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.
Take a leaf out of The Seedlip Garden's book and utilise your roof space – it could improve your insulation too.
How to grow a green wall
How to plant a green roof
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.
Advice 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.
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.
Harness 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.
By adding visual art to your own garden you can elevate the feel and grandeur of your space.
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.
Get 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.
Grafted cacti provided bright spots of coral-like colour, and the hanging Tillandsia usneoides (Spanish moss) was remarkably atmospheric.
Buy 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.
Reclaim the forgotten corners
Boost the faded corners of your garden with contemporary lighting or bright planting inspired by Chelsea's New West End Garden.
Add a stylish accent with urban-chic seating, a striking sculpture or a simple water feature to create special interest.
Take 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.
Discover our how-to profiles, which are step-by-step instructions giving you expert advice.