Women-led design teams dominate innovative small space garden category at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Bringing the beauty of gardens to unused spaces on train platforms and the cosy feel of a pub to an inner city balcony are among some of the big ideas planted into the smallest of spaces at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The Balcony and Container Gardens category has returned for its third year at RHS Chelsea and for the first time, all of the design teams in this section are headed up by women.

A category aiming to assist emerging designers to get a foot in the door at the world’s most prestigious flower show, backgrounds of entrants include serving with the police and public interest law. All ten have been mentored by multi-award winning RHS Chelsea designer Paul Hervey-Brookes.

They have incorporated some of the biggest issues facing the nation into their designs, with a wealth of ideas for how people with limited space and resources can incorporate drought-tolerant planting and easy-to-grow edible plants.

Design duo Amelia Bouquet and Emilie Bausager make their RHS Chelsea debut with The Platform Garden. Inspired by unused overground platform spaces in London, the garden, which features concrete bins as planters and novel ways to harvest rainwater, will eventually be re-homed at a nearby station.

Emma Tipping, who began her career working in an office in central London, has designed The St George ‘Alight Here’ Balcony Garden which provides a relaxing, playful space with the character and comfort of a good local pub for young professionals to escape the pressures of modern life.

Julie Haylock, a former staffer at Avon and Somerset Constabulary, has designed a garden inspired by the pioneering palaeontologist Mary Anning offering viewers the walk through time experienced along the Jurassic-coast, while Gini Denison-Pender, a lawyer specialising in children’s cases who has ventured into garden design, has teamed up with Philippa Craddock and Anna Garner to twin the magic of rainforests and the exciting world of children’s books in their balcony garden, The Doorstep Library Garden: Words Take You Places.

Camilla Windsor-Clive has paired with Joanne Edmonds to design a Container Garden acting as a sensory healing space for visually impaired people — a demographic close to Camilla’s heart as her two sons suffer from Stargardt disease.

The gardens will go before the RHS judging panel on 21 May before the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023, sponsored by The Newt in Somerset, opens to the public from 23 to 27 May.

Hervey-Brookes said: “The Balcony and Container Gardens this year do not shy away from the big issues of the day and they demonstrate that even the smallest space can have a big impact. From grow-your-own to climate resilience, they are packed full of ideas for visitors to try at home to help make their own spaces more productive, resilient, and restorative.”

Helena Pettit, RHS Director of Gardens and Shows, said: “There is much work to be done around increasing diversity in horticulture but it is an encouraging step forward to have a garden category at RHS Chelsea filled with so many women. We hope seeing these women create beautiful gardens at the world’s most famous flower show will inspire the next generation of female designers to pursue a career in horticulture.  A celebration of ‘Women in Horticulture’ will also be at the heart of the Great Pavilion this year.”

Tickets to RHS Chelsea Flower Show are currently available, including RHS Chelsea Late:

Notes to editors

For more details and images, please contact the RHS Press Office at [email protected]

RHS Chelsea Flower Show Balcony and Container Gardens line-up for May 2023:
Balcony Gardens
The Restorative Balcony Garden sponsored by Viking by Christina Cobb
The St George ‘Alight Here’ Garden by Emma Tipping
The Folio Society’s Reading Room Garden by Katherine Holland
The Doorstep Library Garden: Words Take You Places by Gini Denison-Pender, Philippa Craddock & Anna Garner

Container Gardens
The Platform Garden by Amelia Bouquet & Emilie Bausager
The Shifting Garden by The Chelsea Gardener
The Hampden Stargardt Garden by Joanne Edmonds & Camilla Windsor-Clive
The Mary Anning Space to Learn Garden by Julie Haylock & Andrew Haylock
Feels Like Home by Rosemary Coldstream
Full details are available here:

RHS Chelsea Flower Show: 23 – 27 May 2023
22 May: Press Day (accreditation opens from January 2023)
8am-8pm, 23 – 24 May: RHS members only
8am – 8pm, 25 – 26 May: RHS members and public
5.30pm – 10pm, 26 May: RHS members and public – Chelsea Late
8am – 5.30pm, 27 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 The Newt in Somerset, visit

About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) was founded in 1804 and is the UK’s largest gardening charity.

The RHS vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place via its inspirational gardens and shows, science research and advisory, extensive library collections and far-reaching education and community programmes. With over 600,000 members the RHS also shares its horticultural knowledge and expertise with millions of people every year through its website and publications.

In 2021, the RHS launched its Sustainability Strategy, committing to be net positive for nature and people by 2030. The supporting RHS Planet-Friendly Gardening Campaign will continue to harness the power of the UK’s 30 million gardeners to help tackle the climate and biodiversity crisis.

We are solely funded by our members, visitors and supporters. For more information visit

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

About The Newt in Somerset
The Newt in Somerset is a working country estate in Somerset, between the towns of Bruton and Castle Cary. The original Georgian manor house and farm buildings sit amidst farmland, woodland, orchards and acres of gardens - shaped over centuries by successive enthusiasts, including renowned garden designer and writer Penelope Hobhouse, who first opened them to the public in the mid 1980s. The gardens’ latest incarnation was designed by landscape artist Patrice Taravella. Influenced by thousands of years of horticultural history, mixing ornamental and productive elements, they are a feast for the eyes and the stomach.

With a focus on Somerset heritage, sustainable agriculture and artisan production, the estate encompasses a luxury hotel and spa within Hadspen House and the Farmyard, designed by Karen Roos, in addition to restaurants, farm shops, immersive garden attractions and a Cyder Press & Cellar. For more information visit:

Get involved

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.