• Starring Roles

    28th May 2010Chelsea Flower ShowStephanie Donaldson

    It fascinates me the way certain plants and colour themes recur in many of the gardens each year at Chelsea without any conscious communicating between the designers. Call it zeitgeist, coincidence or good marketing by the suppliers, whatever it is, I always enjoy spotting the contenders.  This year’s stars were undoubtedly the tawny-hued flag iris that appeared in both Andy Sturgeon’s and Tom Hoblyn’s gardens.



    Tawny flag iris

    Purple alliums were big in the past few years, but although there were echoes of this planting it wasn’t a major theme.



    Single white paeonies were eye-catching both in gardens and in the Pavilion.



    Unlike many of the plants for Chelsea, these are flowering naturally at the moment – on a visit to Wisley last week there were some beautiful drifts of them beneath trees and in my own garden the ‘Late Windflower’ I bought from Beth Chatto many years ago is at its peak.  Horticultural curiosity of the show goes to the checkerboard plant I saw in the Green & Black’s Rainforest Garden. Check this out :

    Calathea network (Not commercially available - yet)

    Calathea ‘network’ (not commercially available – yet)