint old oil drums and use them as planters. Displayed on the The CAMFED Garden: Giving Girls in Africa a Space to Grow. Image: Jean Vernon

It’s pretty unlikely you’ll be able to install a full size canal plot in your garden, but the show is full of great ideas that you can take home. Here are few that we found interesting and very achievable that you could consider for your own garden.

Oil drum containers

You only need to take a look at Debi Holland’s feature on unusual containers to see that pretty much anything that holds compost can be used to grow plants. On The CAMFED Garden: Giving Girls in Africa a Space to Grow, there are some large recycled oil cans that have been painted in bright colours, filled with soil and used to grow edible plants.

Paint old oil drums and use them as planters. Displayed on the The CAMFED Garden: Giving Girls in Africa a Space to Grow.
Image: Jean Vernon

These are great growing containers because they hold plenty of soil, are stable so they are unlikely to blow over in high winds, and can be decorated to suit your garden style. Remember to ensure there are drainage holes for the excess water to escape. 289

Decorative moss balls

Moss is a very undervalued garden ‘plant’. It stays green as long as it is kept moist and it has a wonderful texture. Over the years it has been used creatively in a variety of gardens and indeed even at this year’s show the Artisan Garden Green Switch uses mosses in its Japanese garden. You can’t go and harvest moss in the wild, but you can make your own moss balls or buy moss balls to decorate around the base of a specimen tree in a planter.

Use moss balls as a decorative mulch on containerised trees. As seen on the Oxenwood stand at RHS Chelsea 2019.
Image: Jean Vernon

This display was on the Oxenwood Stand on Pavilion Way on the showground at stand 606.

Cornus stems

Using hazel sticks as pea supports has been a traditional, rustic and eco way to support these plants for decades if not centuries. But there are lots of other plant stems that can also be used.

Use the rich red stems of dog wood to support sweetpeas and climbers. As seen on The Montessori Centenary Children’s Garden
Image: Jean Vernon

On the Space to Grow – The Montessori Centenary Children’s Garden, there are plants with soft cream and pink sweet pea flowers clambering up dark red cornus stems. It’s a charming effect adding additional colour to the scene and providing a practical use for the prunings of the vigorous plant. Just lovely.

Underneath space

Here’s another idea from the Space to Grow – The Montessori Centenary Children’s Garden, utilizing every aspect of the space available.

Think about the space beneath a garden building. Can it be used as a den? As seen on The Montessori Centenary Children’s Garden RHS Chelsea 2019
Image: Jean Vernon

Using a shipping container as a classroom is a great idea, but here the container has been raised so that the floor creates a roof over an area beneath. This ‘underground’ area makes a great den, perfect storage space and a shelter or play space for the little ones. Of course it is essential to ensure that it is correctly installed and safely positioned by professional engineers.

Flowers outside

We all love having cut flowers in the house, but an informal arrangement of flowers outdoors can quickly transform a dining table, or even just a corner of the garden.

Pick flowers and use them outside as well as in the home. As seen on the Oxenwood stand at RHS Chelsea. Image: Jean Vernon

You can pick a posy and pop it in a jam jar or if you’ve got a lot of flowers, then use a water jug or vase. Don’t leave it out in heavy wind or rain as it might blow over. It’s the perfect way to decorate your outdoor dining area.

 

 

Jean Vernon

About Jean Vernon

Jean Vernon is a slightly quirky, bee friendly, alternative gardener. She doesn’t follow the rules and likes to push the boundaries a bit just to see what happens. She has a fascination for odd plants, especially edibles and a keen interest in growing for pollinators especially bees. She’s rather obsessed with the little buzzers. Telegraph Gardening Correspondent, mostly testing and trialing products and Editor-In-Chief for Richard Jackson’s Garden.
@TheGreenJeanie
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