Chelsea Flower Show 2016


The 2016 RHS Chelsea Flower Show again sees Hampshire showcasing its best.

View photos of Chelsea Flower Show 2016

Show Gardens

Brewin Dolphin – Forever Freefolk
Designer: Rosy Hardy
Medal: Silver

After 25 years exhibiting in the Floral Marquee, and with 20 Gold medals under her belt, Rosy Hardy has created her first RHS Chelsea Show Garden for Brewin Dolphin Garden, which seeks to challenge, engage and provoke on many levels.

The garden invites visitors to consider the fragility of a vital natural resource – chalk streams, which are globally rare with only around 200 in the world, 160 of which are in England. One of the best examples of these streams is the River Test, which flows through Freefolk Hampshire.

These streams are under threat from pollution and climate change. To represent this, the garden explores the fragility and uniqueness of these streams by inviting visitors to take a walk through a dried up chalk stream bed towards the source. This symbolises the changing context and form of the landscape, with the sense of loss for the stream balanced in part by the potential for renewal and the chance to turn back and contemplate the garden.

At least one new plant will be launched on the garden – a white flowered Cirsium. No overall colour scheme will be in place, but an area of shade, a lush area, drier river bed area and grassland area will all be present. The planting in the garden will very much reflect the planting around the River Test near Freefolk in Hampshire, and will also showcase the Right Plant Right Place mantra that Rosy works to. The overall look of the planting will be bright and breezy.



The team at Hortus Loci grew for multi-award-winning Cleve West who designed for show sponsor M&G Investments, Hugo Bugg for Royal Bank of Canada and newcomer Sam Ovens for Cloudy Bay wines. In addition Hortus Loci also helped designer Jo Thompson by supplying her perennials and hedging.


The M&G Garden
Designer: Cleve West
Medal: Gold

The garden has been inspired by a memory of the ancient oak woodland on Exmoor National Park where the designer spent his teenage youth. Rather than replicate a particular scene, the designer has chosen to pay a contemporary homage to the landscape that made such an early impression on him.

A stone and gravel path through woodland edge planting leads you past stunted oaks and rocks to a smoother path, a sunken terrace and pool. It could be seen as a metaphor for the fact that the path was unsure to begin with, but smoother once the chosen career became clear.

An oak boundary frames the garden (as if framing a picture) and the overriding oak theme is a metaphor for the sponsor’s values: strength, growth, longevity and reliability.

The planting scheme is enhanced woodland/woodland-edge with oaks (Quercus pubescens) creating the main structure and atmosphere. Key structural plants include Quercus pubescens, Vaccinium corymbosum, Ilex aquifolium, Hedera helix ‘Arborescens’. Vaccinium myrtillus (ground cover) will also be used if  possible. This will reference the memory of picking whortleberries in and around the ancient oak woodland of Exmoor.

Cleve West has twice been awarded RHS Best Show Garden, and returns to RHS Chelsea for the show sponsor after a one year absence.

Royal Bank of Canada Garden
Designer: Hugo Bugg
Medal: Silver-Gilt

The Royal Bank of Canada Garden will celebrate water not just as a commodity but as an entity sacred to humankind. The garden will explore the divine qualities of water built using traditional techniques with a 21st century influence, further exploring connections between water, people and life.

Inspired by a recent trip to Jordan, the gardens planting palette is influenced by the plants found in the endangered dry Mediterranean pine habitat, Dibeen. These plants will illustrate how arid landscapes can still have beautiful flora yet requiring minimal rainfall.

It will be a dynamic and sculptural garden grounded in a symbolic and fundamental geometry and will be viewed from a distance, instilling an aura around the sacred body of water within the centre of the garden. The garden is intended to inspire visitors through innovative materials, compelling design and beautiful planting all aimed to help increase awareness and appreciation of water.

The concept and plant list for this 2016 garden has been in production for over 2 years with Hugo spending many hours on field trips in Jordan identifying plants suitable for this unique Chelsea garden. Many of these Mediterranean plants are not widely known and not
even commercially available. A mix of warm coloured flowers and silver grey foliage will stand out with vibrancy from the dark fabric backdrop.

The Cloudy Bay Garden
Designer: Sam Ovens
Medal: Silver-Gilt

The garden’s design is inspired by Cloudy Bay’s 30-year winemaking heritage at the pioneering winery in the Marlborough region in New Zealand, and uses nature as a source of its inspiration.

It is intended to be a secluded retreat in which to escape, providing a serene space designed to evoke memories as visitors savour the experience of the garden.

