The Garden Guide

Garden designs at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2007

The Chelsea Flower Show is normally held in the last week of May in the grounds of the Royal Hospital in Chelsea. See note on Visiting the Chelsea Flower Show and see reviews of garden designs 2004, 2005, 2006. We are pleased to see an increased emphasis on garden design, though Peter Seabrook wrote that 'I make no aploogy for repeating warnings about the excessive emphasis on gaden design; this is a flower show and flowers are what visitors pay to see'(Horticulture Week 14th June 2007 p.19) - he also preferred a pastiche of Hidcote to the modern award-winning garden designs.

We congratulate the designer and the judges for choosing 600 Days with Bradstone as the Best in Show Garden: the designer, Sarah Eberle, has produced the first Post-Modern garden to win such an award; the judges have shown they can look forward as well as back. A sentimental journey can be a pleasure (as with the 2005 winner) but it feels better to be looking forwards. Eberle's design is Post-Modern. It is founded on belief and it makes rich use of colour and materials. 2007 should be remembered as the year in which Post-Modernism arrived at Chelsea. It was a pleasure to see a Roof Garden category appearing but a disappointment to see quality of the roof garden designs and a further disappointment to see the Chic category lingering on.

600 Days with Bradstone - designer Sarah Eberle

Sarah Eberle's garden design has strength, colour, spatial form and, most importantly, an imaginative design theme. The garden won the Best in Show award.


Laurent-Perrier Garden - designer Jinny Blom
Laurent-Perrier Garden - designer Jinny Blom

Jinny Blom's garden design, has a post-modern theme, because it is inspired by a great post-modern designer (Carlo Scarpa), but also has a retro aspect, because it is a work of homage to a famous designer. But it is well done.


The Westland Garden - designer Diarmuid Gavin
The Westland Garden - designer Diarmuid Gavin
Diarmuid Gavin's: Westland Garden shows, again, that he would be better suited to a career in architecture. The building works well with the water. The garden is scarcely a spatial design: it is a collection of objects.


Garden of Transience - designer Haruko Seki
Garden of Transience - designer Haruko Seki
Haruko Seki has achieved the notable feat of producing a Japanese design without resorting to any of the symbols of traditional Japanese gardens.


Marshalls' Sustainability Garden - designer Roger Smith of Scenic Blue Design Team
Scent of a Roman - Leeds City Council
The Marshalls' Sustainability Garden (designed by Roger Smith of Scenic Blue) makes only token concessions to sustainability: the solar panels and the lettering 'sustainable' endlessly repeated on the fencing. Leeds City Council's 'Roman Garden' has pleasant planting but is sufficiently un-Roman to be actionable under the Trades Description Act.


Roof Garden - designer Anthony Samuelson
Cancer Research UK Garden - designer Andy Sturgeon
Anthony Samuelson's 'Roof Garden' has some fun but no resemblence to a roof garden. Andy Sturgeon's garden design has good planting and an interesting sculpture - but it lacks spatial design.
The Daily Telegraph Garden The Daily Telegraph Garden - designers Isabelle Van Groeningen and Gabriella Pape

The Daily Telegraph by Gabriella Pape and Isabelle Van Groeningen was inspired by Karl Foerster's nursery garden in Potsdam-Bornim.


Through the Moongate - designer Lesley Bremness Through the Moongate - designer Lesley Bremness
The central wall in Lesley Bremnes' "Chinese Garden" is pleasant but it has few other resemblences to historic Chinese gardens and, one hopes, no resemblence to future Chinese gardens. We hope our judgement was not influenced by hearing a visitor call it the 'tackiest lump of cheap crap I've ever seen' - but the design reflects no credit on its sponsors, The Bank of China and The Royal Bank of Scotland.