Chelsea plant trends

Give your garden the Chelsea touch with these spectacular plants which have proven to be a hit with the designers this year


Several plants featured in many of the Show Gardens at RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year, and can add a touch of beauty to your own garden, whatever your style. We've picked our favourite eight show stealers.


Vebena officinalisWith its lovely heads of white flowers floating atop tall, slender stems, Valeriana officinalis as seen in The Harrods British Eccentrics Garden is an elegant but easily grown perennial. Its ‘transparent’ nature means that it will add height to the front while allowing views through to plants behind. It thrives in any soil, (as long as it's not bone dry).

Orlaya grandifloraShowy white heads of lace-like early summer flowers above fine foliage on  Orlaya grandiflora in God’s Own Country- a Garden for Yorkshire. It associates well with a multitude of plants – it's particularly striking in this garden with the cool blue flowers of Iris ‘Soft Blue’.

Viburnum plicatum 'Mariesii'A Garden for Yorkshire also features Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum ‘Mariesii’. A superb deciduous shrub, in late spring it has flat heads of upward-facing flowers, arranged along the tops of branches. It is an ideal plant for a focal point in sun or light shade, in soil that does not get too dry, and it is best given plenty of space. In autumn, the foliage develops appealing fiery tints.

Ballota pseudodictamnusIf you have dry, dusty soil in full sun, the tough, ground covering Ballota pseudodictamnus in The Brewin Dolphin Garden is a great choice. Its silvery, densely hairy foliage forms a rounded cushion, and in summer little tubular pink flowers appear on rounded heads.

Eremurus x isabellinus 'Pinokkio'Foxtail lilies, like this eyecatching orange Eremurus × isabellinus ‘Pinokkio’ appeared in several show gardens including the Harrods British Eccentrics Garden. Plants need sun and plenty of moisture in the growing season, although they are best dry over winter.

Yucca rostrataOf all plants at the show, Yucca rostrata in The Winton Beauty of Mathematics Garden must rate as among the most impressive. Forming initially a large silver-blue rosette of long, pointed, slender, leaves, wiith age, the plant develops a trunk several metres high. Grow in full sun in well drained soil.

Isatis tinctoriaCommonly known as woad, Isatis tinctoria made a statement in l’Occitane Garden. Grown for centuries for the blue dye that is produced from its leaves it has airy heads of sweet, honey-scented yellow flowers in early summer.

Lysimachia atropurpurea 'Beujolais'The useful perennial Lysimachia atropurpurea ‘Beaujolais’ with its silvery foliage bears erect spires of red-purple tubular flowers in early summer. It looks great with a range of border plants from ornamental grasses to showier perennials. Grow in sun or light shade in soil that does not get too dry.


As chosen by Phil Clayton, Assistant Editor of the RHS members' magazine, The Garden.

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