Once you’ve tutted or gasped at the show gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, it’s time to think about what you really, really want. You’re probably not going to imitate Dan Pearson’s 2015 ‘Best in Show’ garden and stack boulders on top of each other at home, but you might just buy a delightful little cloche…so here is my round-up of this year’s Chelsea must-haves. Sometimes the middle-sized wallet may have to give way to the fairy godmother’s wand…but not always.
The top 10 ‘most desirable’ for your garden from the 2015 RHS Chelsea Flower Show – from greenhouses to pots.
1) A Victorian greenhouse (sorry, glass-house)
My friend, Miranda, and I agreed. We really want a greenhouse, like this one from Alitex (National Trust greenhouses range from around £10,000-£27,000) or…
..or this delightful one from Hartley Botanic, where the lovely Victorian-style ones are called ‘glass-houses’ (Green-houses are those practical frame things). And I’m sorry, Fairy Godmother, a polytunnel just isn’t the same.
2) A shepherd’s hut
These shepherd’s huts from Plankbridge Ltd start at around £18,000 but are portable, fully insulated and can be plumbed in. I don’t think it would work in my walled town garden (and I couldn’t get it in through the garden door), but otherwise I think this is a real alternative to building an extension – if you move, you can take it with you or sell it!
3) A natural swimming pond – naturally
The M&G Investments ‘Writer’s Retreat’ garden designed by Jo Thompson had a ‘natural swimming pond’ – something all writers need.
Gartenart supply natural swimming ponds, and say you’d need to budget for between £80,000-£120,000 to install one. Fairy Godmother? Still, I suppose I should count my blessings as my home town, Faversham, has an open air swimming pool from May to September.
4) A good garden pot…
I’ve always loved Capital Garden Pots – they’re actually made of fibreglass, but look completely realistic and are very hard-wearing. These are their Norman Planters – they have both traditional and contemporary designs.
And the weathered copper version…also Capital Garden Products
5) A beautiful distressed steel water butt in the Georgian style
I would love to get rid of my dark green plastic water butt and have this ‘Georgian’ tank instead from Arthur Jack. It was a ‘Garden Product of the Year’ finalist. Starts at £495.
6) Really nice plant supports
These rusted steel plant supports from Plant Belles (from £26) really are both useful and beautiful. Plant Belles also have a very good ‘shepherd’s crook’ style plant support (Plant Crooks £8.50) for a single stem. I was given one by a friend last summer and it has been invaluable for staking tall single blooms. It’s so discreet that it’s almost impossible to see until the flower dies.
Another of Plant Belles’ grow-through cloches.
7) A cloche that is both practical and attractive
I find almost everything at Crocus irresistible, but I am particularly taken with the ‘folding butterfly cloche’ (£49.99), because it opens out, and can be used as a low, long cloche for lettuces as well as a tall high cloche for other things. Another finalist in Chelsea’s ‘Garden Product of the Year’.
8) Vintage copper, silver or zinc planters…
The combination of metal and plants or flowers is so attractive, so I’d have any of these heavenly French and vintage milk churns and miscellaneous silver, copper and zinc objets trouve from Garden Brocante (find them @GardenBrocante on Twitter). Or you might have a copper milk churn up in your attic?
9) Beautiful vases for cut flowers from the garden…
Miranda and I loved this glass, hand-made by Michael Ruh of The New Craftsmen Shop. The New Craftsmen had 6 delightful sheds in the Artisan Picnic area – all were a pleasure to visit.
10) And something bright, just on impulse…
I often find merchandise from association, museum and gallery gift shops disappointing, but I think these planters from the RHS stand are fun and attractive. I’d like at least 3 of the bigger ones. With the smaller ‘carrot’ ones they’d would look good on my orange tablecloth. I am not entirely sure that my friend Miranda would agree, and she is very good at that sort of thing
If you tried to access this blog from Thursday to Saturday, you will have seen that the ‘server wasn’t found.’ The main frame at my hosts, eUKhost Ltd, broke and they have been unable to repair it. Consequently, I’ve lost the last 8 months of blog posts, although we will be restoring them by hand over the next few months.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be manually restoring posts such as last week’s piece on this year’s Chelsea trends. It’ll take some time – bear with me.
This has a real blow – I had no idea that your work could literally be wiped out in this way (and I’ll be writing a piece on it so that it doesn’t happen to you – once I’ve recovered from the shock). However, the problem has been resolved, and Middle-sized Garden posts will continue to come out regularly on Sunday mornings from now on. I would really appreciate any sharing of this post using the buttons below – it would really cheer me up after a demoralising few days. Thank you so much!
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