Inside Chelsea Flower Show's winning gardens

Inside Chelsea Flower Show’s winning garden: Design featuring delicate water lilies, pine trees and ornamental rhubarb plants becomes first Chinese-backed garden to be named Best in Show

  • RHS Chelsea Flower Show opened to public yesterday after event was postponed from May to September   
  • Guangzhou China: Guangzhou Garden won two awards at the event including top prize of Best Show Garden
  • Chinese garden designed by Peter Chmiel with Chin-Jung Chen won accolade for first time in history of event 

A Chinese-backed garden complete with water lilies, pine trees and ornamental rhubarb plants has taken home the top prize in this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.  

The Guangzhou Garden, designed by Peter Chmiel and Chin-Jung Chen, became the first Chinese garden in the show’s 109-year history to be named Best in Show by judges at the Royal Horticultural Society.

Best Show Garden is awarded among four gold medal-winning show gardens on the first day of the event, which is traditionally held in May but postponed for the first time in the event’s history due to the coronavirus pandemic.  

Commissioned by the government of Guangzhou, China’s fifth biggest city, the winning garden aims to inspire global cities to ‘work in harmony with nature’.  

The Guangzhou Garden, designed by Peter Chmiel and Chin-Jung Chen, became the first Chinese garden in the show’s 109-year history to be named Best in Show by judges at the Royal Horticultural Society

The garden features a wave of green foliage, dotted with frothy perennials, in soft hues of white, blue and yellow and features delicate blue Salvia Uliginosa which float above white and green herbaceous plants and grasses. 

Ornamental foliage from rhubarb plants dance above the water while water lilies and their dainty pale yellow flowers feature in the garden’s central stream, which hides a waterfall and a small planted island. 

The winning garden also features a woodland dell of to promote, cleaner air, a pool of water and bamboo shelters for people to gather and to home wildlife. Dawn redwood, Scots pine, field maple and birch trees make up the woodland edge.  

Sedges, euphorbia and fern plants float on the water alongside Rodgersia and Angelica plants which help to clean water and air.  

The garden features a wave of green foliage, dotted with frothy perennials, in soft hues of white, blue and yellow and features delicate blue Salvia Uliginosa which float above white and green herbaceous plants and grasses

The garden was created by landscape architects and first-time design duo Peter Chmiel and Chin-Jung Chen who specialise in environmentally-friendly design and have never put on a display at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show before

The garden was created by landscape architects and first-time design duo Peter Chmiel and Chin-Jung Chen who specialise in environmentally-friendly design and have never put on a display at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show before. 

Guangzhou aims to highlight ‘the benefits of responsible city planning and how planners must work in harmony with nature to better connect people with the natural world. Climate change, the growth of mega cities and potential mass extinction of species requires a re-evaluation of planning policy. ‘    

Established in 1913, the flower show has become one of the world’s biggest showcases for horticultural excellence, attracting visitors and exhibitors from across the globe. 

This year’s event has seen unusual autumnal displays after being delayed from May, and running instead from today to Sunday 26 September in a special one-off event.

Ornamental foliage from rhubarb plants dance above the water while water lilies and their dainty pale yellow flowers feature in the garden’s central stream, which hides a waterfall and a small planted island

The winning garden also features a woodland dell of to promote, cleaner air, a pool of water and bamboo shelters for people to gather and to home wildlife. Dawn redwood, Scots pine, field maple and birch trees make up the woodland edge

It has grown from 244 exhibitors in 1913 to more than 500 today, including gardens, nurseries, floristry, educational displays and trade stands. The show attracts 168,000 visitors.  

The show is organised by the Royal Horticultural Society, of which the Queen is patron, and traditionally takes place mid-May.

Her Majesty, who attends the event every year, is set to skip it this year for the first time since 2005 as she remains in Balmoral, where she is expected to stay until October. 

It will be only the tenth time she has missed the Flower Show. Instead, the Earl and Countess of Wessex , Princess Anne , the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, and Princess Alexandra represented the Royal Family at the event.

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