A centenary of beautiful blooms
THE world’s top designers will celebrate this year’s centenary RHS Chelsea Flower Show with a mixture of old and new, demonstrating the glories of the past and the gardens of the future.
Award- winning Roger Platts, who is designing the M& G garden Windows Through Time, aims to capture the trends of Chelsea past and present, showing how British garden design has evolved while reflecting many recurring themes that have stood the test of time.
‘‘ The three major reasons driving the development in garden design are everchanging architecture, climate change and lifestyle changes,’’ Platts says.
‘‘ Extremes of weather have tended to kill off some new trends in planting in recent years. It is not long since we were being encouraged to plant drought- tolerant varieties, only to find them frosted or rotted in cold, wet winters.
‘‘ It only takes a couple of years of extreme weather to remove gardeners’ confidence in certain plants.
‘‘ I have always enjoyed growing a wide range of silver- leaved plants but living on heavy soil and having wetter weather, I am reluctant to risk some of these.
‘‘ For the average gardener it will always be best to grow plants tolerant of a wide range of conditions. For the enthusiast they will always be trying to push the boundaries.’’
Platts predicts low maintenance and the need for neatness will always be a factor in gardening, especially in urban environments.
‘‘ The terms disease- free, easy to grow and uncomplicated are as much as I can predict for future gardens.’’ he says.
‘‘ It is impossible to know what other factors will dictate how gardens will look in the future.’’
Platts’ 2013 Chelsea garden will embrace new and traditional features, from modern sculpture to planting threaded with historical shrubs popular in the 1900s.
His flair for planting will be apparent throughout the garden, from wild grasses and meadow flowers to cottage roses and nodding foxgloves.
Hannah Stephenson, PA