4 gorgeous trends from Chelsea Flower Show

1. Take your houseplants outdoors

Chelsea’s known for pushing design boundaries, and it’s not unusual to see something to raise a smile or challenge the way we think about gardening. This year creative planting was at the heart of things, with several gardens incorporating traditional houseplants into their outdoor gardens.

Clare Foggett quote May 15

The expert: Clare Foggett, Editor of Garden News magazine
“The first thing I noticed about The Hidden Beauty of Kranji garden, designed by John Tan and Raymond Toh, was the incredible waterfall – it’s one of the largest I’ve ever seen at Chelsea and it really was spectacular. However, after a closer look it was the garden’s planting that grabbed my attention. Consisting of things you’d usually use as houseplants – orchids, peace lilies and spider plants – it was exotic, fun and colourful. Just the garden to bring a bit of cheer to our sometimes-dreary summers.”

Clare Foggett image May 15

In your patch: Using houseplants outside is not as daft as it sounds, with many indoor favourites perfectly suited to a summer outdoors. Most have exotic leaves and blooms, which is perfect for bringing a taste of the tropics to your patch. Use spider plants to add drama to a hanging basket, or brighten a shady spot with Rex type begonias.

2. Get the cottage-garden look

There are always beautiful examples of cottage-garden planting at Chelsea, and this year was no exception. Pretty mixes of exquisite blooms, in every colour imaginable, billowed out of the show gardens – country style at its best. The plants were carefully matched, although put together in a haphazard way to create scenes with an easy-going appeal. Strict colour schemes (lots of pink and purple) gave the planting the Chelsea polish we’ve come to expect.

Kevin Smith quote May 15

The expert: Kevin Smith, Gardening Writer
“The planting in the M&G Garden, designed by Jo Thompson, took my breath away, with Roses, Wisteria, Salvias and other cottage-garden favourites all jostling for space. For me, this beautiful explosion of flowers was the highlight of the show.”

Kevin Smith image May 15

In your patch: Jo Thompson’s combinations could easily be recreated in your own patch. Mix pink Roses with purple Salvias and Nepeta, combined with the occasional shot of deep magenta – Scabious are great for this. You only need a small border to create a similar effect.

3. Go wild with wildflowers

The wildflower look is seeing a wave of popularity right now, and it was well represented at Chelsea this year. Several of the Artisan Gardens created countryside scenes, with flowers found in hedgerows and verges all on display. The planting looked effortless, virtually as nature intended – but it takes skill to get it right.

Zia Allaway quote May 15

The expert: Zia Allaway, News Writer, Garden Design Journal
“The highlight of Chelsea 2015 has to be Dan Pearson’s Laurent-Perrier Chatsworth Garden, which was awarded Best in Show. He weaved together vast rocks and natural-looking planting to create more of a landscape than a garden. It was skillfully done, with fallen leaves, grassy verges and a trout steam – just the kind of countryside you’d find at Chatsworth itself.”

Zia Allaway image May 15

In your patch: It’s easy to create a wildflower look at home – simply sow a collection of pre-mixed seed in any spare patch of earth you have. A sunny spot and dry, poor soil will produce the best display.

4. Be bold with zingy colours

You can’t beat Chelsea for a celebration of colour, with pastel tones, vibrant shades and shocking combinations all on offer – it’s just the place to discover ideas for your borders, and get on top of the latest colour trends. This year the majority of the gardens were dominated by vibrant shades, with orange featuring heavily on several. Many people often shy away from the boldness of orange, but it shows how effective it can be if it’s used well.

Lucy Hall quote May 15

The expert: Lucy Hall, Editor of BBC Gardeners’ World magazine
“The planting in the Morgan Stanley Healthy Cities Garden by Chris Beardshaw was gorgeous – stylishly modern yet beautifully romantic. And he was definitely showcasing the colours of this year's Chelsea, led by the zesty orange of Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’. Combining zingy citrus tones with rich purples, he created a stand-out plant partnership that anyone can recreate at home.”

Lucy Hall image May 15

In your patch: Recreate the colours of this year’s Chelsea by combining orange and purple blooms. Marigolds and petunias make a perfect pair for a quick-fix patio pot, while geums, salvias and lupins are a great combination for a sunny mid-summer border.