Like much of the gardening community, we were glued to coverage of the Chelsea Flower Show 2019. It’s always such a delight to see such beautiful flowers, clever garden design and so many gardening fans in one place. Here are our top 5 who would get a gold medal from us any day:
The Resilience Garden
Its metal silo tower may not have been to everyone’s taste, but we loved the lovely native trees. There were 140 species represented in all. The idea was to show the effects of climate change including drier summers and warmer winters.
#RHSChelsea Highlight: 14 – the “Resilience Garden” designed by @eberl_sarah for @ForestryComm & built by @crocusCoUk won “Best Construction”. Sarah’s brilliant design showed how we need to plant a greater diversity of species to cope with unexpected pests,diseases,climate change pic.twitter.com/2NOOvmW2xF
â€” Tim Howell (@TimHowellX) May 27, 2019
Peat-free compost status: Unknown although sponsored by the Forestry Commission who advise “a cautious approach to planting on deep peat sites” – quoted from Forest and Peatland Habitats (PDF)
The Harmonious Garden of Life
This garden had us at the glorious moon window. The clover meadow as an alternative for a lawn was enchanting too.
Echoing our own commitment to the environment, The Harmonious Garden of Life at #RHSChelsea is powered entirely by solar or human energy. A swing cleverly powers the pump which delivers water to the perfectly circular pond, a form which is reflected in the stone moon-gate wall. pic.twitter.com/8BNl2rSJZ1
â€” The Oxfordshire Gardener (@oxfordgardener) May 26, 2019
Peat-free compost status: Unknown. One sponsor is an Italian garden centre though and we do deliver to Europe, so…
Savills and David Harber Garden
Also known as “The one with the twisty golden sculpture in the pond”. It was stunning, but it was the huge vertical living wall that clinched it for us. Read more about how our light compost is perfect for urban environments in Solutions for Roof Gardens, Balconies and Living Walls.
Really good to see emphasis on climate change in the show gardens at Chelsea. This is the Savillâ€™s and David Harber garden â€˜celebrating the environmental benefits and beauty of trees, plants and grass in urban spaces.â€™ I just love the reflection in the pâ€¦ https://t.co/SJozTf4umB pic.twitter.com/EoMpIMbtPU
â€” Caro Shrives (@UrbanVegPatch) May 20, 2019
Walkerâ€™s Forgotten Quarry Garden
Our compost processing machinery may not be as rusty as that abandoned in this garden. But we do have a soft spot for the industrial look.
â€” Doug Stewart (@Dougthegardener) May 18, 2019
Peat-free compost status: Unknown but Walker’s Nurseries says “We have lots renewable energy initiatives, such as recycling rain water for plant irrigation, 150sqm of solar panels, a ground source heat pump and a biomass boiler” so perhaps it’s on the cards?
Best in show: Pat Gibbons of Hippopottering Nursery
We’d almost given up hope of anyone mentioning the problems of peat compost. Until the amazing Japanese acer grower Pat Gibbons of Hippopottering Japanese Maple Nursery pipped up with:
“We actually grow #peatfree. We don’t like to use anything in the nursery that’s going to be harmful to the planet.” ðŸ‘ðŸ‘ðŸ‘ to #RHSChelsea Gold medal winner Pat Gibbons of @hippomaples ðŸ†
First reference this #ChelseaFlowerShow2019? Hope others will follow. pic.twitter.com/I9ubnyFb2F
â€” FertileFibre compost ðŸŒ» peatfree vegan organic (@Fertilefibre) May 22, 2019
Know more about the featured gardens’ peat-free compost status?
Were you at Chelsea Flower Show 2019? Did you talk to any of the designers and learn something the BBC didn’t cover? Please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll happily update this article.
Will The Chelsea Flower Show ever go peat-free?
We genuinely hoped Chelsea Flower Show 2019 would be the one when the gardening elite would highlight the need to move away from peat compost. Presenter Monty Don is a well-known advocate of avoiding using peat in our gardens. Many of the show gardens were focusing on sustainability. But, to our knowledge, Pat Gibbons was the only gardener who talked about peat-free compost. Maybe next year?
Chelsea Flower Show 2019: The Royal Horticultural Society’s stance on peat
Here’s an extract from the RHS’s statement about peat compost:
“While we can ensure the growing media that we sell in our retail outlets are peat free, as a charity, we are not able to confirm the long and complicated production cycle of the plants that we stock, being grown by third parties and in many cases originating abroad.
However, we will continue to work with suppliers to explore how we can minimise or eradicate its use. This stands for our shows, although we already require that exhibitors and designers do not use peat in the mulching and dressing of beds.”
How to be a truly sustainable gardener
Why not follow in the footsteps of our Chelsea Flower Show 2019 Best in Show winner and go peat-free? You can buy our award-winning peat-free compost – seed, potting and multipurpose – online at Fertile Fibre.