May is always an important month in the gardening calendar. The spring flowers are in full bloom, the vegetable growing season is well under way and best of all, it’s the RHS Chelsea Flower Show!
However this year, things are a little different. Thanks to COVID-19 restrictions, Chelsea Flower Show has been postponed until September. The good news is that flower garden lovers won’t have to wait until the autumn to get their Chelsea Flower Show fix. Watch the Chelsea Flower Show virtual programme on the RHS website for garden inspiration, demonstrations and celebrity garden tours.
We’d also recommend checking out the #RHSVirtualChelsea hashtag on social media for extra flower garden tips, tricks and inspiration…
Garden flower tips from the Virtual Chelsea Flower Show
Not had a chance to catch up on the virtual Chelsea Flower Show yet? Just want to watch the highlights? Here’s a quick rundown of some of the key flower garden tips and inspiration we drew from the virtual show.
Sustainable garden design
A recurring theme throughout the virtual shows was sustainable garden design. Gardeners’ World presenter Arit Anderson chatted to Marian Boswall about the importance of listening to your landscape. They also shared tips on improving biodiversity in your garden. Such as:
- Make the most of natural water sources in the garden
- Plant perennials that require less water
- Use mulch to lock in moisture and prevent evaporation
Nurturing the soil
- Identifying your garden’s soil type and understanding which plants work best, to not only cover the ground but also nurture the soil
Looking for local inspiration
- Walk around your local area and see what trees are growing and what native species are thriving
- Use it as inspiration for what to plant in your own garden – big or small
Making the most of a small urban garden
BBC new correspondent and Radio 4 presenter Sangita Myska shared her top tips for making the most of a small urban garden.
Planting in pots – Offers the flexibility to move them around your small garden space. You can also take them with you if you move house.
Shady plants – If your small urban garden is fenced or surrounded by trees, it’s a good idea to choose plants that can cope in partial shade. Consider bamboo plants, azaleas and geraniums to add colour.
If, like Sangita, you get a lot of shade in your garden, it might be worth swapping some of your solid fencing for our decorative garden screens. Maintain a good level of privacy from your neighbours, while still letting in plenty of sunlight for your plants. Plus, our garden screens double up as trellis, so you can make the most of your small space with vertical planting.
Create symmetry – Inspired by the Alhambra and Mughal gardens, Sangita uses symmetrical planting to enhance the look of her small garden space. She’s also added a centrepiece that draws the eyes to the middle. We think our cultural garden screens would make a wonderful addition to a garden like this!
Creating garden displays with edible salads
With Chelsea Flower Show moving to September, many of the growers and nurseries have had to rethink their displays. Lancashire nursery, Brighter Blooms is well known for its zantedeschia (also known as calla lilies), however the new September date falls a little too late for their stunning flowers. Instead, they’ve decided to showcase an attractive display of edible salads, aiming to inspire gardeners with more modest spaces.
The great thing about edible salads is that they can be grown in bowls and small containers, making them suitable for patio and terrace gardens. Cut and come again salads are easy to grow and create beautiful colourful and texturised displays. It’s something a little different from flowers and well worth considering if you have a smaller garden or want to extend your colourful garden displays beyond summer. Add a corten screen as a backdrop to really highlight the beautiful green, purple and red shades of your edible salads.
Creating a cottage garden
Gardener Arthur Parkinson shared his top tips on designing a cottage garden with pots. We loved his idea of creating a ‘bulb lasagne’ in autumn. This involves layering different bulbs like snowdrops, hyacinth, daffodils and tulips, in a large pot to get a beautiful show all the way through spring.
Arthur also shared his hazel stick wigwam, which he uses to display climbing roses and sweet peas. The sweet peas in particular like to have something to grab onto with their tendrils, making the textured sticks a wonderful choice.
Alternatively, you could use our garden screens as trellis for your climbing roses and sweet peas. Choose a screen design from our site with a low infill. Thanks to the laser cut design, you’ll be able to weave your plants in and out for a glorious display. Take a look at our Bakkin screen and Cellular screens for inspiration.
Growing sweet peas from seed or buying them from a garden centre? Don’t forget to pinch the tops to get a bushy plant. Once the flowers start blooming, keep picking them. The more sweet peas you pick, the more you’ll get!
The Queen’s Green Canopy
As part of the Virtual Chelsea Flower Show, they launched the Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC). This is a UK-wide tree planting initiative to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year. The campaign is encouraging people to plant a tree for the Jubilee. We think it’s a lovely way to get families growing trees and benefiting the environment. Which tree will you choose?
How to get Chelsea Flower Show Tickets
The Chelsea Flower Show 2021 will take place in Chelsea, London (if you hadn’t already guessed) between 21st and 26th September. It is the first time in the show’s 108-year history that it’s been hosted in September and will run for 6 days instead of 5.
Instead of celebrating summer horticulture, the September show will focus on the best of autumn flower gardening. Seasonal highlights will include Salvias, Asters, Dahlias and ornamental grasses, as well as fruit and vegetables.
Chelsea Flower Show tickets can be purchased from the RHS website and are priced from £83.75 to the public or from £66.75 for customers with RHS membership. They’ll be selling fast so we recommend booking your tickets now to avoid disappointment!