Another RHS Chelsea Flower Show has come to an end and what a year it was! This year was sponsored by the Newt in Somerset - a working estate inspired by sustainable agriculture and local heritage. The ever-evolving and growing show hosted its first-ever wedding and paid homage to an ever-changing landscape in garden design with recurrent themes of rewilding and growing your own featuring in many of this year's show gardens. A possible reaction to the sponsors, and the best-in-show winner at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022 - "A rewilding British Landscape' along with the growing trend for well-being, self-sufficiency and taking things back to basics! We have shared a few of our garden highlights from this year's show, brimming with inspiration and ideas...

Show & Feature Gardens

There were 12 main show gardens and 2 feature gardens at this year's show, with one of them hosting the RHS's first-ever wedding on press day! Each garden had a focus on well-being, restoration, sustainability, accessibility or diversity. The garden planting this year was somewhat subdued after the coldest spring since 1986 but instead boasted lots more greenery, trees and shrubs interspersed with muted flowers.

A Life Worth Living Garden

The Peoples Choice Award went to Myeloma UK - 'A life worth living' garden and it was not hard to see why. This stunning garden, designed by Chris Beardshaw and built by was a tranquil and meditative space with two temples, a calming water feature, artwork and a planted woodland. A space to be enjoyed slowly with a winding pathway that encouraged you to walk mindfully through. Inspired by conversations with people living with blood cancer to pause and be present. The Myelmon UK, A life worth living garden exuded calm and offered a mindful space in which to be at one with nature and oneself, immersed in the present moment.

dusky irises frnt with a rustic water feature centre.

The Nurture Landscapes Garden

The inspiration behind this idyllic garden designed by Sarah Price was the home of the late Sir Cedric Morris - an artist and plantsman from Suffolk who introduced over 90 different species of bearded iris. The colour palette was beautifully subdued with grey-purples and unique yellows and coppers that were classic in Morris' bohemian naturalistic garden. Sarah kept with the theme of low carbon and sustainable by sourcing local materials, many of which were reclaimed and rather fittingly will be rehoming much of this garden in Benton End where the inspiration arose from. The Nurture Landscapes Garden offered a full-circle tale and dreamy planting!

The RHS and Eastern Eye Garden of Unity

The RHS and Eastern Eye Garden of Unity was a real eye-catcher with beautifully bold and bright colours designed by recent RHS ambassador for diversity and inclusivity - Manoj Malde's. Heavily influenced by his Indian heritage, the pinks and oranges were reflective of women's saris, with oil lamps called diya on display which are used during festivals. Sustainability came through the use of peat-free planting and recycled limestone brick paving. This garden aimed to promote horticulture for everyone, everywhere and included braille on the posts, advocating a space for everyone regardless of race, colour, creed, sexuality, or disability - a wonderful testament to a more inclusive and diverse future for generations to come and a beautiful garden to witness.

colourful garlands and posts with a water feature bottom left.
walled kitchen garden with raised planters

The Savills Garden

Designed by Mark Gregory this quintessential garden created the feeling of a walled garden in a country hotel. It featured raised bedding with a brook at the front that led into dreamy covered seating and a water feature engulfed in pretty pastel flowers. At the heart of this garden was the working outdoor kitchen where guests could enjoy food prepared from the ingredients in the garden - a first for Chelsea Flower Show! Sustainability came in the form of Yorkshire street flags and reclaimed brick. The garden will be reused after the show to each cooking to young people. The Savills garden offered a real plot-to-plate experience and showcased that working gardens can not only be practical but also extremely beautiful too!

The Royal Entomological Society Garden

Offering an insects eye view - The Royal Entomological Society Garden was an educational garden with a working lab to study and monitor insects. Designed by Tom Massey, this garden demonstrated the importance of creating spaces for wildlife to thrive and ways in which to do that - featuring flowing and still pools of water, rammed floors earth biodiverse planting, dead wood piles and hoggin pathways - all providing year-round habitats for various insects. The garden will be relocated to IQL Stratford in East London to continue studying and researching insects.

insect eye dome covering a lab surrounded by bug hotels and flowers
large tower made from rock and soil surrounded by trees.

A Letter from a Million Years Past

A letter from a million years past garden was designed by Jihae Hwang. It offered an insight into the last primeval forest of Jirisan, where native Korean medicinal herbs are found including rare endangered alpines. The garden featured large rocks that represented the mountain and sheltered the plants, with streams of water throughout proving the base of a complex ecosystem. The large tower in the garden illustrated a medicinal herb-drying tower built using traditional Korean techniques using rock and soil. This garden brought awareness to the importance of our world's forests and ecosystems and the role they play.

RHS Winners

Congratulations to everyone involved in the winning gardens:

Best Construction Award (Show Garden): The Centrepoint Garden, built by Crocus Ltd

Best Sanctuary Garden: The National Brain Appeal's Rare Space, designed by Charlie Hawkes

Best Construction Award (Sanctuary Garden): The National Brain Appeal's Rare Space, designed by Charlie Hawkes

Best Balcony and Container Garden: Feels Like Home, designed by Rosemary Coldstream

Best All About Plants: The Talitha Arts Garden, designed by Joe and Laura Carey

Westminster Stone at Chelsea Flower Show

Our paving appeared on two stands this year. The first with our long-time friends over at Alitex - who won 'Best Trade Stand' with our Lamb House Limestone and Tintagel Aged Slate Paving. And secondly, over at the very talented sculptor Matt Maddocks's stand, who fell in love with our new National Trust Branscombe Slate Paving.

The Future is Blooming: A Look Back at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023

The 2023 RHS Chelsea Flower Show has come to a close, leaving us with a renewed sense of inspiration for our own green spaces. This year's show was a celebration of well-being, rewilding, and sustainability, with gardens that soothed the soul, embraced the beauty of nature, and championed eco-friendly practices. We saw the "A Life Worth Living" garden by Myeloma UK take the People's Choice Award, a testament to the growing desire for gardens that promote peace and mindfulness. The Savills Garden, with its working kitchen, showcased the delicious potential of homegrown produce, while the Royal Entomological Society Garden highlighted the vital role gardens play in supporting wildlife

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About the Author

Sian McHugh

'Sian has been working with us at Westminster Stone for over 5 years and has developed expertise in garden design and landscaping. Her passion for nature extends to tending her own garden, teaching yoga and hiking during her free time.'