Arcadia is about escape with the painted backdrop giving the illusion of more space. The trees act as sentinels providing a sense of enclosure and have their own eco system, they herald in a touch of the exotic. Reclaimed Jarrah timber has been reworked into the swing seat and provides the perfect spot to watch the insects collecting nectar on the late flowering perennials. The planting and fabrics are rich in tone chosen to celebrate the drama of Autumn.
Though some of the designs at this year's exhibition might look incredibly intricate, there are lots of useful lessons to take away. It was a lovely sunny press day at Chelsea, and I trotted round looking out for interesting finds, scrutinising the smaller gardens and of course admiring the stunning plants while bumping into old friends and colleagues. Small garden ideas: The Container Gardens and Balcony Gardens are new and highly popular categories. The designers were chosen through a competition, they had to be new to Chelsea and were given £5,000 towards the costs but they were encouraged to obtain further sponsorship. More often than not, our container displays and balconies just evolve, so to see examples of what could be designed will no doubt open minds to the huge potential of these hard-working spaces.
Martha Krempel’s ‘Arcadia’ was a knockout. The centrepiece – some old Indian doors – sets the scene. An antique-dealer client acquired a container of old Indian doors that had been lying around for 20 years; Martha loved them and used them to replace the RHS standard-issue ones. The pergola over the swing seat is covered with the bright red leaves of Parthenocissus quinquefolia; it is trained by strings threaded through carefully drilled holes in the timber. The painted backdrop on the “building” walls was subtle but helped transform the space. Autumnal colours are taken on to the cushions as well as in the planting. The abundance of foliage, thought and creativity of these five spaces will no doubt influence many balcony owners to revamp theirs.
YouTube Video: Bunny Guinness Chelsea 2021: The Balcony Gardens
Punica Granatum (Europe to Himalayas - loam sand loam - Likes a container and a sheltered spot).
Yucca Aloifolia (South East USA, Mexico, West Indies, season of interest Autumn & good for Coastal gardens - good to -5°)
good in planter in sheltered position, trunk will need support. Drought resistant).
Scheflera Trevesioides (from the northern most area of North Vietnam, close to China) Crug Farm
Actea Simplex ‘Black Negligee’
Dahlia ‘Barbary Sunset' Mexico
Dahlia ‘Totally Tangerine' Mexico
Euphorbia Mellifera (Madeira - Canary Islands)
Euphorbia ‘Fens Ruby’
Panicum Prairie Skies Drought tolerant once established, steely blue perennial grass which would
have covered much of the great plains of central north America - the mid west
Rudbeckia Henry Eilers
Salvia Amistaad Flowers from may to November and Amistaad is Spanish for Friendship,
Hosta ‘purple heart ‘
I would also like to thank all the people who helped bring the garden together:
Claire Lyons, Lily Krempel, David Heathcock, Anthony Leyland and Cadscapes Services
Martha Krempel infront of her garden at chelsea 2021