The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 this May opened my eyes to a diverse take on gardening. Impressed by the beautiful blooms and colours of The Grand Pavilion, I also loved seeing what gardening could really be about on the 'Fresh' newcomer platform challenging design, form and concept.
Here are my top picks from the show...
NSO: Dark Matter - Howard Miller Design
Congratulations to my good friend Howard Miller & his amazing team for their gold medal winning Dark Matter garden voted 'Best Fresh Garden'.
The Dark Matter garden is not about colourful flora and fauna, but rather built to enthuse young people about science and technology. Drawing the masses, this garden was certainly one of the most creative in show.
Taking a secluded seat in the heart of the grasses you become part of the garden - positioned in such a way where the garden is forced to negotiate itself around your presence as you yourself become the important 'matter'.
See more from the designer: Howard Miller Design
Designer Howard Miller
Thailand: Land of Buddhism
A symbol of colour and grandure, this gigantic Buddhist garden embodied the basic philosophy of the Thais - embracing love, peace, freedom, charity, kindness and hospitality to other human beings.
The vibrant temples, ornamentation and floral art was truly spectacular. I am in total ore of the work that had gone into such a magnificent display!
The World Vision garden
Inspired by Cambodia this garden represented the fear and hunger that vulnerable children in Cambodia live with.
Visually striking, the stepped translucent rods (representing rice paddy fields) shone bright in the sunshine, whilst the blue sky reflected beautifully in the surface of the feared dark water. Mirrored cactus filled boxes cleverly represent the danger beneath the opaque blackened surface.
The Fragrance Garden from Harrods
Heart Notes was a celebration of perfume through the medium of flowers, reflecting the cross-fertilisation of nature and science, as well as traditional floral fragrances.
Test tubes and beakers were met with pristine large white paper flowers and digital innovation as you could watch the garden bloom in colour through your smart phone or tablet!
'Candy' from Tulipmania - Paul Cummins
As you enter into The Great Pavilion you are greeted by an elaborately decorated 8m high 'Tulip Totem' featuring 4,000 hand painted ceramic tulips.
Cummins's 'Tulipmania' is reflection of a tulip growing craze that took the Netherlands in the 17th century, which has gone on to be one of the most popular flowers in competition at the RHS show for over 300 years.
Cummins Tulips are inspired by love, forgiveness and prized beauty.
Whilst not usually something that would take my eye, I couldn't help but be intrigued and amazed by these phenomenal creatures from Fiona Jackson. Where else but Chelsea would you see a shell encrusted piggy tub chair!?
RHS Chelsea 2015 was a varied mix of tradition meets modernity. Proven by the diverse spectrum of attendees, it's reach appeals to many and I'm looking forward to seeing what lies ahead from this years exciting 'Fresh' designers!