Hartley Magazine

All the latest news, hints, tips and advice from our experts

Recreate Flower Show hits in your own garden

Green-fingered individuals can turn to a wide range of sources for inspiration, but needless to say many are more popular than others.

Events dedicated to the pastime are often very popular for just this reason, with the Royal Horticultural Society's Chelsea Flower Show 2012 a particularly good example of such a festival.

It recently took place across the pond in the UK – and in an article for the Daily Telegraph, celebrity gardener and chartered landscape architect Bunny Guinness explained how individuals can recreate some of the most successful trends displayed there.

She explained that an informal and slightly wild look was one of the dominant trends this year, singling out cow parsley as a must-have plant.

The binominal name for this is anthriscus sylvestris and it is a herbaceous biennial or short-lived perennial plant. It originates in Europe and has also been found in western Asia and north-western Africa.

It is characterised by a hollow stem that can grow anywhere between 60 and 170 centimeters, with branching white flowers. Tripinnate leaves also grow up to around 30 centimeters on the plant, which can flower as early as the middle of spring and as late as early summer.

Semi-shaded parts of meadows are where it is most commonly found – and it is thought to be a natural mosquito repellent when it is applied directly to the skin.

Ms Guinness asserted that show gardens are great places to find herbaceous plants, as they look great here, but often seem odd or out of place in a real garden.

However, those who wish to grow edible plants such as herbs – or as part of a herb garden – can make use of a greenhouse to ensure they do not detract from the overall look of the rest of the garden.

Indeed, writing in the Courier Journal, author of Herbs! Creative Herb Garden Themes and Projects Judy Lowe, recently claimed this is a great way of ensuring certain plants get plenty of light.

A greenhouse can offer the gardener control over the climate conditions any plant is exposed to, so it is often a perfect choice for vegetable and herb growing.

Ms Lowe also advised careful planning, as it is important to time planting right so as to ensure they are able to grow to their full potential.

Ms Guinness singled out the Dianthus Memories as an example of another plant that requires a degree of maintenance, but really delivers great results. Indeed, it went on to win second place in the plant of the year category at Chelsea.

"Similar to the old Mrs Sinkins – with white flowers – it is a taller perennial that will flower all summer if repeatedly cut back and has a fragrance overload," the expert commented, adding: "Although not bred as a cutting pink, if put in a vase it will last for about three weeks, filling any room with a knockout scent."

The Climate Calm Garden by Nicholas Dexter was also singled out for praise, mainly for its technical innovations, with water run-off collected in a water butt.

"This overran into a series of channels with a small stainless-steel sluice that could be manually operated, allowing you to divert the excess," Ms Guinness explained. She continued: "The intriguing rill system that was based on an irrigation channel layout was laid at erratic angles that resembled the patterns in sun-cracked earth. Highly functional and great looking with planting that would cope with whatever our weather flung at it."

Ms Guinness added that many of the recyclable materials on show at Chelsea can easily be recreated at home.