My Top 6 Chelsea Gardens

May 19, 2009

Garden Design Unlimited has some great pictures of all the Chelsea Flower Show 2009 gardens.  If I were there, I would be making my top 5 list of favorites right now.  I am always compelled to do this – but it is hard to scrutinize by photo as I would in person, so I give you my top 6 with another one thrown in for discussion sake.

1).  I am quite partial to the Best in Show Garden. But since I already shared photos, I will leave pictures off.  Congratulations to Ulf Nordjfell.

2) I like the The Canary Islands Spa Garden a lot too.  It seems a bit dark, which I am not sure I love, but the whole idea of a spa garden (which was the theme of my own Chelsea submission) is something that I am fascinated to see.

David Cubera and James Wong Sponsor canary islands spa garden chelsea 2009

The Canary Islands Spa Garden
Designers: David Cubera and James Wong Sponsor

3) Normally I am not a fan of the ‘re-creation’  gardens (as I call them).  They are those that seek to be nostalgic towards (generally) a region of England and simply re-create nature.  Almost always pretty to look at but always leaves me thinking that I could have been better off going for a walk in that place.  Anyway, though a little like that, I don’t care, I find the The Fenland Alchemist garden charming and I am totally intrigued by the lore of the garden and learning what an alchemist might have planted in such a place.

Stephen Hall and Jane Besser fenland alchemist garden chelsea flower show 2009

The Fenland Alchemist Garden
Designers: Stephen Hall and Jane Besser

4) Another Gold Medal show garden that has a knockout plant palette.  I am absolutely blown-away by the deep almost navy blue and raspberry red plant combo.

Luciano Giubbilei laurent perrier garden by luciano gubbnie

The Laurent-Perrier Garden
Designer: Luciano Giubbilei

5) Gardens for a purpose seems to be a bit of a trend.  For some of the same reasons I am fascinated with an alchemist’s garden, I am also interested in a perfumer’s garden.  What are they planting there?  I am so excited to learn more.

perfume garden by Laurie Chetwood and Patrick Collins chelsea flower show 2009

Perfume Garden
Designers: Laurie Chetwood and Patrick Collins

6) The concrete root-like structures in this garden are so interesting to look at.  I can’t tell if they would make me feel a bit like I was in a padded room or not, but the tree-like shape fascinates me.  I am wondering how they created those forms?

Paul Hensey fenchurch garden chelsea flower show 2009

The Fenchurch Garden
Designer: Paul Hensey

And Finally — this garden doesn’t make my top 6 list…but I wanted to share it with you anyway.  I love seeing an idea that I had for a client get tested out by someone else.  A couple years ago, I designed a water feature and accent for a client who has a gray, poured concrete retaining wall that is 8 ft high and about 60 ft long.  A huge thing to look at and real design challenge.  Anyway, I suggested using stone veneer to make it look like it had layer deposits and crags.  Not to cover the wall but to create a modern art element on it.  Very similar to this wall feature, I am excited to see someone else have the idea too.  Also, I can see that perhaps it is a lot more artistic an endeavor than I thought as I don’t particularly like the way this looks but can see what needs to be done to achieve my vision.  (when that client gets around to implementing it).

Tomoko Osonoe modern rock garden Chelsea flower show 2009

The Modern Rock Garden
Designer: Tomoko Osonoe
all images in this post from Garden Design Unlimited

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  1. Deb Aldo says:

    Love the Chelsea shots. As to how they made the cement roots, very cool btw: The were made upside down in a mold made likely of plastic, styrofoam or other maleable surface that was hardened with some other sort of backing. Pour the cement in flip it over, clean it off and viola!

    Trying to figure out this twitter thing! See you in Chelsea next year.

  2. Nan Quck says:

    June 2009
    Greetings, I was at the Chelsea Flower Show this year, as an Exhibitor, and was thus able
    to see these Show Gardens before the huge crowds of visitors arrived. If you plan to attend
    the 2010 Chelsea Show, I recommend that you buy the Gala Preview ticket…the only way
    you’ll be able to truly SEE anything there. Best- Nan
    P.S. My website has a photo of my Chelsea Hat Tent display.

    • rochelle says:

      Hi Nan,
      So great that you were able to exhibit, was it your first chelsea? I am headed to your site now to check out your hat tent display.
      Glad to see you here…and I still want to chat more about colors…maybe we can still get together?

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