Our Top Trends from RHS Chelsea…

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Well, what a week it has been at RHS Chelsea Flower Show.  The sun has shone, our favourite Royals visited and we’ve even seen the unlikely pairing of Mary Berry and Chris Evans enjoying the show!  Not forgetting of course, the wonderful gardens and plants that have been showcased at their best to ‘wow’ and inspire as all.  Jon Reburn, our horticultural manager, tells us about the some of the most prominent looks and favourite plants from his visit to this year’s show.
 
Lupins, Lupins, Lupins!
West Country Lupins are always a show stopper at Chelsea Flower Show, but this year it really did feel like they were everywhere!  They made a real statement in the Morgan Stanley garden in particular.  Bred for uniformity and colour range, West Country Lupins make a great garden plant, as no staking is required. Produced by tissue culture, vigour is evident in production and plants show improved disease resistance.  The West Country Lupins are a winning collection, showing strength of growth, colour and wow factor.  This summer we have several varieties to choose from at Coolings ranging from the deep bold colour of ‘The Governor’ to the delicate pink and white of ‘The Chatelaine’. 
 
 
 

White Digitalis (Foxgloves)
You can’t go wrong with white foxgloves and they were certainly in abundance this year at Chelsea.  Foxgloves make some of the very best cottage garden, early summer plants and cut flowers.  Our favourite is Digitalis purpurea ‘Snow Thimble’ – tall, stunning spikes of pure, white, bell shape flowers throughout summer.
 


Pines and Dwarf Pines
Many designers used Pines and Dwarf Pines within their gardens such as the best artisan garden winner to complement other herbaceous beauties like the coppery coloured Iris ‘Kent Pride’.  Pinus ‘Mugo’ made several appearances as did simple, colourful, green foliage plants like Alchemilla mollis (Lady's Mantle). 
  


Acers
Acers were used to stunning effect in several of the smaller show gardens.  The Japanese Garden in particular, showed them at their best.  We have a fantastic range here at Coolings, one of the best in the Country.


Salvia ‘Caradonna’
Deep purple and orange were very prominent this year and we saw plenty of beautiful Salvia ‘Caradonna’.   It looks wonderful planted with the bright orange of Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ and equally it looked stunning planted under Sambucas ‘Black Lace’.  It was particularly stunning in the gold medal winning ‘Breaking Ground’ show garden and my favourite - The Morgan Stanley Garden designed by Chris Beardshaw where ‘Caradonna’ appeared alongside beautiful Lupins, plenty of green foliage and pine trees.  A stunning combination.
  


My favourite…
Primula Vialii featured in the Chinese garden.  Its a striking perennial, with unusual spikes of vivid lilac flowers, tipped with red.  It will add a lovely splash of colour at the front of a shady border. 
 
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