Chelsea Flower Show 2021

For the first time in its 108 year history, the RHS is postponing RHS Chelsea Flower Show to take place in the autumn instead of spring, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 2021 Show, which would have taken place in May, has been moved to run from 21 September to 26 September. The RHS, the Show organisers, will still hold the world famous event at The Royal Hospital, Chelsea.

Show Gardens

The Yeo Valley Organic Garden, designed by Tom Massey with plants grown by Hampshire nursery Hortus Loci provides a nature-filled experience incorporating habitats and plants found at Yeo Valley’s family-run organic garden in Somerset. It is designed to nurture soil health and biodiversity and support pollinators and other beneficial wildlife.

At the front of the garden an open perennial meadow is brimming with flowering plants, full of colour and scent. Sweeping walls divide the site, formed of carbon-rich biochar logs and rammed earth; a visual representation of soil health and the importance of keeping carbon in the soil.

An egg-shaped, steam-bent oak hide, representing soil fertility and health, is suspended over the fast-flowing stream that runs through the whole garden. It provides a place to relax, unwind and observe the natural environment and visiting wildlife.

The stream connects the different garden spaces and provides the calming sound of water. It begins at the top of a gentle hill flowing from a simple steel trough reflecting pool.

The woodland is full of fruiting and flowering trees such as medlar and quince alongside native species such as silver birch, hazel and hawthorn. This area represents land that could be used for woodland grazing.

The Florence Nightingale Garden – A Celebration of Modern Day Nursing is also being supplied by Hortus Loci.

An imagined courtyard garden for a new hospital, this garden was planned to mark the bicentenary of the birth of Florence Nightingale at the Show in 2020 with the aim of raising the profile of nursing as a profession in the 21st century.

The theme is ‘nurture through nature’, inspired by the idea that the shortest road to recovery leads through a garden.

With the ongoing pandemic, these messages have become more relevant than ever, presenting a unique opportunity to shine a spotlight on the critical role nurses play in modern-day healthcare and to thank them for their significant ongoing contributions.

This restorative garden, enclosed on three sides by a sculptural timber pergola, is for viewing from inside the building, as well as for sitting in and strolling through, with shaded places to sit, naturalistic planting, lush multi-layered greenery and water to engage the senses. Nightingale’s story is referenced in artwork throughout the garden.

The garden hopes to highlight the enduring influence of Florence Nightingale on nursing today, and her recognition of the importance of restorative gardens, and the benefits of fresh air and green spaces for wellbeing and recovery in hospital.

Sanctuary Gardens

Bible Society: The Psalm 23 Garden

Sarah Eberle’s interpretation of Psalm 23, ‘The Lord is my Shepherd’, with its message of hope, encouragement and solace, is a garden that offers a place to breathe, re-engage with nature, and feel mentally, physically and spiritually restored.

The garden is inspired by the landscape of Dartmoor, where Sarah grew up, and takes the form of a place of sanctuary, a haven. It draws you in and allows you to spend time with the soothing character of the landscape. It reflects both the journey and the destination found in Psalm 23.

Sarah Eberle
Sarah Eberle

Feature Gardens

The RHS COP26 Garden is designed by landscape architects Balston Agius, led by Marie-Louise Agius, director and trustee of Exbury Gardens.

The garden has two clear goals: to be a clear exposition of the climate change crisis, but to also show visitors what they can do, at home and within their communities, to make a difference.
Visitors to the garden will go on a journey through four key themes: Decline, Adaptation, Mitigation and Balance.

The Decline quarter will demonstrate key issues around climate change, like poorly managed planning and construction and excessive drainage leading to flooding. It will show negative gardening practices such as the monoculture of the lawn, made worse by over-irrigation and the use of too many chemicals.

The quarter culminates with the sterility of the paved-over front garden fit only for a parked car and of little use to needy insects.

The Adaptation quarter of the garden shows how we need to become more environmentally aware and adjust our landscaping and planting to respond to climate change. For instance using highly drought tolerant desert plants, which can also put up with occasional deluges, creating meadows, or the equivalent of a Garrigue (a type of low, scrubland ecoregion and plant community) to accommodate the extremes of drought and downpour.

The Mitigation quarter demonstrates landscaping and planting ideas both at a community level and a more personal garden level to actively support and help the environment in our outside spaces.

The Balance area of the garden shows how we can work with nature, even when temperatures have risen and storms are more severe, to create a beautiful environmentally friendly garden, full to the brim with fruit, veg and ornamentals.

Great Pavilion

Sparsholt College has teamed up with Gilbert White & The Oates Collections to create Sparsholt’s 2021 RHS Chelsea garden entry ‘The Natural Kalendar’.

The garden has been designed by Sparsholt’s multiple-medal-winning team in celebration of Gilbert White, a true hero of Hampshire and the natural world to mark the 300th anniversary of his birth. The garden highlights White’s life’s work observing the natural history around him and shows how important a resource his records remain for us today.

‘The Natural Kalendar’ garden will bring to life phenology – the study of nature’s lifecycles and seasonal variations in climate – from 250 years in the past through to the present day, and its impact on future plant species selection. The garden will also take the theme of climate change, to show how observations by White (1720-1793), the father of ecology, enlightened people to the changing seasons and species activity. Key observations that are still relevant to the modern world today.

New Forest business Agrumi Limited will also be exhibiting bespoke topiary, including life-size ponies and stags.

Trade stands

Alitex Ltd – Victorian greenhouses
Alitex are designers and manufacturers of bespoke aluminium greenhouses and conservatories. The National Trust Greenhouse collection features a range of practical, low-maintenance greenhouses, with the timeless aesthetic qualities of an original heritage structure, designed to stand the test of time. Alitex products are endorsed by Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Andy Small Photography – flowers and nature photography
Andy Small specialises in flowers and plants. He and his wife are also passionate gardeners and their cottage garden provides much of his subject matter. Andy’s photographs are available as bespoke prints on canvas, glass, aluminium and framed photographs. The last few years has seen an increase in the demand for Kitchen Glass Splash backs and Andy has been working closely with one of the UK’s manufacturers of glass prints to provide this product.

Gaze Burvill Ltd – outdoor kitchens and furniture
Gaze Burvill design and make the finest furniture and kitchens for the garden and terrace with an honest commitment to design integrity, comfort and craftsmanship. Utilising state-of-the-art technology alongside the timeless skills of their master craftsmen, it creates a variety of collections for outdoor spaces, whether traditional or contemporary, large or small.

Griffin Glasshouses
Griffin Glasshouses is a family business with a history of innovating glasshouse design.

Myburgh Designs – sculptural garden swings
Myburgh creates beautiful art and design for your garden, from unique furniture to art and sculpture.