Flemings’ RHS Chelsea Showgarden 2012

I was interested last year at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show to see that Flemings had moved away from their usual style of garden, such as the huge outdoor living area of the 2010 garden, to a garden with far more focus on the plants.  In 2011 the Trailfinders garden focused on the travels of Joseph Banks and the plants he discovered and introduced to horticulture.  This year the Flemings Trailfinders garden continues to focus on plants but through showing how city gardeners in Melbourne and Sydney utilise not only their native plants but also plants from around the world in their gardens.  I think this is very interesting as I think here in the UK many of us still treat plants from Australia as tender and therefore don’t incorporate them into mixed planting so much therefore it will be interesting to see how the plants are combined and whether this would translate to an English garden.

Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'

Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'

This year’s Trailfinder’s Australian Garden is being designed by Jason Hodges and as we have come to expect from Fleming’s gardens there will be a barbeque, pizza oven, plunge pool and deck area – oh and an outdoor bath of course!  It really highlights the differences that the weather can have on how we use our gardens.  Here in the UK we get excited if we have a couple of weeks where we can eat outside, in Australia it is a way of life.

Myoporum parvifolium

Myoporum parvifolium

Anyway, it is the plants I will be interested in and how the Australian plants are combined with plants from around the world.  Jason Hodges’ plant list is quite interesting.  It includes Australia natives such as Myoporum parvifolium, a ground cover plant, and Lomandra confertifolia ‘Little Pal’, a native grass which I think might be hardy in the UK. Alongside these Jason has included Acanthus mollis, a striking foliage plant, that has long been associated with English herbaceous borders as well as  Asplenium scolopendrium and Blechnum spicant, two ferns from the Northern Hemisphere.  The Flemings team have sourced plants not only from Australia but also from Europe so the garden will be a real international effort.

I think it will be very interesting to see how the plants from the opposite sides of the world are combined in this showgarden and how they are used to create a representation of Australian life.  I am looking forward to seeing the garden in the flesh so to speak.

4 Comments on “Flemings’ RHS Chelsea Showgarden 2012

  1. An outdoor bath… I’d love one! When we bought our summer house and the garden it came with loads of kid’s playthings, including an inflatable paddling pool And yes, I have on occasion inflated it, left it in the sun for a day and then had a lovely warm bath in the early evening…

  2. From Yvonne – NZ – Would love to go to Chelsea (have to win Lotto) Gardeners are never content! We all have lovely native plants but always yearn for others from other lands. My garden probably has more ‘other lands’ than natives, my daughter upstairs more ‘nz’. When I watch English garden programmes I notice many NZ plants! Unfortnately many of the ‘other lands’ plants in NZ have become weeds.

  3. I thought the 2011 garden was inspiring, but I’m a bit disappointed that this year, looking at the sketch, there seems to be a lot less planting, and also less colour from flowers or foliage. Almost everything is green, and while there are many greens, it looks a bit lifeless compared to last year. I know they’re emphasizing outdoor living, but plants are important too! Hopefully it will look better in reality.

  4. Wow, I have never really thought about how “our” gorgeous native plants are used by gardeners around the world. We have such a spectacular range of interesting plants in Australia, and have been mixing them with imports for so long sometimes it’s hard to pick the hybridised natives from the exotics. Jason Hodges is a bit of a “celebrity gardener” in Aus, but not really known for interesting design. With such a garden and landscape design talent pool down here I wish that we could export some better design solutions to really showcase what our native plants can do. Thank you for your post – I loved it!

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