Sparrow and Finch Gardening Gardening ideas that work

Gardening ideas that work

The best garden ideas from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year (known as RHS Chelsea 2018).

Some show garden ideas do not translate to real garden design. I believe these are the ones you should be on the lookout for.

Colors on fences and walls

Your fence or wall will make up a large part of your garden, if it is small or medium-sized. This is an essential design element for the garden. But I think that we tend to forget it.

Color can transform a small area. Because gardens are so green, you can use more vibrant colors than inside.

Manoj Malde’s RHS Eastern Eye Garden design uses orange, dark pink, and striped fencing. The same colors are visible on the upright of the pergola. The vibrant green will give your garden year-round color.

We are just starting to consider painting fences black. (See top designer Charlotte Rowe’s garden in 5 top design tips and gardener Jo Rutherford’s low-budget garden transformation.)

It’s now time to go one step further and paint your fence in blue, green or orange! There wasn’t a brown-wood fence in sight at RHS Chelsea.

Nurture Landscapes Garden by Sarah Price is probably the most beautiful garden in RHS Chelsea. The walls are painted in soft, bruised fruit colors that make a beautiful backdrop for planting. They’re lime-plastered straw bales, but the same colors could be used on normal fencing.

You can transform your garden in a matter of minutes. If you don’t love the color, just paint it again. For outdoor painting, you don’t have to be an artist with a brush. Brush strokes that are rough and ready should work.

The pale grey fence on the Memoria & Transcendence Garden was designed by Gavin McWilliam & Andrew Wilson.

Susan Begg and Nicola Semple’s Elsewhere Garden, a Teapot Trust project, is another example of vibrant color. The panels are painted in various shades of pink, red and orange.

Practical tip : Test panels should be painted and then compared to the outside. Colors that appear quite vibrant inside may look paler when viewed outside due to the increased light.

Permeable patches of paths

RHS Chelsea 2023 had a lot of paths that looked more like stepping stone, with planting or gravel between each paver.

It is possible to save money by buying fewer pavers. Crazy paving is almost back, but not yet, as it was wedged in place with concrete.

The idea is to give sudden flash floods a place to drain. It is beneficial to insects to make your garden greener. To reduce the amount of weeding on my terrace, I am allowing daisies to grow in between pavers. It seems to be working.

Even a few small gaps can provide valuable space for wildlife to grow and help absorb rainwater. If your garden is too covered with stone, concrete, or brick, heavy rains are more likely to overflow the drainage system.

The kitchen garden is the center of attention

Traditionally, edibles and ornamentals were grown in separate areas of the garden.

As our gardens shrink, we no longer have separate spaces. It’s now time to appreciate your veggie patch. Our greenhouses are also no longer just practical spaces but places to live.

You can also add a table or bench to your greenhouse. It’s both a living space and a useful area. Alitex is the manufacturer of this greenhouse.

Mark Gregory’s Savills Garden was a “garden kitchen”. The garden featured an outdoor cooking area in the middle of a vegetable patch. The vegetable garden also had flowers in it. Chefs were cooking in the kitchen while harvesting the vegetables in the show garden.

If you don’t have an outdoor kitchen but still want to grow vegetables in your garden, put a bench or table in it.

The Savills Garden Kitchen with chefs in action and flowers and edibles as borders. Mark Gregory designed the project

You can also grow edibles closer to your home and add flowers along the vegetable borders.

Some allotments are regulated in the UK to prevent too many flowers from being grown. Allotments were created to encourage people to grow their own food. Flowers attract pollinators, which will help your vegetables grow. Many ‘ornamental flowers’ are edible too!

Several RHS Chelsea show gardens, notably greenhouse companies, did this. Alitex grew its own vegetables for the display in their headquarters. As I mentioned, this spring has been difficult, and they have admitted that they found the process quite challenging.

Hartley Botanic’s greenhouses not only provide a place to grow plants and seeds but also a living space. Set up a sofa, table, or chair in your greenhouse to relax and read.

Hartley Botanic has a living space greenhouse that includes a raised border to encourage growing, a bench with cushions, and a contemporary bench.

Use tree stumps, branches, and trimmings to decorate

It costs money or time to chip up and/or remove a tree that’s been cut down.

Use it as a garden bench. Or, stack the wood to make a bug hotel like the Royal Entomological Society Garden.

The wood slowly decomposes, providing a habitat for beneficial insects. It looks great.

Stumperies were an old Victorian garden design tradition. Since King Charles built a stumpery in Highgrove in the 1990s, there has been renewed interest in decorating with wood and tree stumps. Learn more about how to create a stumpery for your garden.

In several gardens, including the Samaritans’ Listening Garden designed by Darren Hawkes, I saw logs being used as tables, benches or for decoration.

The Royal Entomological Garden, designed by Tom Massey, offers many different ways of using wood in your garden.


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