Words by Jessica Peace

We’ve finally flung our pelargoniums onto The Bull Ring Gate (CHECK EM OUT):

and we’ve spent the day knocking about on the Chelsea Embankment…


1: The Seedlip Garden

Designed by Dr Catherine MacDonald of Landform. (Space to Grow)

Although our ‘1 to 5’ is in no particular order... this garden was the biggest surprise; aside from the dodgy green sculpture, this patch of peas is a thing of true beauty. The garden bunches together all kinds of members of the pea family, some rare and striking, some cottage garden faves, all tumbling over each other towards the pea ‘shrine’. ‘Peas and Love’ - and massive innovation.

2: The Pearlfisher Garden

Designed by John Warland of Pearlfisher. (Space to Grow)

This little pool of underwater love is right up our alley. Stuffed with succulents and cacti, the Pearlfisher installation gives us, ‘the world’s largest garden, the underwater garden of our oceans’. Their aim - inside Chelsea and out, is to get governments, designers, businesses and ‘us’ to pull our fingers out, stop tossing our plastic into the sea and start living sustainably. Respect.


3: The Welcome to Yorkshire Garden

Designed by Mark Gregory. (Show Garden)

We tend to think of ‘God’s Own Country’ as being a bit bleak - not ’ere luv. This ‘tumbling beck’ is bulging with wildflowers - and wild sounds, lovin’ the sheep recordings. Between the bothy and drystone wall there’s a farmer’s garden stuffed with veg, foxgloves, buttercups, meadowsweet… You are knocked into Yorkshire.

4: The Lemon Tree Trust Garden

Designed by Tom Massey. (Show Garden)

This garden is dripping with light and hope. Massey’s design uncovers the role of horticulture as sanctuary and necessity in the lives of refugees living in Domiz camp in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The drought tolerant plants and edible crops are positioned around a channel of water demonstrating the need for food and water in the camps and the garden as a place of peace in a desperate time.

5: The Embroidered Minds Epilepsy Garden

Designed by Kati Chrome. (Artisan Gardens)

‘Embroidered minds’  is a garden for Jenny Morris and Leslie Forbes, two extraordinary women who suffered with epilepsy. Morris, daughter of plant hero William Morris drew on nature like her Dad in her embroidery. Forbes died from a seizure in 2016 but had been wanting to make a Chelsea garden with Chrome that drew on the life of Jenny Morris, now Chrome has built a deeply moving garden which celebrates them both.


No getting around it, Chelsea is an expensive game, but if you are feeling strapped but want to go then grab yourself a half-day ticket and rely on the Thames Water free water bottle refills. Bosh.

The plant sell off begins at 4pm on Saturday - bring some strong arms…


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