The 2022 Royal Horticultural Chelsea Flower Show has returned with a bang this year and it certainly didn’t disappoint the visual appetites of onlookers, showcasing some of the most incredible flower and garden arrangements to date. Starts at 60 takes a look at the esteemed gold medal winners of this year’s prestigious garden awards, from Best Show Garden to Best Construction Award, exhibiting the creative flair of some of the UK’s most talented gardeners and garden designers.
A Rewilding Britain Landscape designed by Lulu Urquhart and Adam Hunt.
This truly enchanting installation takes you on a magical journey into the wilder countryside of South West England, featuring stunning multi-stemmed willows swaying in the wind and accompanied by scented wildflowers providing delightful hints of colour to the rustic landscape. The installation is centered around a rustic beaver’s lodge and homemade timber walking path. Small streams of water compliment the makeshift country environment, creating a sort of enchanted wilderness. The installation creates the idea that it is very much built around the environment rather than the environment being built around it. As described by the RHS, “The garden reflects the amazingly rich landscape that evolves when nature’s eco-engineers, such as beavers, are able to flourish”.
MEDITE SMARTPLY Building the Future built by Landform Consultants.
This ultra modern ‘futuristic’ looking garden has all the features of a well-thought out, constructively sound garden. The small paved out path is edged by rare and wild species of plants, with hints of yellow wildflowers peeking out in all the right places. Most notably, the installation exhibits a stunning and innovative waterfall as the impeding feature of the installation, tying in with the large matching wood-based sculpture positioned to the left of the path opening. A makeshift timber shelter area is structured by the waterfall, creating a mini hut looking directly over the waterfall and pool below. According to the RHS, the garden is “themed around sustainability and multiple applications and versatility of MEDITE SMARTPLY products” with the featured trees revealed as native plants to the forests of Ireland.
Out of the Shadows designed by Kate Gould.
This modern retreat themed installation is nothing short of desirable, featuring contemporary timber architecture and perfectly designed with stunning tropical flora, delicate sphere-shaped outdoor lamps and modish decorative structures including a strategically placed climbing bar. The relaxation-inspired installation is centred around a generous matte black jet spa, creating a real sense of peace, serenity and visual satisfaction. Behind the spa pans out into a contemporary relaxation area featuring yin and yang-shaped seats and framed by stunning hanging shrubbery. As described by the RHS, “the garden is a safe haven for people to exercise and socialise in small groups, and the space designed to revitalise both the body and mind”.
The Still Garden designed by Jane Porter.
Inspired by the Scotland Highlands and Islands, this homely installation offers a truly intimate look into the Scottish climate, featuring wonderful coloured flora and accompanied by earthy countryside elements and textures. A number of oak barrels are neatly displayed, each packed with a variety of botanicals and a copper gin distilling container is also present, filled with cotton grass and other plants. Flat rock is placed neatly, forming a step-by-step path for access through the exhibit. As described by the RHS, “Slate rescued from a disused quarry in Perthshire is set vertically like the sea walls of the western isles and constructed to resemble a glen between two mountains”, exhibiting a real theme of “repurposing” and practicality.
The Wilderness Foundation UK Garden designed by Charlie Hawkes.
Almost as if it has truly been lifted from the realms of the wilderness, this installation is possibly the most raw of the garden winners. Featuring an abundance of trees and plants, and set out in a sort of maze, this exhibit showcases a real sense of natural tranquility and environment, taking inspiration from plant varieties in native Japanese forests. According to the RHS, the installation is centred around the idea of “transforming the lives” and “mental wellbeing” of society. The installation is subtly separated by a charred timber walking path giving easy access to onlookers to essentially “explore the wilderness”. Large moss layered boulders are placed throughout the path, acting as a makeshift rest area for explorers.