• Sarah Kay

My Chelsea 2022 highlights

A little later than usual due to half term and Jubilee holiday, here's my highlights from my Friday visit to Chelsea this year.


  1. Out of the Shadows - Kate Gould Gardens

This beautiful garden, winner of the Best Sanctuary Garden, perfectly highlights how great design can respond to the modern (and post pandemic) need for a garden in which you can relax, exercise, entertain and dine. By carefully screening and recessing elements, this garden manages to include a Jacuzzi swim spa, fire pit, exercise bars and a yoga/meditation space. Exotic planting creates beautiful shadows which add to feeling of seclusion and calm.


2. Building the Future Medite Smartply - Sarah Eberle

The centrepiece of this garden is the huge rock face waterfall, built from the sponsor's sustainable wood based product, which is a huge feat of engineering. The planting is inspired by the Irish forest where the wood for the product is sourced and cleverly combines damp loving, native and exotic species to beautiful effect.


3. A Garden Sanctuary from Hamptons - Tony Woods

I really loved the simplicity of this garden, which has sustainability at it's heart from the carbon neutral Shou Sugi Ban garden cabin by Koto, through to the pollinator attracting plants, water, wildlife corridor hedging and tree canopies all which create wildlife habitats. A beautiful example of how modern urban living can be sustainable and health giving.


4. Connected by Exante - Taina Suono

The cork bark covered centrepiece of this teleworking oasis really caught my eye. This circular structure based on a tree stump incorporates a skylight trimmed with a green roof, a silhouette window and a water feature. The planting is naturalistic, based on European woodlands and is limited in colour and serene. This garden will be relocated to UCLH to support patient recovery.


5. Front Garden Revolution from The Core Arts - Andy Smith Williams

This garden is close to my heart as the Core Arts headquarters is just around the corner from me as is St Barnabas church, where the plants and hard landscaping will be relocated to.

This innovation design is a re-imagining of front garden spaces as a shared community garden for socialising and community garden projects, both of which are proven to improve mental health. Planting is given precedence over paving, with existing paving broken up to create a more permeable surface and provide fill for the gabion benches and top dressing for the beds. Rain water planters will divert excess rain water to plants and reclaimed timber benches provide a hub for community meet up. I love this approach to front gardens - beautiful and community minded.



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