Nicki Chapman and Chris Beardshaw take a closer look at the themes and trends dominating this year's show. Plus, a look at the innovative ideas tackling the effects of drought.
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The RHS Chelsea Flower Show has been setting the trends and pushing
the boundaries of gardening across the globe.
Each year the designs and ideas and important messages delivered
through the plants here can ignite a spark that sets the health
authorityy cultural world alight. With the next big ideas waiting to
be discovered, today it is our mission to find them. Coming up:
Healthy Chelsea. Andy Sturgeon discovers the flowers that can help
you bloom. This is a insignificant member of
the pea family and could change the the pea family and could change the
world. Alys Fowler tracks down the fruit
and veg to spice up your five a day. The interesting thing about this
garden is the way they are growing their vegetable.
Back to drum and basics, DJ Goldie reveals his passion for gardening.
Me, a drum and base man. Vegetables. Can you believe it?
Welcome to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show supported by M&G Investments.
Today, Chris, we are talking about trends here at Chelsea, aren't we?
One of the trends that has been bucked, being British, when the sun
comes out, it comes out rarely, we never know what to wear.
It is glorious. People have been clever. There is fantastic
millinery going on. All the flowers in those hats. Do you know, I could
see you wearing one of those? Rhododendrons, find me a hat and
I'll wear it! We don't know what to wear, do we,
but we're not complaining. Please don't complain.
Every green fingered enthusiast knows what positive effect
gardening can have on on your wellbeing. It is a message a number
of designers are keen to share through the design and planting of
their gardens. Andy Sturgeon went to discover why it is time to wake
In my experience of designing gardens, plants and the gardens
themselves can have a really positive effect on the people who
experience them and it is not just the act of gardening, it is the
place that you create and the plants which occupy it that can
have a very therapeutic effect on all of us and this year at Chelsea,
all of us and this year at Chelsea, there are some great examples.
The World Vision Garden is has a ripple pool.
The plants are chosen from a very limited pallet as are the materials.
The iron path path feeds you into the heart of the garden. It is not
a maze so you can't get lost. It relaxes you into a a zen-like state
and gives you a chance to pause and reflect.
You don't need to dash out and buy a dozen tree ferns or an expensive
garden. This garden from Slovenia is a
living farm scene. All the plants have me have medcinal uses. This
has a tap root which can be used to improve your eyesight. There are
strawberries packed full of vitamins. This plant doesn't look,
but it is a useful plant. It is good for treating stomach
complaints and it is an affro disyack -- aphrodisiac I hear.
In this garden, this flower is known as the ever lasting flower as
it never fades or wilts even after it has been cut down and dried. The
oil from the plants is a very powerful healer. 100 times more
effective than arnica and it grows last. This little plant from
southern Africa can cure all ailments. It is good for arthritis,
dysentery and bronchitis and there is a possibility that it can treat
cancer and HIV. This little member of the pea family could change the
If you wish you could spend more time in your outdoor sanctuary,
this could be it. It is aimed to solve some of the stresses of
working 9am to 5pm by being surd surrounded by the most planting.
You can make your own brew by picking your own infusion at this
herbal tea bar before going into a meeting under this canopy. I could
do with a cuppa! This idea is all about enhancing a more positive
wellbeing. But you don't need a huge space like this to uncover the
benefits. Carol is is discovering that plants alone can be a feast
through our senses. They determine the way we feel from moment to
moment and how could you feel anything, but joyous surrounded by
this display. Hyacinths are valued for their
colour, but it is for their scent that they are especially valued.
The great thing about growing them, is you don't need a garden. You can
grow them in pots and containers and you can carry them around so
you can enjoy the perfume wherever you are in the house and what's
soil, but what they need is the thinnest, gravelly soil and sun
because that's what brings out the aroma and the scent in their leaves,
but the majority of the herbs here are grown specifically for the way
they stimulate our sense of taste. Drop a couple of the leaves of this
plant into your ice cream and it will favour it perfectly. But it is
not just leave leaves that we eat. Quite a lot of flowers are edible
too. Mm, it tastes just like primrose.
