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As Chelsea flower show moves to September, designers share their suggestions

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With its immaculate lawns, tumbling cascades of flowers and artfully established water options, the Chelsea Flower Demonstrate is a spotlight of the summer time: a celebration of the enduring British passion for plants and gardens.

So when previous year’s display experienced to be cancelled because of the pandemic, gardening lovers had been aghast. But this 7 days the Royal Horticultural Culture declared that, for the 1st time at any time, Chelsea would be moved from its customary day at the close of May well to the autumn, operating from September 21 to 26.

The news has sent shockwaves as a result of the gardening globe. Crops at their peak in May perhaps can not be made use of all over again in September, and backyard designers will be scrambling to order a whole new assortment of shrubs and flowers.

So really don’t hope to see cottage yard favourites these kinds of as delphiniums, lupins, alliums or irises this 12 months — the usual Chelsea palette of blues, pinks and whites seems established to be replaced by a blaze of incredibly hot purples, pinks, oranges and reds. ‘It will come to feel diverse due to the fact of the improve in year, but it will even now be the same magical display as often,’ suggests Hattie Sherwood of the RHS.

Gardener Alan Titchmarsh adds: ‘The prosperity of plants that can brighten our late summertime and autumn gardens, and cheer us on our journey into winter season, ought to inspire us as by no means before. An autumn Chelsea presents us a probability to broaden our gardening horizons.’

Although there is no doubt that this year’s display will be very unique from previous many years, like most people today I just can’t wait around.

In this article, four prime backyard designers share their exceptional principles for a September garden.


The scent of stewed apples will fill the air

Backyard garden designer Mark Lane is a normal presenter on BBC demonstrate Gardeners’ Environment. He life close to Canterbury in Kent. Mark suggests:

It will be a superb demonstrate total of rich colors. 

a person posing for the camera: Mark Lane is a regular presenter on BBC show Gardeners’ World and designed his garden to be accessible for disabled gardeners

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Mark Lane is a frequent presenter on BBC present Gardeners’ Planet and designed his yard to be obtainable for disabled gardeners

I use a wheelchair, so I have developed my Chelsea present back garden to be thoroughly obtainable for a disabled gardener. 

There is a cascading wall of water, a central h2o function and shaded seating. 

The crops I’ve picked out are simple-likely perennials that are drought-tolerant and will flower yr right after 12 months, which include pink persicaria, blue perovskia, the extreme purple Salvia nemorosa ‘Ostfriesland’ and the pink-tinged fountain grass Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’.  


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The shrub Calycanthus ‘Venus’ generates non-stop white flowers into autumn that smell like stewed apples. Who could question for a lot more? 


Colors add a splash of Caribbean glow

Jacquie Felix-Mitchell is a garden designer based mostly in Buckfastleigh in Devon. She has appeared on Gardeners’ Problem Time and presents talks on backyard garden style and design. Jacquie states:

I’m incredibly psyched about the options of an autumn Chelsea Flower Clearly show. My backyard garden absolutely sings in September. It is overflowing with crops, it is ordinarily pretty climate and the gentle at that time of 12 months is gorgeous.

Brenda Robinson standing in front of a tree posing for the camera: Jacquie Felix-Mitchell has appeared on Gardeners’ Question Time and her planting style is influenced by her Caribbean heritage

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Jacquie Felix-Mitchell has appeared on Gardeners’ Query Time and her planting style is motivated by her Caribbean heritage

I also believe it is a wonderful option for growers to showcase their autumn crops.

My planting design is quite substantially influenced by my Caribbean heritage. My mother was from Jamaica and my stepfather from Dominica.

I really like top and drama in the backyard garden, and I want exhilaration and a sturdy construction all calendar year round.

For my Chelsea backyard I have intended two prolonged, arching borders, backed by a very low granite wall, which are mirror illustrations or photos of just about every other. 

diagram, map

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The robust architectural strains appear from the Chusan palm Trachycarpus fortunei, and the sword-like leaves of the New Zealand flax Phormium tenax.

The star vegetation are the white Japanese anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’, which seems so ethereal at dusk in autumn, the fantastic blues of salvia and echinops, and yellow rudbeckia.

Tall, willowy, purple Verbena bonariensis dances by way of the plan.

The borders are anchored by the evergreen Pittosporum ‘Tom Thumb’, which would glimpse excellent all yr round.

