By Rashmita Solanki
On arriving at the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show 2019, I came across a quote that Gertrude Jekyll, a British horticulturist and garden designer: “The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies”.
For many the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is the “seed that once sown never dies”.
Every year gardeners from around the world come to Chelsea to be encompassed by the sensory delights and to gaze upon the beauty of nature. This year does not fail to deliver the sensory experience that the natural world has to offer.
It was noted that many of the show gardens at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show 2019 incorporated edible foliage, along with the usual floral and colour co-ordinated bedding plants.
These gardens included the Montessori Centenary Children’s Garden and the Ikea and Tom Dixon garden: “Gardening will save the world”. The reasoning behind the Montessori garden, which was designed by an award winning horticulturist Jody Lidgard, was that he wanted a garden that wasn’t off limits to children; so he had an ‘edible wall’ which has fast growing salad leaves and herbs that children can break off and try. This is in keeping with Maria Montessori’s ethos which is where children can learn with a natural impulse, in an environment that is encouraging of exploration. Jody Lidgard believes that plants should be broken and tasted and that they almost always grow back.
This year’s highlight was the RHS Back to Nature Garden, which was designed by the Duchess of Cambridge and award-winning landscape architects Andree Davies and Adam White, of Davies White Landscape Architects. The garden’s main feature is to create a woodland setting, that can be enjoyed by all generations.
It is meant for families and communities to enjoy the natural ambience of the woodland while also enhancing health and wellbeing whilst being around nature. This is one of the main ethos of the RHS.
Sue Biggs, RHS director general, said: “For over 200 years the RHS has been championing the power of gardening and growing plants for the environment, for health and well being and to help people of all ages, from all backgrounds, to learn and grow. So to have the duchess advocating this with us, and to be continuing our partnership with NHS England will, we’re sure, further highlight the powerful benefit that access to gardens, nature and growing plants can have for all our health and happiness.”
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, there is an installation placed on the south lawn of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Normandy veterans dressed in their blazers, berets and war medals were present along with Chelsea pensioners who were in their stunning scarlet uniforms. The “D-Day 75 garden” was poignant, with a carpet of 10,000 ‘sea thrift’ flowers surrounding sculptures of young veterans depicting the landing on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day 75 years ago. These ethereal sculptures were made by John Everiss.
The garden managed to create a feeling of stillness and silence, reminding us of the bloodshed and death of so many young soldiers 75 years ago.