Chelsea show displays set to reflect return to tradition

Traditional flowers are back in vogue at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which is set to offer visitors a softer alternative to the hard-edged modernism of years gone by.

Ball Colegrave, which has launched five new patio "novelties" including a black petunia (HW, 1 April), is relying on lobelia, begonia and fuchsia to make a splash.

Millais Nurseries will show off rhododendrons and azaleas including rare historic varieties and new selections from international breeders at the show on 25 to 29 May.

Meanwhile, Hardy's Cottage Garden Plants has teamed up with Westland Horticulture, said co-owner Rosy Hardy. "This year is our biggest ever stand but we will pull out all the stops and continue going for gold," she said.

Association of Professional Landscapers member the Garden Builders is working on a British Heart Foundation Garden, which will highlight the healing properties of traditional plants.

Nigel Dunnett and the Landscape Agency will feature a full-sized rain garden - a first for Chelsea - with Dunnett's trademark use of wild flowers. Landform is building a show garden for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne, designed by Jim Fogarty, which will feature Australian native plants.

Other big names include Graham Bodle, who is designing a sense-stimulating garden for Doncaster Deaf School, to be built by Walkers Nurseries. From Adam Frost is The Lands' End across the Pond Garden being built by New Ground Landscapes.

Jamie Dunstan from Gardeners' Boutique returns with a garden featuring reclaimed objects such as a prison door and a Victorian safe.

More Chelsea coverage next week.

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