Chelsea judges declare ‘off the wall’ design to be best in show

Cutting edge design enjoys success at Chelsea.

The avant garde triumphed at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show with Sarah Eberle’s “600 Days with Bradstone” garden winning the title of best in show. Eberle said: “It is cutting edge. It was more off-the-wall than the other gardens there. “I think elements can be used in domestic gardens. It’s going down well with the public. There’s a lot in there they can take home. The materials are a bit ‘way out’ but there’s a lot relevant to all gardens and a lot of ideas. “[Sponsor] Bradstone has been wonderful. It spent months and months in the research department researching working on the product. [Contractor] Hillier Landscapes was brilliant. It was the smoothest build-up I’ve ever experienced. We finished on Friday night.” On winning best in show, she added: “It hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s like winning an Olympic gold medal for an athlete.” Eberle added that using cacti from grower Piante Faro in Sicily meant hot weather this spring was not a problem but the past fortnight’s rain was a worry. Overall, observers felt there were no strong design trends at this year’s show. Designer Dan Pearson said: “No trends have come up particularly apart from ‘Mars Attacks’, which was out there.” Garden critic Tim Richardson said: “The only truly avant garde garden was ‘Mad Max’s’, which was next to Diarmuid Gavin’s, who has been doing the same as the past five years with fluffy balls and modernist buildings.” Gavin’s design again failed to win gold, as did Chris Beardshaw’s traditional garden. There were 45 golds in the Great Pavilion and seven show-garden gold winners. Helios won best chic garden, Harpak best city garden, AW Gardening Services best courtyard garden and Anthony Samuelson best roof garden. NFU fruit and vegetable exhibit UK Horticulture won the President’s Award in the Great Pavilion. Planting trends to emerge included purple and orange along with drought-tolerant plants, large specimen trees, big hedges, straight lines, sustainability, grasses planted among other planting and irises. * See the magazine for more news from Chelsea.

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