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5 Key Trends to Steal from the Chelsea Flower Show 2018

Want to know what’s set to be hot in gardens this year? Look no further…

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The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is always a rich hunting ground for garden ideas and inspiration, and this year was no exception. The show was packed with tips, tricks and beautiful plant combinations for all kinds of gardens, big and small. Here are 5 tips to take away from this year’s event.

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Sunshine yellow tones
Yellow and orange might have rather fallen out of fashion in recent years, but if this year’s show was anything to go by, they’re making a bright return to our gardens. In the LG Eco-City Garden, there was a riot of these warm, sunshine shades and they made for an eye-catching display.

How to get the look
Plump for tones from the yellow to orange colour range and plant en masse for a strong look. Or, for a softer effect, try drifts of yellow flowers as a recurring motif winding its way through a border.

Need some expert advice? Find a garden designer near you to help make your garden dream a reality

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Wild planting
Two of the gardens in particular at Chelsea this year – the Welcome to Yorkshire Garden and the Tom Raffield installation – championed wild and naturalistic planting, with nettles, long grass and even a sprinkling of buttercups making the gardens look as if they’d been there forever.

How to get the look
A total contrast to rigid, formal designs, these gardens favour soft drifts of naturalistic-style planting that evoke a relaxed, country feel, so plant in soft arcs rather than straight lines.

Coincidentally, this type of planting, where some nettles, wildflowers and long grasses are allowed to remain, is also inherently wildlife-friendly, so allow some areas of grass to grow long nearby and let nature take its course.

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Designing for wellbeing
The RHS Feel Good Garden, designed by Matt Keightley, was a real focus at the show this year. Designed to highlight how gardens can help improve mental and physical health, the space had wide walkways that cut through generous banks of planting, and tiered bench seating creating a calm space in which to sit and relax.

The entire garden was designed to “put the garden user at complete ease” and it was a simple and uncluttered space.

How to get the look
To design a garden as a place for contemplation and relaxation, pay close attention to your walkways and seating areas, as these will become key. Think of the garden as a series of views and vistas and tuck in small seating nooks and areas to rest as you travel around the space.

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While the focus was, naturally, on outdoor spaces, there was also an indoor plant installation, designed by Ikea for the second year running, showing how indoor plants can improve living and working spaces.

With a focus on the health benefits of indoor plants as well as the aesthetic appeal of indoor foliage, the stand was a leafy oasis, with hanging pots and larger, floor-standing plants sharing the space with smaller desk plants and rows of decorative succulents.

How to get the look
Focus on greening up the areas in which you spend the most time, such as a desk or near a seating area. Choose plants that complement your interior style, be that modern, traditional or country, and invest in a beautiful pot or hanging planter to make a feature out of your greenery.

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Bee bricks
Wildlife-friendly planting was in evidence again at Chelsea, with the new addition this year of ‘bee bricks’. These slim bricks with small holes for solitary bees to hibernate in take ecofriendly garden design to the next level, allowing wildlife-friendly solutions to be an integral part of your house, conservatory or greenhouse (they can be used as masonry bricks in the structure of outside spaces).

How to get the look
Start with bee-friendly plants such as verbena, to provide nectar, and add these to your borders – or even plant in pots or window boxes – to help to attract and support insect life. Then position a bee hotel or shelter nearby.

Tell us…
What do you think of these garden design ideas? Share your thoughts in the Comments section.

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