RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022 - part two

I always struggle to write only one post about RHS Chelsea Flower Show.  I think it shows the measure of how much I enjoy it and also just how much there is to see.  Even this year where I think it is reasonable to say there is less in the Grand Pavilion and fewer gardens than there were some years ago; there is still a lot going on.

Does anyone else think the 'H' might have accidentally squashed someone?  I am sure I can see a pair of legs sticking out.....
Connected by Exante
The Sanctuary Gardens are spread a bit throughout the showground these days.  Some are on Rangelagh Gardens which used to house the Artisan Gardens which no longer seem to be a category.  The Sanctuary Gardens are nicely spaced out which is good because in the old days it was often impossible to get through to see the smaller gardens, the squash of people was just too much.
Circle of Life Garden designed by Hiro

I like the Sanctuary Gardens, they are like small vignettes (not vinaigrette as my spell checker just suggested....) 
and they can deliver a powerful message in a relatively small space: The Body Shop Garden designed by Jennifer Hirsch is a conceptual journey from burnout to wellbeing - I think concepts many (most) of us can identify with especially after two hard years of pandemic.  The journey of the garden is positive, it is about how if we take the time to look after ourselves and our environment then we can thrive.  Sounds good to me.
This is the 'Best in Show', gold medal winning 'A Rewilding Garden' designed by Lulu Urquhart and Adam Hunt.  It is a beautiful recreation of a natural landscape showing how nature and people and wildlife can coexist.  The garden features beaver dams and a 'hide' to watch the natural world from.  Beavers were extinct in the UK for over 400 years and have now been introduced to some remote areas.
It is expertly planted and as ever does remind us that leaving wild spaces in our gardens, even a tiny wild space, is very important for how we live with our environment.
I am sure you will be expecting me to mention The Perennial Garden 'With Love' designed by Richard Miers which achieved a silver medal (robbed I tell thee, robbed!).  Ok I am biased, regular readers will know I have a warm place in my heart for the charity Perennial  and I recently completed a fundraising walk to the summit of Snowdon for them (not sure I have quite mentioned this enough..... and it was at night...).  In knowledge of the admission of this bias, I think this is a wonderful garden.  It is very green and very calming and just feels like a nice place to be. This garden won the coveted ‘Peoples Choice’ Award which was fantastic news for the charity and the designer. 
The Morris & Co Garden designed by Ruth Willmott deservedly won a gold medal.  The planting is exquisite and is designed to reflect the patterns and colours used by William Morris.  
Regular readers will also know that when I am not gardening I am sewing, so A Textile Garden for Fashion Revolution designed by Lottie Delamain was going to catch my eye.  The garden was planted to imitate textiles and is about using and promoting the beauty of natural dyes. 
The Medite Smartply Building the future garden designed by Sarah Eberle is another worthy gold medal winner, but I admit I found it hard to capture well when photographing it that gives a real feel how good it really looked.
The Brewin Dolphin Garden designed by Paul Hervey-Brookes received a silver medal (again... robbed) is about brown-field sites being replanted and rehabilitated into being more sustainable spaces.  Many owners of new homes find that their gardens are composed of very poor soils and this garden aims to show what is possible to work with the conditions that you have.
The Place2Be Garden designed by Jamie Butterworth has some of the best planting at the show in my opinion.  It was designed in consultation with pupils at Viking Primary School in West London where it will find its forever home.  It is designed to be a child-friendly space to enable and encourage finding places where children can just sit and be and talk - all vital for mental wellbeing and something very difficult if you do not have that space at home.  I liked this garden a lot and it definitely deserves its gold medal.
Birmingham City Council always put on a good installation at Chelsea and this year they are celebrating the Commonwealth Games that are being hosted in the city.
The Grand Pavilion is always a great mix of stands that enable the various exhibitors to show their creativity.
I do love astrantias so thought this display by Letham Plants showing the life-cycle of astrantias was really good.
and I love the fun of this Chrysanthemum display.  
and I can spend more time being distracted by cactii than is probably reasonable.

So how was it for me? Well it was an interesting show as it often is. I feel that Chelsea is trying to be more accessible and more aware of what is going on in the world.  There seemed to be quite a few women designers taking part and more diversity generally; this is good and to be encouraged.  I worry still that the cost of the tickets is excluding a lot of people; it is not a cheap day out and times are tough and getting tougher financially for many people.  It is however a fun day.  So as ever as one year of Chelsea ends I am already looking forward to what the next year will bring and hoping I will be able to visit.

Take care and be kind

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