You never think of going to a garden centre and asking for a
plant you can touch. And yet so many plants have this wonder
tactile quality -- wonderful tactile quality. Don't just look at
this, feel it, it is soft and fluffy. It is almost like having a
pet beside you! And all these plants around me have got such
texture, this prickly rosemary, and this soft little plant down here.
You are surrounded by all this wonderful sensation. It is
delightful. This garden is a feast for all the
senses including sound as the breeze breeze breeze breeze wafts
gently. Whether you have got a window box, or a garden or a plot
outside, being aware of how plants stimulate your sense brings
enjoying the floral feast. Bees are the drinking up the nectar.
According to the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust, this garden is
getting their attention. Every year designers in the large and small
show gardens, are pushing the garden to use as an extra room.
Chris has been to take a look. Any hard work. This is what we get paid
to do, to sit down and look at gardens. At least, it is what we
should get paid to do. The seat is an instrumental part of the design.
It is the starting point. You don't create a garden and plonk a piece
of furniture in, you create the garden around the furniture and
that draws out of the house, even on a cold, damp day, wrap up warm.
Bring a warm drink out and you can sit and relax. It is important that
the seat faces something you want to look at. That may sound
straightforward, but so many of us put a seat down wherever is
convenient. In this garden, these seats face a perfect reflective
pool. The materials you choose should suit the design and style.
The ratten is soft. It is very informal and it nestles perfectly
in this wonderful, wild flower meadow. As the sun rises high and
the temperatures start to soar, there is nothing more relaxing than
sitting in an old-fashioned swing seat. The shape, whilst also being
contemporary, is really clever. The slatted nature of this seat affords
a certain degree of protection from the sun's rays as you drift to
sleep and while you drift asleep, if you allow your hand to dangle,
you get the most wonderful fragrance from the the thyme. This
is a contrast to the formal structures around the corner. Most
of the community dining and seating in front of the main screen.
One of the exciting things about the modern blend of architectural
furniture for the gafrden is -- garden is fashion conscious garden
no longer have to put up with a seat which clashes with the rest of
their scheme. These come in a range of colours, shapes and textures and
styles. It means your seat can blend perfectly with your planting
behind in just the same way as your text tiles and -- textiles can be
choreographed inside, that can be achieved outside. These are
wonderful because we have a sweet sculptural appearance when you're
inspiration. If you are look for anything, architectural or
furniture wise. The most important thing when you are buying your
furniture, try it out. You have got to be able to relax in it and these
chairs may look like 1950s cheese graters, but actually when you're
in them, they are really rather good. That's the point of a garden.
It isn't about slavishly toiling away all the time, it is much more
about allowing yourself the time and the patience to kick back and
to be in the gardens. The brilliant thing about plastic
is it can be manufactured into almost any shape.
Featuring water. I will be learning how to make a splash with a
portable pond. And can he dig it? Yes, he can! We
find out why DJ musician Goldie goes back to his green roots.
I practically lived in Miami and the first thing I saw was palm
trees and my have they grown. Chelsea Chelsea has continued on
the grow your own ethos and 2012 is no exception. Anyone with a little
space can have a go. If you fancy being more adventurous, Alys Fowler
ventured out to discover if there is anything more exotic on the
lot more exciting at Chelsea because there is some truly by tsar
and interesting edibles like this lily. You can actually eat the bulb,
roast it much like you would a potato. It is full of starch.
Clearly, it is an extravagant plant because it will be more expensive
than the potato, but it is so pretty and if you have a container
somewhere sunny and free draining soil, it is worth a try.
