Garden retailers praise accessible Chelsea Flower Show designs but rue lack of grow your own in gardens

Chelsea Flower Show has more inspiration that gardeners can take home and achieve themselves this year, say garden industry figures, but they are disappointed that few gardens featured grow-your-own themes, which have been the big growth areas for garden centres in the last two years.

HTA president Caroline Owen said: "The gardens are more accessible and achievable this year. There is a lot of natural planting which should be good for garden centre sales. People can do it. The plants in the gardens are the plants that should be in flower now. Chelsea Flower Show is back to being inspirational after being challenged by recession last year."

Squires managing director and incoming Garden Centre Association chairman Dannis Espley said: "There is more colour this year. We look at Chelsea to see what products and plants we like the look of for the garden centres."

Trends emerging included biodiversity replacing grow your own as a big theme.

But GIMA director Neil Gow and garden writer Peter Seabrook said the show gardeners were out of touch with the general public and that the grow-your-own trend had years of growth left in it.

Garden designer, Chelsea judge and HW blogger Andrew Fisher-Tomlin said: "The UK Skills and Eden Project gardens used grow your own but it has become part of the vocabulary and you want to push the envelope at Chelsea Flower Show. Biodiversity has taken over from fruit and veg."


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