The two statement parts — the big oval table and benches, and the granite sculpture — would be outside of my price range for my own backyard.

But then at Chelsea you are authorized to be a little bit extravagant!


Therapeutic house that’s perfect for rough occasions

Designer Paul Hervey-Brookes is the winner of 6 Chelsea medals, three of them gold. He life in Tetbury in Gloucestershire. Paul states:

I’ve created a space that appears to be forward and again — a fashionable region backyard. 

Paul Hervey-Brookes wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: Designer Paul Hervey-Brookes has won six Chelsea medals and created a space which is lived in throughout the seasons

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Designer Paul Hervey-Brookes has won six Chelsea medals and designed a area which is lived in through the seasons

I desired to make a room that is lived in by way of the seasons, somewhere to mature flowers and fruit and get pleasure from the lush fullness in September, with a spectacular backyard garden space to sit in.

The two trees on the still left are medlars, which have pretty blossom and fruit that you decide from November. 

diagram, map

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I’ve planted pink Althaea cannabina, the palm-leaf marshmallow, due to the fact it’s challenging and attractive, and the huge hyssop Agastache, which is excellent for attracting bees. White Gaura lindheimeri is threaded by the planting plan.

There are also a few beehives, nevertheless they aren’t all for the bees. When I designed a backyard garden in Japan I noticed that they used empty hives to retail outlet resources and compost.

I dropped my partner 4 years ago so I know how essential a backyard is when you are bereaved. It is a place to come across solace, someplace that will be there, waiting for you, when you are completely ready to backyard garden once more. I hope Chelsea will replicate that, at a time of so a great deal tragic reduction, a backyard can recover you.


Heat shades and a firepit to heat chilly nights

Jo Thompson has won 4 Chelsea gold medals and models gardens all over the globe. She lives in Ticehurst, East Sussex. Jo suggests:

I had created the RHS’s demonstrate backyard for Chelsea final year, in collaboration with Zoe Ball. The theme was how gardens can unite us — very prescient.

Jo Thompson posing for a picture: Jo Thompson has won four Chelsea gold medals and her idea shows the range of flowers and colours around in September

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Jo Thompson has gained four Chelsea gold medals and her strategy displays the assortment of bouquets and colors all-around in September

I had to drop out of this year’s demonstrate due to the fact of other perform commitments but I’m experience a little bit jealous of my fellow designers now what a distinctive possibility, to produce an autumn Chelsea garden!

My concept listed here is to show the assortment of flowers and colors obtainable in September: it is not just about fiery shades. 

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There are pink and cream gladioli — a flower I adore — together with asters, blue perovskia, white and pink Japanese anemones, dahlias and the scented pelargonium ‘Attar of Roses’. I’ve woven exquisite ornamental grasses by the beds.

By the bench there are tumbling pots of the begonias ‘Splendide Apricot’ and ‘Apricot Delight’. The purple tree Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ introduces some drama into the color plan. With a fireplace pit in the centre, this really is my best autumn yard.

My business enterprise, Color My Backyard, sends out subscription containers of seasonal bulbs. The working day it was introduced that the show was relocating to September I experienced a hurry of people wanting autumn-flowering bulbs, so the Chelsea effect has by now commenced. 


Make you possess glorious garden

If you want your yard to glance as fantastic as a Chelsea demonstrate backyard garden arrive autumn, this is the great time to system it.

It’s not much too late to get dahlias, which are commonly sent out in late February or March. If you start out off the tubers in pots in a frost-absolutely free area and plant them out in May well, you will have armfuls of flowers from late July onwards. March is also a superior time to plant autumn-flowering bulbs these as gladioli, acidanthera and crocosmia. Fantastic suppliers are and isles.

Count on to see a whole lot of salvias at Chelsea, in shades ranging from pink and white to purple and magenta. They are fantastic — hardy and lengthy-lasting, and they thrive in hot, sunny spots and arrive at their peak in September ( Chrysanthemums are trusted autumn flowerers ( and

Some of the ideal-carrying out autumn crops are very easily developed from seed, which can be sown in March and April. Cosmos will flower from summer months right up until the very first frosts. Calendula, or pot marigolds, are excellent to weave through a bed or border, or for containers (, and

And do not ignore sunflowers. They couldn’t be easier to expand, and kids will enjoy planting the massive, black seeds.

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