Just as the warm weather finally arrives our thoughts turn to gardening and in particular to the Chelsea Flower Show. This year the show will unveil a host of new attractions, with plenty of ideas to try at home. There will be a strong focus on smaller, urban gardens and ideas about making the most of spaces typical of town gardens.
The show (May 22-26) devotes extra space to emphasising why everyone should grow plants in their garden – rather than decking or artificial grass. There is a special category of gardens that enhance wellbeing, championing the power of plants and green spaces to improve lives by providing beautiful havens to escape and enjoy.
For the first time on Friday 25 May, the Ranelagh Gardens will remain open to the public until late for an evening of live jazz and soul music, entertainment and more. The Chelsea Late package allows visitors to enter the full showground from 5.30pm onwards and when the show closes at 8pm, visitors enter the intimate setting of Ranelagh Gardens, with more than half of the show ground to explore at leisure.
Many of this year’s designs demonstrate how gardens can bring peace to fractured lives. The Lemon Tree Trust Garden by Tom Massey, was inspired by refugees living in Domiz camp in Northern Iraq, and was designed with their input. It celebrates the ability of the camp’s residents to create gardens to grow food and beautify their limited space making the most of harsh living conditions and landscapes.
The beautiful and drought-tolerant planting scheme showcases plants typically grown in the region. Trees laden with fruit, include figs, lemons and pomegranates. The garden also includes edibles and herbs used in Middle Eastern cooking.