Amazing Show Gardens from The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022

The show gardens always shine at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and last month’s festival was no exception. Returning to its usual May date after the pandemic, the glorious horticultural celebration offered garden designs meant for relaxing, exercising, thinking and more. Here, the ideas of the crème de la crème  of garden designers are realised. You might not be able to install a swim spa in your garden, or maintain exotic succulents, but show gardens can provide you with great inspiration for your own outdoor space. Here’s a round-up of some of our favourite show gardens from Chelsea 2022…


1. MEDITE SMARTPLY Building the Future by Sarah Eberle

Show Gardens – Gold Medal Winner

This sustainability-themed garden is filled with lush greens, giving it a forest feel with an industrial edge. The grotto, waterfall and ‘steel‘ girders are all made from MEDITE SMARTPLY, a wood-based panel product. Many of the plants were chosen because they grow well in a damp environment, which means they’d do brilliantly in most parts of the UK.

2. Morris & Co. by Ruth Willmott

Gold Medal Winner

With its weeping willows and vibrant irises, the Morris & Co. garden is inspired by the botanical patterns of artist William Morris. Intricate, laser-cut metal screens and a wonderful matching pavilion pay homage to Morris’ timeless and iconic designs. Designer Ruth Willmott picked out plants and trees that attract birds, because of Morris’ love of birds and use of them in his work.

3.  Hands Off Mangrove by Grow2Know by Tayshan Hayden-Smith and Danny Clarke

Silver Gilt Medal Winner

A garden with not one but two causes, ‘Hands Off Mangrove’ references both deforestation and social justices. The central Corten steel sculpture features nine ‘mangrove roots’ to represent and pay tribute to the Mangrove Nine, a group of community activists who were tried and acquitted of inciting a riot in the seventies. The sculpture also symbolises the deforestation of mangroves and the damage we’re doing to important habitats.

4. The Blue Garden by Tom Wilkes-Rios

Silver Medal Winner

This beautiful, exotic oasis proves that you don’t need acres of space to create a fantastic garden. Picking up silver in the balcony gardens category, The Blue Garden mixes rare plants such as that giant agave on the left, with earth-tones and a rich teal. Designed to be experienced alone, this quiet and contemplative space reminds us of the importance of taking time to reflect – and of the soothing potential of an outdoor space, whatever its size.

5. The Body Shop Garden by Jennifer Hirsch

Silver Gilt Medal Winner

This intensely sculptural garden represents the journey from being burnt out to relaxed and free. Uniform, angular arches of Corten begin in heavily-charred black, with each one slightly less burnt than the last. This garden is about regeneration, both in the environment and for individuals. It’s designed to remind us that we must look after ourselves and our planet in order to not just survive but thrive.

6. The Wild Kitchen Garden by Ann Treneman

Silver Gilt Medal Winner

This clever design shows just how much food you can grow in even the most compact of outdoor spaces. The designers thought of everything, including a ‘kitchen’ area with a sink and prep table. The galvanised steel planters are brimming with herbs, vegetables and salad leaves. There’s even a galvanised steel planter full of edible aquatics!

7. The Stitchers’ Garden by Frederic Whyte

Silver Medal Winner

This garden raises awareness of the work of Fine Cell Work, a charity that teachers prison inmates needlework. One steel pavilion, ‘the cell’. represents the dimensions of a prison cell, and is darkened by panels of woven willow. It overlooks a larger pavilion with fewer willow sections, offering more light as well as space. The two structures, separated by a pool with jets, represent the space where designers and inmates exchange creativity.

8. The New Blue Peter Garden – ‘Discover Soil’ by Juliet Sargeant

Silver Gilt Medal Winner

The new BBC Blue Peter garden is all about soil. This thought-provoking landscape brings soil up to eye level and asks visitors not to ‘treat soil like dirt’. The idea is to highlight the importance of soil and its decline, and to encourage composting to feed new soil. Aimed at children, the space is packed with interactive exhibits, including the chance to touch and play with different types of soil, and sculpture featuring the artwork of Blue Peter viewers.

9. Out of the Shadows by Kate Gould

Gold Medal Winner

Inspired by the impact of lockdowns, this relaxing oasis is designed for people to gather in small groups to socialise and exercise. Plants are huge and tropical, giving the feel of a faraway holiday. There’s a firepit, a swim spa, yoga and meditation area – even climbing bars. With its luxurious features and bold planting, this is one of our favourite show gardens on the list.

10. The Still Garden by Jane Porter

Gold Medal Winner

Themed around Scotland, The Still Garden features plants native to the country. Planters made from old whisky barrels are filled with thistles and ferns. The rugged ‘glen’ at the back of the display is made from slate from a disused Perthshire quarry. A gleaming copper gin distilling pot houses a pond. This garden beckons visitors to enter, connect with nature and to simply be still.