The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday - - Gardening -

brim with fresh new leaves, frothy may blos­som and el­der­flow­ers, cow pars­ley and ox-eye daisies grow­ing up through long grass, I felt for once, Chelsea was in tune with na­ture.


Buck­ing the pas­toral trend but my per­sonal favourite was Joe Swift’s first Chelsea gar­den. Sub­tly colour­ful in bur­gundies, ter­ra­cot­tas and cop­pers, us­ing tex­tu­ral barked trees (en­hanced with a rub of vir­gin olive oil) — Cor­nus mas, Ar­bu­tus and Prunus ‘Am­ber Beauty’, this was a sen­si­tive, in­tel­li­gent and grown-up gar­den from a de­signer whose blokey on-screen per­sona be­lies artis­tic ma­tu­rity. De­signed to thrive in a dry cli­mate, ev­er­green shrubby plants such as Pit­tospo­rum, myr­tle and pista­cia lent so­lid­ity and were fronted by Berge­nia ‘Over­ture’, Tel­lima and cop­pery Acaena, while lime-green eu­phor­bias, cop­pery ver­bas­cums, irises and bronze fen­nel gave height and colour. Joe told me he was pleased with his gar­den, and he won gold. Bravo! Go back to fa­mil­iar cot­tage gar­den plants like aqui­le­gias and pop­pies avail­able from seed from plant­world­ Wild-flower-filled mead­ows can be bought as turf from wild­flow­er­turf. and mead­ow­mat. com, or planted from seed from pic­to­rial mead­ and mead­ow­inmy gar­ Frothy cow pars­ley is all the rage, try Selin­ium wal­lichi­anum, Me­lanoselinum de­cip­i­ens or An­thriscus ‘Ravenswing’ as al­ter­na­tives. Ed­i­ble red orach can add a touch of bur­gundy that’s pop­u­lar this year. Clipped ev­er­green balls and hum­mocks of box add for­mal­ity. Use clumps of na­tive grasses like Deschamp­sia ce­spi­tosa and Fes­tuca ov­ina for that pas­toral look. Don’t for­get to check the Chelsea Fringe venues un­til June 10 on

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