The primary material is western red cedar timber, which is used in the construction of the deck, boardwalks and cabin. It is a natural material that exudes quality. A large reflective pool adds a sensory element to the design with connotations of setting sail and drifting away or escaping.

All the materials used in the build are from sustainable sources, and the garden has been designed to show how to make the most of a certain soil type and work with it, not fight against it.

Sam Ovens was winner of RHS Young Designer of the Year 2014 and is making his RHS Chelsea debut.


Official RHS Garden

Petersfield-based designer Ann-Marie Powell created the official RHS Garden for the 2016 Chelsea Flower Show

The RHS Greening Grey Britain Garden, will show that plants are a vital part of our lives and have the capacity to heal.

Greening Grey Britain is an RHS call to action to get the nation to transform hard, cold grey areas into living planted-up beautiful places, to improve lives and help the environment. To date, more than 1,300 people have pledged to plant up an area of grey to green, helping the RHS reach its target of 6,000 pledges by the end of 2017.

Ann-Marie Powell’s colourful front-garden design celebrates the health and wellbeing benefits of Greening Grey Britain. With bright borders to lift the spirit, benches to relax and share a chat on, soothing water features, a bee-friendly perennial meadow, edible plants in pots and a stylish kitchen garden, ideas contained within this front-garden setting can be incorporated both in private and community gardens.

Ann-Marie Powell said: “Gardens and gardening do more good to heart and soul than they are ever given credit for, and I’m delighted to be helping the RHS shout about this at the world-famous flower show. It’s important that my take on a front-garden theme is full of take-home ideas both for individuals and for communities, and I hope it will inspire visitors and viewers to get involved in Greening Grey Britain. Too many people are paving over their front gardens but anybody can have a beautiful front garden.”


Plant of the Year

20 plants were shortlisted for Plant of the Year and Second place went to Geum ‘Scarlet Tempest’Geum ‘Scarlet Tempest’ displayed by Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants. The winner was Clematis chiisanensis AMBER (‘Wit141205’) from Taylors Clematis. Also shortlisted was Nepeta × faassenii ‘Crystal Cloud’, again by Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants – a soft pink flowering catmint with a low, neat habit.


Artisan Gardens

Viking Cruises Mekong Garden
Medal: Gold

Whitchurch-based Sarah Eberle created a garden inspired by the floating gardens in the silk weaving region of Cambodia and the Mekong River. It is largely made up of water with a small deck leading to a ‘floating’ lounger styled on a traditional fishing boat.

The planting scheme is edible and ornamental flowers.


Discovery Gardens

Double H Nursery (Love Orchids), New Milton
Medal: Gold and Best Discovery Garden
Site Number: GPH244

Some of the highlights include a breath taking living rainforest walkway covered with over 2,000 orchids designed by Lynne Dallas. This stunning display has taken 6 months of planning and has been put together by a team of 19 people over the course of 6 days.

The exhibit will contain 4 zones with separate sections including:
• ‘Art of the Possible’ – A beautiful showcase of hundreds of white orchids in an array different shapes and sizes
• ‘History of Phalaenopsis’ – Visitors can discover the world of the brave plant hunters of the past, learn about the craze that came to be known as ‘Orchiddelirium’ and hear how Victorians came to be so obsessed with orchids
• ‘Discovery & Education’ – Set in a greenhouse, this zone brings to life commercial orchid production and modern growing practices with the help of a specially made film for RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Visitors will learn about computer-controlled air, light and water levels and how this helps us to produce perfect orchids time and time and again
• ‘Home Zone’ – Here visitors will be able to learn how to care for Phalaenopsis orchids and our team of experts will be on hand to give tips and advice


Sparsholt College, Winchester
Site Number: GPH243
Medal: Silver

Sparsholt College has partnered with Plant Heritage (formerly known as the NCCPG), the world’s leading cultivated plant conservation and membership charity to tell the story of The People’s Plants for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016. The garden will highlight the important work of the charity Plant Heritage, including their Plant Guardian Scheme, National Plant Collection® scheme and Threatened Plants Project and how people across the UK can become actively involved in conservation of cultivated plants from their own back garden, greenhouse, allotment or windowsill.

Lecturer Chris Bird, who led the student team said: “We are thrilled and proud to have been awarded a silver medal at RHS Chelsea which is this country’s most prestigious flower show.  We were keen to tell the Plant Heritage story and hope our garden will inspire others to become involved in the conservation of cultivated plants. For our students, exhibiting here culminates two years of study during which they have acquired the skills and know-how for a career in the horticulture industry. And whether embarking on their professional careers or progressing on to the Degree course they each have an RHS Chelsea Silver medal as testimony to their talents”.