Unusual edibles can be difficult to identify. If you don't know what it
is, please don't eat it. This is quite a quirky one. It is
the world's only edible lupin and you eat the seeds which are rich in
protein and they do this a lot in Bolivia, but there is a big but
because it has a lengthy and complicated process to take it from
something that's poisonous to something that's edible. So
although I think it is pretty and I would like to have a go at trying
it, I will stick with something you bean. It is a broad bean. It has
these beautiful flowers. If your broad beans are this tall, it is
time to pinch out the tips. You just take this top bit off. That
discourages the black flies 678 --. Don't waste it. You steam it in a
little butter and you have something for diner. You may not
guess what this is - this is a cucumber, although it looks like a
lemon. Its name says as much. It is a heritage variety. It looks like a
lemon. Cucumbers get a bad wrap. They are easy to grow. They are
very suited to our climate. The plant does not want to actually sit
in wet ground. It hates wet feet. So long as you don't overwater it,
I guarantee you'll get lots of these. You could eat your way back
and forth across this garden, because there's so much to choose
from. The really interesting thing is the way they are growing their
vegetables. These runner beans are being grown up a shepherd's crook.
And the beetroot, grown in an old chest, is just perfect for this
little garden. This year's Chelsea hasn't just
been about unusual edibles. It's been about showing you how to grow
vegetables, wherever you are - even if it is four floors up in a
Pyramid, just proving you can grow your five a day, wherever you are.
This year, the large show gardens are awash with water features. It's
a myth you need a huge garden space. I am joined by Linda Smith from
waterside nursery. She will show us how to make a display. Walking
around Chelsea, you see these very impressive water features, you
think not only do they look amazing, but they will cost a fortune. How
can we bring that back into our own home? We need to make them smaller,
more in size with our gardens. Something like the portal feature
of the small container pond would be more in keeping with most
people's size of garden. Do you need fresh running water or
electricity? No, you could fill from a water butt and electricity
isn't essential, unless you want the little dribbling sound of water.
You can get it from a solar fountain. You would fill it with
water and add some plants. I can see these containers here,
different sizes and colours. It looks like some recycling going on.
Any container will work? Absolutely. What are the keys then if you want
to make your own aqua garden? your container ready to work. Think
about the depth of water. The plants are quite different in what
they like. Some will come from the bottom but most won't. Staging -
engineering - a little shelf. That will bring the pots up to the right
level. A couple of inches above the basket. And it can stop them from
falling over. If you lock them into the grid it will stop them waving
marigold. A nice, bright start to the season. Then perhaps a foliage
plant to give us interest later. That's Houttuynita.
Are these low main tapbs once they go in? They have a -- maintenance
once they go in? They have a habit for water, you can take the stems
out and that will keep them in control. How do we stop the water
from stagnating? This is an oxygenating plant. Submerge it
halfway down and that stem work will be releasing oxygen into the
water. That keeps the water fresh. If you did not want to see it, any
tricks to keep it fresh? Some of the oxygenating plants will live
underneath the water and you will never see them again once you put
them in. I have one here. You can get it from any nursery?
Oxygenating plants. We like the native ones. We steer away from the
vigorous non-natives. Drop a bunch in. It will go underneath the water.
You don't need to look at it. can work in light and some shade?
Major sunshine for things like water lillies, iris. But shady
plants are useful, because they give you nice structures so you can
then have more foliage interest in structured plants. That will go in
shade. Thank you very much indeed. Thank you.
There's a real fashion for natural materials in Chelsea show gardens.
The one thing that many of these gardens rely on is plastic. Usually
you cannot see it, but this year some of the gardens have turned
have used it in a decorative style. The sun shines through it. It is
like a display slide in a laboratory or something. It fits
contemporary look. In Tony Smith's garden he has taken acrylic tubes,
which are usually used in shop displays to catch the light. It
shows you can take something ordinary and turn it into something
magical. And there's a plaquetyal element
here too. Artificial grass can make the perfect substitute for places
where you cannot grow real lawn. On the Fresh Garden, 200 metres of
blue string are the main event, creating drama. It is inexpensive,
durable and makes the perfect is it can be manufactured into
almost any shape. So, even when you are doing something practical,
there's no need to overlook the aesthetic.
