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  • Writer's pictureSarah Kay

Countdown to RHS Chelsea 2021

I'm really excited to be visiting Chelsea next week. It feels like a long time since I've been to a show and I think this year could be the most exciting yet.

  1. Late Summer/Autumn planting

Due to the cancellation of Chelsea earlier in the year due to covid restrictions, the show is taking place in September for the first time. Late Summer/early Autumn is my favourite time of year and I'm really looking forward to seeing the planting combinations that this time of year brings. I expect more of a focus on ornamental grasses and late Summer perennials including Echinachea, Anemones and Rudbeckia.

The Yeo Valley Organic Garden designed by Tom Massey

2. New categories

I think that the RHS are attempting to capture a new younger and more diverse audience with the introduction of the Balcony and Container categories of show gardens and the new House plants studios, recognising the huge increase in interest in gardening by younger people, who don't necessarily have access to huge (or any) outside space.

The RHS has challenged 5 new to Chelsea designers to design a 5m x 2m Balcony space. I really look forward to being inspired for idea to a question I'm often asked by potential clients.

Green Sky Pocket Garden designed by James Smith

The Container Garden category shows in a 4m x 3m space how transportable gardens can be designed using an array of containers. The Chelsea decorated garden designer Paul Hervey-Brookes has been mentoring the young designers.

3. Climate Change focus

More now than ever the climate change crisis is upon us and horticulturalists need to be at the forefront of persuading clients and governments to change policy and practices to ensure that sustainability and biodiversity is at the heart of all design projects.

This year the RHS has sponsored the COP 26 Garden, inspired by the conference taking place in Glasgow in November 2021. The garden focuses around 4 themes: Decline, Adaptation, Mitigation and Balance and is designed by landscape architects, Balston Agius.

RHS COP26 Garden design by Balston Agius

Watch this space for my thoughts and pictures from the show.

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