Floral Marquee


Hampshire Carnivorous Plants, Southampton
Carnivorous plants from around the world
Site Number: GPA 104
Medal: Gold

Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants,Whitchurch
Hardy perennials
Site Number: GPA 113
Medal: Gold

Heucheraholics, Lymington
New and exciting varieties from Heucheraholics incuding heucheras, heucherellas & tiarellas
Site Number: GPE 183
Medal: Gold

Hillier Nurseries, Romsey
Site Number: GPE171
Medal: Gold

Hillier in Springtime

Hillier Nurseries and Garden Centres are embarking on a series of Chelsea firsts in 2016 in an exciting new development for the 152 year-old family-owned nursery. For the first time in over two decades Hillier has a new home with a view onto the Royal Hospital.

With a new site come new design opportunities, for which Hillier have turned to Sarah Eberle,the acclaimed garden designer and former Design Director of Hillier Landscapes. She is their first ever guest designer and has now helped them win their 71st consecutive Gold.

Sarah has never exhibited in the Great Pavilion before, but has won Gold in every garden category at Chelsea.

“We are absolutely thrilled that it’s a Gold,” said Jim Hillier. “Everyone at Hillier has worked so hard for this result over months and months, and we could not be any prouder or more delighted. So many elements were new for us this year – the location, the designer, the design – but it has all come together in spectacular fashion.”

In designing this year’s exhibit for Hillier, Sarah Eberle has officially won Gold in more categories than any other designer in the history of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. She has won Gold for Show gardens, Fresh gardens, Artisan gardens and now with Hillier in the Great Pavilion.

“I am absolutely over the moon – relieved and elated – to have won Gold with my first Chelsea design for Hillier,” said Sarah Eberle who is a former Design Director at Hillier Landscapes. “Hillier have been such a huge part of my life and career that it is totally fitting that I have reached the full set of Chelsea Gold through working with them.”

This year’s exhibit is departure for Hillier, combining a strong contemporary design with the same emphasis on plant quality as you would expect from Hillier Nurseries.

There are 2 new plant releases: Acer ‘Moonrise’ and Lavender ‘Silver Line’ in aid of the Silver Line charity founded by Dame Esther Rantzen to help combat loneliness in the elderly.

Jardin Blanc

Andy McIndoe and floral designer Pip Bensley are weaving their magic in Jardin Blanc, an exclusive hospitality area at the show for chef Raymond Blanc.

Guests enter Jardin Blanc through a set of concentric planted circles that frame a French style ornamental vegetable and kitchen garden filled with herbs, vegetables and wildflower beds. Hidden amongst the shrubbery you’ll hear recordings of stories and poems recited by Raymond Blanc OBE.



Myburgh Designs, Liphook
Beautifully crafted work by Stephen Myburgh including swings, copper flowers, railings an gates
Site Number: SR281

Alitex Ltd, Petersfield
Bespoke Victorian greenhouses
Site Number: MA429

Andy Small Photography, Cliddesden
Fine art flower photography
Site Number: EA496

Gaze Burvill Ltd, Alton
Designers and makers of luxury, handcrafted oak furniture and kitchens for the outdoors
Site Number: MA430

Award: 5 Star

Gold Leaf Gardening Gloves, Southampton
Leather gardening gloves
Site Number: EA507

Maddocks Contemporary Design, Winchester
Hand carved granite sculpture and garden features from Matt Maddocks which explore contrasts between geometric and natural form
Site Number: FR323

Stonecraft, Southampton
Site Number: AR678

Award: 4 Star

The Delphinium Society, Romsey
Established in 1928. Promotes the growing of delphiniums and larkspur by means of educational, instructional and advisory services to members
Site Number: AR688

The Real Flower Company, Petersfield
Site Number: EA539

Thomas Sanderson Ltd, Waterlooville
Site Number: SR301

Griffin Glasshouses Ltd, Ropley
Site Number: RHW352



Lavandula ‘Silver Line’ launched for Esther Rantzen’s charity
Hillier in Springtime
Sparsholt College launches garden for RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016
Growing a patch of Jordan in Hampshire
Four new plant introductions for Brewin Dolphin garden
Sarah Eberle to create floating river garden for RHS Chelsea
Hortus Loci growing for top designers at Chelsea 2016
Rosy Hardy’s Show Garden Debut for Brewin Dolphin