Chelsea Flower Show 2018

Jane Perrone, writing for The Guardian, provides a list of garden trends to take home – including that euphorbias are the star of any sunny border and gravel is on-trend (for design gardens anyway) as a ground cover.

The Telegraph has provided a run-down of all the medal-winning gardens. Read it here.

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Pearlfisher designer John Warland polishes an aquatic tank in the garden which aims to mimic an underwater scene and highlights the problem of plastic in our oceans (Gold in Space to Grow Gardens).

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The David Harber and Savills Garden (Silver Gilt in Show Gardens).

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The Seedlip Garden (Gold in Space to Grow Gardens) celebrates the pea (Pisum sativum).

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The Welcome to Yorkshire garden (Gold in Show Gardens).

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The Urban Flow garden (Gold in Space to Grow Gardens).

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English designer Chris Beardshaw, who had a spectacular garden at Ellerslie in Christchurch in 2010, pictured in his Morgan Stanley garden for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) – Best in Show.

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A visitor with marble sculptures by Paul Vanstone in the Coombe Sculpture Garden.

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Queen Elizabeth inspects the display of Peter Beales Roses.

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A Chelsea pensioner makes a colourful focal point for a commercial stand.

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Flowering Rebutia cacti.

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Simon Lockyer holds two specimens of Primula auricula in front of his stand. W&S Lockyer Nursery was founded by Simon and his dad Bill, who died in 2016. It holds the national collection for Primula auricula doubles.

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A worker adjusts a floral display.

Chelsea also has a Plant of the Year competition – this year choosing Hydrangea Runaway Bride Snow White, a lace cap that flowers all the way along the stems. Graham Rice has written an interesting piece about how the judging is done and why it’s a flawed system.

Newsy bits

Nineteen institutions, including a large number of botanical gardens, are collaborating in the three-year-long EU Horizon 2020 project, BigPicnic. Scientists, politicians, industry and the public will be brought together to start a conversation about worldwide food security – that sufficient healthy food should always be available to everyone without causing damage to the planet.

Botanic gardens, with help from other partners, will co-create a range of exhibitions and participatory events to generate dialogue and build greater understanding of food security. The collaborative approach aims to give a voice to adults and young people, communicating their views to policy-makers, sharing ideas, encouraging debate on the future of our food and achieving Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI).

Co-ordinated by Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), BigPicnic Partners span 12 countries across Europe and one in Uganda. Read more about BigPicnic and ongoing events (from 2018) here.

New Zealand science writer Bob Brockie looks at giant timber bamboo – a plant that flowers only once every 120 years, last blooming in 1845. Once it’s flowered, Phyllostachys bambusoides​, which has edible shoots and tips, dies.

He also mentions a different bamboo in India that when it flowers is known as causing a Bamboo Death Year for local inhabitants. Read more here.

We’ve all seen those beautiful photos of food decorated with real flowers – quite a thing on Instagram apparently. Well, botanist James Wong is over it, especially when the food is decorated with toxic flowers! Read more here.

Can’t make the Chelsea Flower Show in London? Treat yourself to a preview of the May 22-26 event. Cheers!