Catherine StewartChelsea Flower Show this week

Hugo Bugg Royal Bank of Canada Design

Hugo Bugg for Royal Bank of Canada

London’s famous Chelsea Flower Show opens this week with several of the usual designer suspects but also a swag of new and emerging designers. So will it be a little bit more cutting edge and a little bit less cow parsley?

Arthritis Research UK garden, 2013

Arthritis Research UK garden, 2013. Beautiful planting, pretty ordinary space.

Many critics have labelled the past few Chelsea shows as samey-samey, featuring lots of very decorative intermingled wildflower planting around rather plain and uninteresting open spaces. This year welcomes a few new designers like Hugo Bugg, Harry and David Rich, Matt Keightley and Jeremy Herbert (an ‘in house’ designer with Stoke on Trent’s landscaping team), although ‘new’ means ‘new to Chelsea’ not unknown, as most of the newcomers have exhibited at Tatton Park of Hampton Court Palace shows before.

Hugo Bugg Royal Bank of Canada Design

Hugo Bugg design ‘Embrace the Rain’ for the Royal Bank of Canada garden

Stoke on Trent's 2014 design from its in-house landscaping team

Stoke on Trent’s 2014 design from its in-house landscaping team

I very much like the look of these 2 designs with their interesting ground plane shapes.

With 2014 the 100th anniversary of the beginning of WWI, war features in two of this year’s gardens, by Matthew Keightley (Hope of the Horizon) and Charlotte Rowe (No Man’s Land).

Hope on the Horizon Matt Keightley

Hope on the Horizon Matt Keightley

Charlotte Row Design ABF charity

Charlotte Row Design ABF charity

I also rather like the look of ‘A Garden For First Touch’ by Patrick Collins, with its winding stream through a ‘valley’ of terraces.

First Touch - Patrick Collins

First Touch – Patrick Collins

Look out for Chelsea Flower Show 2014 news here on GardenDrum!

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Catherine Stewart

About Catherine Stewart

Award-winning garden journalist, blogger and photographer; writer for garden magazines and co-author of 'Waterwise Gardening'; landscape designer turned landscape design judge and critic; compulsive networker and lover of generally putting fingers in lots of pies. Particularly mud pies. Original creator of GardenDrum. South Coast NSW.

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