Chelsea panel: Which features and trends stood out for you at this year's Chelsea Flower Show?

HW polled designers on their views of this year's design highlights at Chelsea.

Nigel Dunnett, designer

"Food production appears to be a trend as well as a naturalistic planting. But I find a lot of it is just cramming plants together in a bit of a mish-mash. I don't see the point in doing gardens that look to the past or copy others even if it is risky. To have a show garden that is well-received here is really important because it is a mark of respect from your peers and a great way to get ideas across to as many people as you can."

Marney Hall, designer

"I've done 16 Chelsea shows and I have seen more exciting stuff with wow factor this year than for many years. There are a few trends of which green walls are one - they are everywhere. A lot of the big show gardens are very linear and there is some beautiful planting."

Marcus Barnett, designer

"There are some real masculine designs with feminine planting this year. Many of the male designers have created strong linear gardens but they are softened by very gentle, calming planting. The standards are very high."

Adam Frost, urban garden designer

"I don't think anything stands out in the main gardens, although it is all good. The trends in the urban gardens are reclaimed materials and green walls which I think have been done to death. Green walls are great for the environment but I don't know if they are sustainable by the public. I think what we do as garden designers will become more important as we get involved in planning and sustainable drainage issues. Instead of being considered a second class industry we are moving towards one that is better respected."

Robert Myers, designer

"There are a lot of water features and more of a horticultural approach to planting in terms of using plants that are useful from a health or food perspective."

Heather Appleton, designer

"There is a lot of art work in gardens this year. People may be starting to consider their gardens as an extension of the house that they can inject life and personality into and are looking for something that is a little bit different. These shows can give them those ideas."

Andrew Duff, garden design director

"We are beginning to see brighter colours. We have all been a bit moody lately and maybe we are getting fed up with it. But a trend takes five years to evolve at Chelsea so perhaps next year we will be getting a bolder stronger planting. I think Diarmuid Gavin's garden is incredibly classy. Smaller gardens like Adam Frost's have raised to the same standards as the big ones and I think we will see them coming through."


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