The year of 2021 has been a strange year for all of us, as a year of lockdowns and freedom, it has truly been a year of uncertainty to say the least. Although, the return of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show offered us garden lovers some much needed stability and distractions as we could see the stunning garden displays, show stopping designs and a newer focus on smaller gardens.
For the first time ever, the show was moved from its usual May dates and instead we saw the show take an autumnal focus as the gardens opened their doors to the public in September. This then led to a new selection of plants taking priority in the show, with shrubs and evergreens receiving a lot of credit alongside pumpkin displays and fruit trees in full fruit displays. The harvest of winter vegetables also held great importance in the show and helped remind us of the importance of eating local produce and returning to our roots in the way we eat and view our food.
A personal favourite of ours were the additional new categories of the ‘Container’ and ‘Balcony’ Gardens and the importance they placed on smaller garden spaces, especially in the light of COVID-19 as we were all spending more time in our homes. We enjoyed the displays by Alexandra Noble and Martha Krempel as they showed the benefits of gardens, how they help us to escape our busy lives and offer us the chance to reconnect with nature. Their focus on flowers and herbs really helps to show the benefits of these gardens on our mental health and how we can de-stress.
The importance of plants has never felt more significant than the RHS COP26 Gardens, influenced by the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties hosted in Glasgow. The gardens helped to show the quickly approaching effects of climate change by including excess drainage and flood protection systems for the garden in response to the predicted increase in rainfall. There was also a focus on what we can all do to help combat the effects of climate change personally, with the Mitigation Garden focusing on composting for soil health and ponds and mini meadows to help increase and benefit UK wildlife. At Harrods Outdoor, we are passionate about the natural world we live in and are always looking to improve our carbon footprint as a business. We aim to ensure our watering systems are as efficient as possible to avoid any waste and we have cut down on the amount of plastic in our packaging, opting for recyclable paper and boxes when possible.
Another highlight for us at Harrods Outdoor were the new and diverse plants introduced in 2021 as the RHS ‘Plants of the Year’ in which the Cercis canadensis X Eternal Flame was awarded first place due to its vibrancy and unique collection of colours as the leaves emerge a bright red and then fade through oranges and yellows as the year progresses. Of course as hedging enthusiasts we also found great delight in the RHS Queen’s Green Canopy Garden, in which Birch, Hornbeam and Beech plants all took centre stage to create a stunning green and purple woodland. If you are interested in re-creating this kind of garden, do check out our impressive selection of Hornbeam, Beech and Mixed Native Hedging online at Harrods Outdoor.
This year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show was an event not to be missed, helping bring people together after a year of feeling so far apart. The show helped to highlight the importance of gardens and taking steps to be more eco-friendly, something we have always placed at the forefront of our business. Now we must look onto May 2022 to see what the next show holds for us gardeners.