A cen­te­nary of beau­ti­ful blooms

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - HOME -

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

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