Our second stop on the 2019 Flower Show circuit was the Oak Leaf Gates trade stand at RHS Chelsea. Richard Ecclestone, Managing Director, trusted the dressing of his spot in the capable hands of Butterworth Horticulture.
Crafted, quality, and refined. The handsome, sophisticated gates on display required a soft-landscapers touch to dress it appropriately for the most prestigious flower in the world. It was decided that the planting scheme needed to be simple, classy, understated yet powerful.
Our brief led to a shady, woodland inspired planting scheme. Delicate flowers in muted tones and a tapestry of green foliage would serve the perfect foil for these smart gates.
The solid oak was complemented by a foil of greenery, consisting of ferns such as Dryopteris affinis ‘Pinderi’, fluffy ornamental grasses (Melica altissima ‘Alba’), and Epimedium x rubrum and Alcehmilla epipsila which added textural groundcover. Starry white flowers of Geranium phaeum ‘Album’, delicate droplets of Polygonatum multiflorum and gauzy blooms of Viburnum plicatum were glowing from beneath the canopy of a show-stopping Cornus kousa ‘Starlight’. Geranium phaeum ‘Samobor’ has a sophisticated, dusky, deep purple that contrasted beautifully with the large Rodgersia leaves and small white flowers below the trees.
We were blessed with scorching May sunshine, and as guests cooled down with the aid of pitchers of Pimms and soft ice creams, we had a hard job of keeping the plants hydrated. Despite numerous trips to a nearby tap armed with a small watering can, we still managed to receive plenty of positive comments on how luscious and green our leafy friends remained despite the blistering heat.
We perpetually watered and enjoyed conversing with the public (the Cornus kousa ‘Starlight’ lived up to its name and received a lot of attention). Despite our duties, we were lucky enough to take some time and explore the show. My personal highlights included Sarah Eberle’s Resilience Garden, which inspired me with a unique take on a wildflower display, and encouraged me to consider biodiversity differently in my own designs.
I noticed that green seemed to be the dominate theme at Chelsea this year. A stroll down main avenue was awash with green, decorated with pale yellow and white – swathes of cow-parley, euphorbia alongside families of Rodgersia and Epimedium. In summary, an overwhelming display of inspiration, and we are so ready to get back to the drawing board.
We congratulate our friends at Oak Leaf Gates on their trade stand that was awarded a well-deserved 5-stars. The display did justice to their beautiful gates and prestigious brand – we were delighted to play a part in their success.
Key Plants List:
Ferns & Grasses: