RHS Chelsea 2022 – the highlights

39 gardens; 80 nursery, floristry and Discovery exhibits – alongside inspiration, celebrations and floral extravaganzas


RHS Chelsea Flower Show (24 – 28 May 2022) returned with a full line-up of highlights including a bumper crop of gardens, marvellous blooms, insightful talks and much more.
 

Sensational show gardens

Many extraordinary designs and magnificent sights were on display in the 13 RHS Chelsea Show Gardens. With each of the gardens incorporating an average of 3,125 plants there were plenty of inspirational planting schemes and sensory floral displays to delight in. 
 
Image: Multi-award winning designer Sarah Eberle's garden featured lush planting of both native and exotic plants and a stunning waterfall.

The sky’s the limit for some: a four metre mangrove tree sculpture was seen in Hands Off Mangrove by Grow2Know, a seven metre high pine tree was spotted in the RNLI Garden and visitors marvelled at the towering six metre feature building in MEDITE SMARTPLY Building the Future – designed by RHS Chelsea’s most-decorated designer, Sarah Eberle.

Bringing visitors back down to earth were the gardens celebrating nature. Lulu Urquhart and Adam Hunt used native British plants in A Rewilding Britain Landscape, showcasing a natural re-wilding following the reintroduction of beavers in south west England.


Image: The Mind Garden by Chelsea veteran Andy Sturgeon featured tactile clay-rendered walls and several distinct  plantings including this shady woodland area, punctuated with stately angelica.

Andy Sturgeon highlighted how nature can provide a backdrop for us to connect with each other in The Mind Garden, and the playful, interactive The New Blue Peter Garden – Discover Soil, designed by Juliet Sargeant, aimed to open visitors’ eyes to the important role of soil.

Best Show Garden Award
Image: RHS Director General Sue Biggs presented the Best Show Garden trophy to garden designers Lulu Urquhart and Adam Hunt for A Rewilding Britain Landscape.
   

BBC Studios Our Green Planet & RHS Bee Garden 

Image:  Joe Swift of BBC Gardeners' World designed a beautiful garden that received a big thumbs up from the local bee population!

Designed by Joe Swift, the BBC Studios Our Green Planet & RHS Bee Garden was buzzing with inspiration for gardeners to help protect bees and other pollinators in their own green spaces. With a design based on a bee wing, the garden showed how easy it can be to create a beautiful space that is great for pollinators too. 
   

Sanctuary Gardens

Gardens become havens for humans, with our wellbeing benefitting from the power of nature while also providing sanctuary for wildlife.  The Sanctuary Gardens explored this concept. 

Visitors escaped from the digital world at Circle of Life, reflected on a round-the-world-journey at the Boodles Travel Garden, and immersed themselves in an interpretation of Swiss flora and landscapes at The Swiss Sanctuary.


Image: The Plantsman's Ice Garden provided a chilly illustration of the challenges presented by climate change. Luckily the surrounding Siberian irises enjoyed the ample supply of cold meltwater.

The Sanctuary Gardens weren't short of spectacle: The Plantman’s Ice Garden featured a 15 ton, 2.5m cubed block of ice, that melted throughout RHS Chelsea as an icy reminder of the melting of the Siberian permafrost. 
   

All About Plants 

The four All About Plants gardens were on display in the Great Pavilion, each consisted of over 75% plants and celebrated the work of a charity.


Image: Front gardens needn't be soulless carparks as the Core Arts Front Garden Revolution proved. These attractive gardens are perfect places for both people and wildlife. 

Funded by Project Giving Back, the four gardens raised awareness of their causes: The Core Arts Front Garden Revolution illustrated how our front gardens can become spaces for connecting communities; A Textile Garden for Fashion Revolution championed the use of plants in the textile industry; The Mothers for Mothers Garden was a space of comfort and hope for women facing mental health challenges in early motherhood, and The Wilderness Foundation UK Garden aimed to strengthen our connection to the natural world. 
   

Fabulous flowers


The Great Pavilion was a spectacle of incredible displays with tens of thousands of plants, it covered almost three acres, or the equivalent of 3,230 average-sized British gardens.

Visitors saw a Platinum Jubilee tribute from David Austin Roses spanning 169m2, and five nurseries new to Chelsea: Home Farm Plants exhibited colourful Delphinium belladonna and D. elatum; Kitchen Garden Plant Centre offered everyday and unusual culinary herbs; Danish Baugaarden Living Art showcased living willow sculptures, and Moore & Moore Plants and Alchemy Plants displayed choice and rare plants for shade. 

From new-to-Chelsea nurseries, to those celebrating centenaries – Blackmore & Langdon attended RHS Chelsea for the 100th time and The Iris Society celebrated irises from the past 100 years.

TV Presenter and Patron of the British Iris Society Rachel de Thame poses with members of the society at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show
Image: TV Presenter and Patron of the British Iris Society, Rachel de Thame, poses with members of the society, which celebrated its centenary this year.

The RHS Floral Gallery also returned to the Great Pavilion with expressive and colourful floral installations and windows, created by leading florists. 

RHS letters at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022
Image: Gardener and floral designer Hazel Gardiner poses with the iconic RHS letters she designed​.
 

Platinum Jubilee tributes

The celebrations continued with a series of installations commemorating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Natural Perspectives Platinum Jubilee tribute
Image: Natural Perspectives by Veevers Carter floral designs featured a canopy of flowers including fresh delphiniums, inspired by the colours and planting of the Scottish landscape near the Royal Family’s Balmoral Castle estate.

Since 1952, the RHS has been delighted to have the Queen as our patron, with Her Majesty having visited the show over 50 times in her 70 year reign. We paid tribute to those magnificent years of public service with bespoke portraits, a photography exhibition and a celebration of British flowers. 

The Queen visited RHS Chelsea 2022 on Press Day
Image: The Queen visiting RHS Chelsea 2022, alongside RHS President Keith Weed, garden designer Joe Swift and RHS Ambassador Mark Gregory.
   

Small space inspiration 

Guests saw how compact outdoor areas can be transformed into green spaces positive for health, wellbeing and the environment at the Balcony and Container Gardens, and found indoor plant havens with the Houseplant Studios

Planet Studio Houseplant Studio
Image: The Malvern Garden Buildings Planet Studio Houseplant Studio was a botanical-inspired disco throwback. 

The Cirrus Garden inspired visitors to create an urban sanctuary for wildlife with its colourful mix of wildflowers and edibles, and Jay Day presented how balconies can be havens for feathered-friends.

The Blue Garden
Image: The Blue Garden, designed by Tom Wilkes-Rios, is an immersive balcony garden, featuring vibrant colour and planters crammed with succulents.

Indoors guests found ways to boost their workplace wellbeing with houseplants perfect for a work-from-home office in The Grass is Greener Where You Water It, or experienced a plant party with the 70’s-disco-inspired Planet Studio. 
 

Scientific innovations 

London Fire Brigade Discovery exhibit
Promoting the latest discoveries in horticultural science, many of the Discovery exhibits in the Great Pavilion championed the benefits of gardening and how that action could help combat climate change or improve mental wellbeing. Highlights included the London Fire Bridge’s striking flood-prevention display showing the difference between permeable, and impermeable, surfaces.

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