Unfortunately, the environmental credentials of plastic are not very
good, but here in the Rooftop Workplace of Tomorrow, they have
found a way to recycle plastic plant pots, which could not be done
before and they have turned them into these amazing planters and
pieces of furniture. It looks like stone, but when you get up close
you can see the plastic in there. It just goes to show that plastic
can be fantastic! Who would have thought that
musician, DJ and artist Goldie was hiding another passion. A little
known love of gardening and especially growing his own
vegetables and this is his first time to Chelsea. So, Goldie,
welcome. It's fantastic. You have picked the most perfect day. I feel
like a newbie. I am in this garden, which is the World Vision Garden.
It is stunning. This is amazing. The whole ethos is kindness,
radiating. We are surrounded by radiating. We are surrounded by
palms. You love palms? I do. long have you been into garden. It
is a big-kept secret. It's out there now. The wife, about five or
six years ago said your garden is like a bomb site. She started to
put jd ideas into my head. We put - - started to put ideas into my head.
We put some time into it. When I was young I didn't like olives, now
I love them. I am getting more mature, as I'm getting older.
are appreciating the finer things of life? It is like that. When I
potter around the garden - who would have thought! It is very
green, your garden. Do you have any flowers? Not really. I have a lot
of ferns and stuff. The whole purpose of coming here today was to
look at ideas. For me, it is a great blueprint, it is ready to
work more with it. Because it is pimple and minimal - I don't like
claustrophobia. So lots of clean lines. The problem I have, I think
that stuff that lasts through the winter. Other palms are doing well.
They have survived? The variation... For me I have not seen this palm,
for me it is kind of palm-fern. Your face is radiating. I want to
see the gardens. It is like your first time anywhere, you want to do
it right and have a good look. will get great advise. And this
Pyramid - is this the bad boy of gardening. He wants to stand out.
He's the gardening version of me. Ask him nicely and you can go down
the shoot. You are passionate about growing vegetables. The mother-in-
law, who is Japanese, she always says "you must grow your own
vegetables." It has been a God send. Last year, we had a great year -
tomatoes, beans, courgettes. They are not yellow or from a
supermarket - although it is fresh, they are fresher. It lasts so long.
I was doing a deal, where I was exchanging to the local store - I
am exchanging goods against goods. Trade? Goldie's golden courgettes.
I can see the title right now. You kindly gave us a tour of your
garden a few weeks ago. Can we take a sneaky peak. A little one. Every
year I've had a fantastic crop of vegetables. Me, goldy, drum and
brass man! What's the world coming to! It was beautiful, and this year
the frost came and killed it. can joining Alan on the terrace at
8pm, BBC Two. You will have a wander around the show gardens. You
will let us have a tag along? Thanks goldy.
-- Goldie. Now, after extensive research after
which seat I should take home - and hard work it was too - I have
finally decided on this - a rather nice canvass cocoon. It may look
like canvass hanging from a tree, but this is inspired by the
designer's visit to Mexico, where he saw the weaver bird, a discrete
individual, modest, like myself, who likes to retreat from the
madening crowd, build a nest in a tree and relax. You look very snug
in there. Stay where you are. cannot get up, to be honest.
this a palm or a tree fern? These are palms. The difference between
palms and ferns, very simple, it is a very lin yar leaf on a fern.
Ferns have spores, whereas palms have fruits and then flowers.
think we may have got it wrong. If you see him, can you set it
straight. That's all we have time for now. You can join Alan and
Rachel for more trendsetting Chelsea tonight at 8pm when they
will talk to Jo Thompson about parking the first ever caravan on
Main Avenue. We will be back Main Avenue. We will be back
tomorrow at 12.30pm D if you want it 24-7, log on to our website,
Nicki Chapman and Chris Beardshaw take a closer look at the themes and trends dominating this year's show.
There's a look at the latest innovative ideas tackling the effects of drought, and Alys Fowler finds out what's new when it comes to edibles.
Plus the team seek out the latest in gardening gadgets.