Cotswold designers win big at Chelsea Flower Show in 2022

Chris Beardshaw at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, 2022

Chris Beardshaw at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, 2022 - Credit: John Campbell

From show gardens to houseplants and herbs, designers and growers are flying the Cotswold flag at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

This year’s Best in Show was won by A Rewilding Britain Landscape with perennials grown peat-free by Gloucestershire plant centre Leaf Creative.

Morris & Co. designed by Ruth Willmott

Morris & Co., designed by Ruth Willmott - Credit: © Mandy Bradshaw

A Rewilding Britain Landscape

A Rewilding Britain Landscape - Credit: © Mandy Bradshaw

Chris Beardshaw has scooped his 14th RHS gold with a garden promoting the work of the RNLI, while fellow Cotswold designer Paul Hervey-Brookes has silver for a garden showing the transformation of a former industrial site.

Newent herb growers Kitchen Garden Plant Centre have got silver-gilt for their debut Chelsea exhibit, and it’s silver-gilt for Cheltenham houseplant shop The Aroid Attic for their Houseplant Studio display.

Peter Dowle, founder of Leaf Creative in Huntley, was ecstatic about his role in helping designers Lulu Urquhart and Adam Hunt get the top honour at the world-famous show.

'We’re proud and privileged to be part of the journey,' he says. 'The message about sustainable gardening and the whole peat-free movement has just got a whole lot bigger.'

The RNLI Garden

The RNLI Garden - Credit: © Mandy Bradshaw

Chris deliberately avoided the obvious coastal design for his RNLI garden and instead concentrated on links to the history of the life-saving organisation with a pavilion made from the green oak used in the original lifeboat keels and mounds of limpet pines suggesting rocks.

‘We wanted something that was understated, quietly confident with plants that were ordinary plants, reflecting the fact that lifeboats are manned and supported by ordinary people.

'We’ve always refused for the focus to be about the medal as the most important motivation for us was that the garden did the RNLI justice. Being awarded a Gold is testament to the teamwork and effort of all those involved.'

The Brewin Dolphin Garden

The Brewin Dolphin Garden - Credit: © Mandy Bradshaw

Paul Hervey-Brookes

Paul Hervey-Brookes at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022 - Credit: © Mandy Bradshaw

Paul’s garden for Brewin Dolphin represents a garden created out of brownfield land. Plants were chosen not only for their ability to clean up contaminated soil but also for the way they combat pollution by capturing carbon dioxide.

'I think it’s possibly the most three dimensional and complex garden I have made and the construction is flawless. 

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'I’m happy that Brewin Dolphin are completely thrilled with it and it’s exactly what they asked for.'

Neil and Niamh Jones of Kitchen Garden Plant Centre

Neil and Niamh Jones of Kitchen Garden Plant Centre - Credit: © Mandy Bradshaw

For Neil and Niamh Jones a silver-gilt for their display of herbs and edibles is their second RHS success in a few weeks after they won gold at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival.

'We wanted to showcase how beautiful herbs are with colour and texture, as well as being useful. Our design shows how they can be grown in all aspects from sunshine to shade.'

Charlotte Durrant and Mohammed Bhula

Charlotte Durrant and Mohammed Bhula - Credit: © Mandy Bradshaw

Charlotte Durrant teamed up with fellow houseplant enthusiast Mohammed Bhula for their Houseplant Studio display showing the gap between the reality of growing plants in the home and what appears on social media.

She opened her houseplant shop in Bath Road, Cheltenham back in 2019 and exhibiting at Chelsea was a dream come true.

'We’re over the moon with our result,' she says. 'It’s brilliant to hear all the feedback from the public and to know all the hard work has paid off!'

Elsewhere on the showground, former RHS Malvern people’s choice and silver medal winner Nikki Hollier of Border in a Box got a silver medal for her Mandala, Meditation and Mindfulness Garden in the Container Gardens category.

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show runs until Saturday, May 28. For more information, see the website: rhs.org.uk

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