Though I’ll not be able to visit the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show, my thoughts always swing back to it at this time of year. This is a glimpse into one of my favourite gardens from a few years ago: The Arthritis Research UK Garden, designed by Chris Beardshaw and Keith Chapman Landscapes.
I love mixed, herbaceous borders – especially twin ones like these that echo each other, pulling the eye in all directions until all but the most disciplined visitors start to flit from one plant to another like large bees, unsure which nectar they should sample next.
The borders were packed to overflowing with colourful plants, that had been lavished with the care needed to force them into bloom, hauled to the show, then tiered up from compact at the front to towering spires at the back. That’s the joy of the most alluring show gardens – they are supranatural and unashamed to be so.
Sculptor Anna Gillespie created the bronze figure titled To The Limit which anchors the design, providing horizontal lines of cool blue that counterbalance all those verticals.
To those who are lucky enough to be exhibiting at this year’s show or excitedly waiting their time to visit, I send my very best wishes. Garden-lovers who, like me, will be watching from afar may enjoy browsing The Daily Telegraph’s coverage which includes a gallery of all the 2017 Chelsea Show Gardens.