Small is beautiful at RHS Chelsea - don't miss the Artisan gardens!

An Alcove (Tokonoma) Garden - Best Artisan garden and Gold medal winner
If you're visiting Chelsea this week, make sure you visit the eight Artisan Gardens, hidden away in Serpentine Walk - a cluster of small gardens that will give you ideas for your patch at home and where you can get close enough to see the finer details of the planting. Overall winner is the Alcove Garden (above) designed by Kazuyuki Ishihara, which also won a Gold.
"Get Well Soon" - awarded a Silver medal (designed by Kati Crome and Maggie Hughes)
Right next door is "Get Well Soon", which won a silver medal. Sponsored by the National Botanic Garden of Wales and designed by Kati Crome and Maggie Hughes, this garden emphasises the ways in which plants can improve your health, and reflects many of the design features of the sponsor garden in Wales.
Motor Neurone Disease - A Hebridean Weaver's Garden - Gold medal winner
The Hebridean Weaver's Garden (above), designed by Jackie Setchfield and Martin Anderson to reflect the solitary life of an island inhabitant in the 1950s, trying to eke out a living from the land, also won a Gold medal. This is a delightful garden, that makes you realise just how far removed we are from island life in the heart of Chelsea during the Flower Show.
NSPCC Garden of Magical Childhood,  designed by Adam Woolcott and Jonathan Smith
The NSPCC Garden of Magical Childhood, designed by Adam Woolcott and Jonathan Smith, and winner of a Silver Gilt medal, reflects nostalgic concepts of our early years, with an enchanting tree house taking centre stage and a collection of vintage toys. Look out for all the pebbles in the wishing pond with their individual messages, inscribed by NSPCC supporters.
Um Garreg, designed by brothers Harry and David Rich, both first timers at Chelsea
Un Garreg (One Stone) also won a Gold medal - this garden, designed by Harry and David Rich - two brothers who are first timers at Chelsea, who've drawn on the Welsh landscape of Brecon where they grew up - is both simple and harmonious and would be easy to replicate at home, if you knew a good dry stone waller! 
Walkers' Pine Garden by Graham Bodle won a Silver medal
Walkers' Pine Garden, designed by Graham Bodle takes inspiration from some of Britain's great gardens including Rousham for the rill and Chatsworth for the gold leaf gilding on the obelisks, and shows just how much you can pack into a tiny space, with innovative planting and some interesting features. The wall sculpture celebrates RHS Chelsea's Centenary. 
Le Jardin De Yorkshire, designed by Alistair Baldwin Associates
Even simpler is the design of Le Jardin De Yorkshire, inspired by the county's successful bid to host the 2014 start of the Tour de France. The water feature at the front of the garden lists many of the villages and towns that cyclists will visit when they set off next year. This garden won a Silver Gilt medal for designer, Alistair Baldwin Associates.
The Herbert Smith Freehills Garden for WaterAid - a blaze of marigolds
The Herbert Smith Freehills Garden for WaterAid is inspired by the the work of the charity WaterAid in India - a blaze of colour, reflecting the benefits of access to clean water, improved hygiene and sanitation, even when water is scarce. Designed by Patricia Thirion and Janet Honour and winner of a Gold medal.
To see Gold Medal gardens in the Show Garden category at Chelsea this year, click here


  1. How delightful they all are! Thanks Charlotte, for sharing with those of us not attending. These are a real treat and seem so much more like real garden places than some of the larger works.

  2. Not a huge fan, to be honest. Too much that seems like forced cuteness. I do like the WaterAid garden, maybe just because of the reference to India and the very Indian use of so many marigolds.

  3. Charlotte, Thanks so much for your posting today. I wish that some day I could get to the Chelsea Garden Show. When any one of you from over on the other side of the Big Pond post photos of the show, I get jealous. It is such a creative garden show. I always get an idea or two when I see photos from there. Thanks again.

  4. Hi Charlotte,
    We haven't been able to get to Chelsea, but will be at Hampton Court this year. The artisan gardens are what it's all about, and they look quite special. All too often the large displays by noted designers leave me cold. The 'Stop the Spread' garden, although very clever, was I feel wrongly placed at such a show. It's designer quite rightly sources her plants from uk nurseries such as Hilliers, and that's commendable, but most designers and landscapers today are the main culprits when it comes to the import of diseased foreign specimen shrubs. Perhaps it could instead be made into a permanent display in Hyde Park for future generations to take note. There are sadly too many gardens at shows now with some sort of agenda, and the artisan gardens you mention bring it all back to the core of what it's all about. Pleasing to the eye. Thanks for the interesting post.


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