Small gardens packed with big ideas

Chelsea is always full of trendy ideas to try at home, particularly for smaller gardens. Here's a selection of stylish ideas from past shows

Grow a living wall

Adopt the exemplary style of the Urban Flow Garden – voted the Best Space to Grow Garden 2018 – and green your home by turning an exterior wall into a living larder, with fruit, veg, salad and herbs all growing vertically.

Urban Flow Garden

Take a leaf out of The Seedlip Garden's book and utilise your roof space – it could improve your insulation too.

The Seedlip GardenHow to grow a green wall

How to plant a green roof

Collect rainwater

Take home tips from Tony Woods' Urban Flow Garden with features designed to catch and use rainwater run-off. The laser-cut, weathered steel panels, interspersed with permeable paving, allow rainwater to flow through and be stored, while also watering the plants below.

Urban Flow GardenAdvice on collecting, storing and reusing rainwater.

Settle into cosy, enclosed seating

Play with the depth of seating in your garden. Take inspiration from the sunken lounge area in the New West End Garden, which offers sanctuary and peace from the bustling world outside. 

New Westend Garden
Alternatively, fake depth like The CHERUB HIV garden: A Life Without Walls that enclosed its seating in tall planting, making it feel sunken and protected.

The CHERUB HIV gardenHarness green energy

Imitate the New West End Garden and power your own eco-garden with reusable energy. Contemporary lighting – including a backlit map of London – an outdoor ceiling fan and a simple water feature were all powered with kinetic and solar energy from the black Pavegen panels built into the geometric-style floor.

Don't shy away from sculpture

Replicate the boldness of The Myeloma UK Garden and The Silent Pool Gin Garden. Both gardens featured striking, contemporary sculptures that demanded attention.

The Pearlfisher Garden
 By adding visual art to your own garden you can elevate the feel and grandeur of your space. 

The Silent Pool Gin GardenAdd water

Reproduce the style and elegance of The Space to Grow area, which showcased contemporary water bowls featuring Stratiotes aloides (water soldier), by adding water to your outside space. The Silent Pool Gin Garden and The Seedlip Garden also made use of water bowls, an ingenious way to add water to your garden if you're tight on space.

The Seedlip GardenGet in on the planting trend of the year

The Pearlfisher Garden's planting scheme of succulents, air plants and cacti was extraordinarily effective and could easily be replicated at home.

The Pearlfisher Garden
Grafted cacti provided bright spots of coral-like colour, and the hanging Tillandsia usneoides (Spanish moss) was remarkably atmospheric.

The Perarlfisher GardenBuy cacti, air plants and succulents on the RHS plant shop.

Be bold with hard landscaping

Whether it's in the pebble mosaic or fossil-embedded Portland stone of The Pearlfisher Garden, the dry stone walling of The Silent Pool Gin Garden or the clay, brick pavers in the alfresco area of the Urban Flow Garden the hard landscaping incorporated into the Space to Grow designs all added textural contrast to the planting.

The Silent Pool Gin GardenReclaim the forgotten corners

Boost the faded corners of your garden with contemporary lighting or bright planting inspired by Chelsea's New West End Garden.

New West End GardenAdd a stylish accent with urban-chic seating, a striking sculpture or a simple water feature to create special interest. 

New West End GardenTake the indoors outdoors

Be inspired by the outdoor dining and kitchenette area in Tony Woods’ design for the Urban Flow Garden and take your cooking outside. If you don't have space to cook outside you can still join the party in The Silent Pool Gin Garden and take the bar outside.

These gardens featured in the 'Space to Grow' category in the 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

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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.