Small space gardens take on big ideas

Designers of the Balcony and Container Gardens at this year’s Show, are full of inspiration to help gardeners tackle extreme weather

The mgr Changing Tides Garden

Resilient plants

Storm resilient plants take centre stage in the mgr Changing Tides Garden which celebrates the specialist plants that have adapted to the harsh conditions found along the strandline of the UK’s shingle beaches.  Designer Lucy Mitchell wants to shine a light on the coastal plants that can withstand and thrive in some of the most extreme weather conditions providing inspiration for people across the UK looking for tough, tolerant plants that will withstand the sort of stormy weather that has hit the UK this week.

 New plants to grow

La Mia Venezia
In direct contrast, designer Michela Trinca is featuring Mediterranean plants that can withstand rising temperatures in her Italian inspired Balcony Garden La Mia Venezia.   The garden highlights plants such Bougainvillia and Citrus x limon that can now be grown in a UK climate because of global warming and the microclimate created by the balcony’s proximity to the building and shelter.

 No waste gardening

Tomie’s Cuisine the Nobonsai
With UK summers projected to become hotter and drier, Tomie’s Cuisine the Nobonsai by Japanese designer Tsuyako Asada explores ways of reducing water consumption through incorporating a ‘no-waste gardening’ method. Such as reusing pruned twigs, stems, weeds, and leaves, by cutting them into small pieces and placing them on the soil surface to retain water, and using cardboard and newspaper at the bottom of pots to further lock-in moisture.

 Saving water tips

The Water Saving Garden
As rainfall patterns are becoming more unpredictable due to the effects of climate change, Sam Proctor has focussed on water conservation in The Water Saving Container Garden. Showcasing methods to capture, store and re-use water in an affordable and easy way, that reduces maintenance.

Other gardens in the Balcony and Container category focus on the sanctuary small outside spaces can provide with Elisabeth Wright-McCalla showcasing how you can transform an unloved piece of concrete into a vibrant yet calming and restorative place.

“These gardens explore the potential of even smaller spaces, to adapt and thrive in a changing climate.”
Gemma Lake, Show Manager

Tom Bannister’s The Ecotherapy Garden promotes the benefits of immersing oneself in nature. The current cold plunge therapy trend is celebrated with a plunge pool, enveloped in lush planting, as the centrepiece of the garden.  Sanctum designed by Sonja Kalkschmidt, offers an oasis amid the chaos of contemporary corporate life. The Addleshaw Goddard Junglette Garden by husband and wife duo Mike McMahon & Jewlsy Mathews creates a biodiverse haven for people and nature featuring a tranquil pond, bird nest, bat box and vibrant flora.
 The Addleshaw Goddard Junglette Garden
The Balcony and Container Gardens at RHS Chelsea are all designed by first time RHS Chelsea designers, giving them an opportunity to design a garden at the world’s most famous flower show.

See ticket options for RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024

All the Balcony & Container gardens

Sanctum designed by Sonja Kalkschmidt
Contractor: Rupert Crowton Rowarth

The Anywhere Courtyard Garden designed by Elisabeth Wright-McCalla
Contractor: Big Fish Landscapers

The Ecotherapy Garden designed by Tom Bannister
Contractor: Wright Landscapes   

Raines Repurposed designed by Thomas Clarke

Tomie’s Cuisine the Nobonsai designed by Tsuyako Asada
Sponsor: Tomie’s Cuisine / Takehiro / Niwaki / Alice Garden Design

The Water Saving Garden, sponsored by Affinity Water designed by Sam Proctor
Sponsor: Affinity Water
Contractor: Castle Landscapes

mgr Changing Tides Garden designed by Lucy Mitchell
Sponsor: mgr
Contractor: Andrew Ball

La Mia Venezia designed by Michela Trinca
Contractor: Kate Gould Gardens

The Addleshaw Goddard Junglette Garden designed by Mike McMahon & Jewlsy Mathews
Sponsor: Addleshaw Goddard
Contractor: Mike McMahon Studio


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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.