Small space gardens at RHS Chelsea Flower Show tackle extreme weather conditions

Designers of the Balcony and Container Gardens at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show are full of inspiration to help the UKs gardeners tackle extreme weather conditions from gale force winds to rising temperatures.

Storm resilient plants take centre stage in the mgr Changing Tides Garden which celebrates the specialist plants that have adapted to the harsh conditions found along the strandline of the UK's shingle beaches.  Designer Lucy Mitchell wants to shine a light on the coastal plants* that can withstand and thrive in some of the most extreme weather conditions providing inspiration for people across the UK looking for tough, tolerant plants that will withstand the sort of stormy weather that has hit the UK in recent weeks.
In direct contrast designer Michela Trinca is featuring Mediterranean plants that can withstand rising temperatures in her Italian inspired Balcony Garden. The garden highlights plants such as citrus and bougainvillea that can now be grown in a UK climate because of global warming and the microclimate created by the balcony’s proximity to the building and shelter.
With UK summers projected to become hotter and drier, Tomie's Cuisine the Nobonsai by Japanese designer Tsuyako Asada explores ways of reducing water consumption through incorporating a “No-waste gardening" method reusing garden waste such as pruned twigs, stems, weeds, and leaves by cutting them into small pieces and placing them on the soil's surface to retain moisture and using cardboard and newspaper instead of soil at the bottom of pots to further lock in moisture.
As rainfall patterns are becoming more unpredictable due to the effects of climate change, Sam Proctor has focussed on water conservation in The Water Saving Garden sponsored by Affinity Water, showcasing methods to capture, store and re-use water in an affordable and easy to introduce way that reduces maintenance and fuss.

Other gardens in the Balcony and Container category focus on the sanctuary small outside spaces can provide with Elisabeth Wright-McCalla showcasing how you can transform an unloved piece of concrete into a vibrant yet calming and restorative place, whilst Tom Bannister’s The Ecotherapy Garden promotes the benefits of immersing oneself in nature whilst also embracing the current cold plunge therapy trend with a plunge pool enveloped in lush planting as the centrepiece of the garden.  Sonja Kalkschmidt’s Sanctum offers an oasis amidst the chaos of contemporary corporate life and The Addleshaw Goddard Junglette Garden by husband and wife duo Mike McMahon & Jewlsy Mathews creates a biodiverse haven for people and nature featuring a tranquil pond, bird nest, bat box and vibrant flora.
The Balcony and Container Gardens at RHS Chelsea are all designed by first time RHS Chelsea designers giving them an opportunity to design a garden at the world’s most famous flower show. A full line up of the Balcony & Container Gardens can be found here:
RHS Chelsea Flower Show runs from 21-25 May 2024 and tickets are available online at

Notes to editors

For further information, interviews and images, please contact [email protected].
**Five key storm resilient plants that will feature in the garden include:
  • Crambe maritima: Extremely long tap roots that send out rootlets which fan out, anchoring the plant against the wind so that it doesn’t snap in strong winds. The leaves have a strong central core that support them against the wind, and the waxy surface prevents water loss in drying winds. 
  • Pinus sylvestris ‘Watereri’: Needle-Like leaves reduce water loss and prevent tearing. 
  • Crataegus monogyna: A hardy shrub or small tree with a deep root system and tough foliage, good as a windbreak to slow down winds.  
  • Foeniculum vulgare: Tall plant with flexible stems that bend without breaking 
  • Sedum acre: Sturdy low growing plants are able to conserve their resources and soak up excessive water from storms. 

RHS Chelsea Flower Show: 21 – 25 May 2024
20 May: Press Day (accreditation opens from January 2024)
8am-8pm, 21-22 May: RHS members only
8am-8pm, 23-24 May: RHS members and public
5.30pm-10pm, 24 May: RHS members and public – Chelsea Late
8am-5.30pm, 25 May: RHS members and public
Venue: Royal Hospital Chelsea, Royal Hospital Road, London SW3 4SR
Ticket prices vary and RHS members receive discount prices. Book here:
To find out more about Project Giving Back visit
To find out more about our headline sponsor The Newt in Somerset, visit 
About the RHS
Since our formation in 1804, the RHS has grown into the UK’s leading gardening charity, touching the lives of millions of people. Perhaps the secret to our longevity is that we’ve never stood still. In the last decade alone we’ve taken on the largest hands-on project the RHS has ever tackled by opening RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford, Greater Manchester, and invested in the science that underpins all our work by building RHS Hilltop – The Home of Gardening Science. 

We have committed to being net positive for nature and people by 2030. We are also committed to being truly inclusive and to reflect all the communities of the UK.  

Across our five RHS gardens we welcome more than three million visitors each year to enjoy over 34,000 different cultivated plants. Events such as the world famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show, other national shows, our schools and community work, and partnerships such as Britain in Bloom, all spread the shared joy of gardening to wide-reaching audiences.
Throughout it all we’ve held true to our charitable core – to encourage and improve the science, art and practice of horticulture –to share the love of gardening and the positive benefits it brings. For more information visit  

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.