Recently, I was lucky enough to visit the Chelsea Flower Show for the first time. Hosted by STIHL, who has worked with Hillier Gardens to create a most stunning show garden, I enjoyed a fabulous day, gaining inspiration for my own garden makeover.
Having not visited before, I was keen to experience the Chelsea magic and see what I could take from the show for my own garden. I wanted to come away understanding current trends, how to make them work for my own space and what I needed to do to achieve that.
Did my visit to Chelsea and the The STIHL Hillier Garden take me out of my comfort zone? Well, read on to find out.
STIHL, the world-famous German power tool company, has traditionally served the community of landscapers, farmers, foresters and other professionals, but now STIHL tools are available for gardeners like you and I too.
The Hillier team has used a broad range of STIHL tools during the garden build and used them throughout the show too, from backpack leaf blowers and cut-off saws to pruning shears and chainsaws.
STIHL is committed to long-term environmental protection and energy efficiency and as such, STIHL products include advanced, fuel-efficient petrol models. The range also includes low-noise, Lithium-Ion battery powered tools, plus lightweight electric models.
If you’re interested in a STIHL product to help you maintain your own garden you can get more information at their online shop.
Our own garden is undergoing a makeover as I type. It’s been needing some attention for quite some time now, most of our energy being directed at the interior in recent years, so I booked a landscape gardener and he’s here this week.
What won’t be included in our makeover is any planting though. The work being done is just to replace fencing and grass, lay new gravel and create several raised beds as you can see in the image above.
So in essence, it’s a blank canvas, devoid of greenery and colour so I can’t wait to get started on planning and planting.
The visit to Chelsea couldn’t have been timed better and it gave me the opportunity to talk to experienced gardeners and get their input on what can work. I can’t wait to bring my garden to life.
The Stihl Hillier Garden
Without further ado, let me show you around the award winning Stihl Hillier Garden at Chelsea and point out some of the areas that gave me the most inspiration.
‘The Stihl Hillier Garden’ blends together contemporary and traditional themes in this year’s design. The central element of the garden, alongside the thousands of beautiful quality plants, is a striking water feature that brings a feeling of calm and elegance to the garden.
Normally this much planting would make be very nervous but I loved the abundance of colour and the way evergreen shrubs had been mixed with the foliage. Each area of the garden had a slightly different feel, but colours seamlessly blended into each other.
And of course, the more planting you do, the less likely you’ll be overrun with weeds.
Hillier holds the record for the most consecutive Chelsea gold medals and this year saw them receive their 74th award.
They certainly managed to blend the contemporary styling from the materials used, to the water features and through to the garden furniture, and marry them with the more traditional feel from the planting.
The water features caught my attention. They framed the space yet allowed your eye to pass through the water curtains to points beyond, adding interest and allowing the garden to flow.
Whilst we don’t have the budget to create something as spectacular as this, it has made me reflect on how we can build some water features into our own garden. The sound was incredibly soothing, and the reflections in the ‘moat’ created that further illusion of space.
Catherine from Growing Family
The garden was designed by Lilly Gomm, making her Chelsea Flower Show debut, who said,
I was keen to create a design which is vibrant and interactive yet remained contemporary and I feel we have achieved this and more.
Other Chelsea Points of Interest
This year, Chelsea seemed to be awash with flowers and colour. I’m told in previous years the look as been quite ‘barren’ so the return to almost cottage style planting was an interesting one.
I just love the bright, bold seat nestled amongst the garden of equally bright flowers above.
This greenhouse space designed my Selina Lake was inspired. So bright and colourful, it just drew you in and was hard to avoid.
And take a look below at the Facebook garden. It’s definitely a space to sit and reflect under the shade of the sail-like canopy whilst listening to the water lap at the ‘shore’.
I am definitely inspired to add a canopy of some description into my own garden.
The Value of Chelsea Flower Show
Ultimately, Chelsea Flower Show is a British institution and well worth a visit even if you’re not a mad garden lover. The atmosphere and joy at the different garden designs is infectious.
It provides incredible inspiration, like a fashion show you take from it what you need and use the ideas to create your own magical garden space at home.
If you’d like more inspiration from Chelsea and the STIHL Hillier Garden there are further posts you’ll like:
A big thank you to STIHL for hosting me at the Chelsea Flower Show this year. All comments and opinions are honest and my own.
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