Container planting inspiration from Chelsea Flower Show
Inspiring container planting ideas from Chelsea Flower Show 2023
Container planting has become a main-stay of RHS Chelsea Flower Show, particularly in the last few years as we acknowledge that many people do not have access to a garden with soil, if at all.
This year, the Balcony and Container Gardens are a feast for the eyes with plenty of inspiration to take home, and in the Show Gardens too there are some impressive container displays.
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Container planting at Chelsea Flower Show 2023
Planting in the Balcony and Container Gardens
These planters on the Platform Garden designed by Amelia Bouquet and Emilie Bausager were a great example of mixing edible and ornamental plants to create low-maintenance containers. The powder-coated steel containers were custom made with the water butt built in so it blends with design. Sedums and succulents are mixed in with edibles like purple sage, mazuma lettuce, red spinach and strawberries. It was designed with community in mind; the succulents can be left in all year and the edibles can be rotated with the seasons.
On the other side of the Platform Garden, this rain-catcher doubles up as both a bird-bath and a gradual watering system for the pot below.
On the St George 'Alright Here' Balcony Garden, a huge array of containers have created a really inspiring display. Geums, lupins and honeysuckles are just a few of the plants displayed in this garden designed by Emma Tipping. Containers were created from repurposed rubbish bins, showcasing how mundane materials can create something beautiful. Other plants to look out for here are the golden hops (Humulus lupulus 'Aureus' AGM) and Akebia quinata.
A close up of the planting on the St George 'Alright Here' garden.
Sofa made out of repurposed railway sleepers alongside a planting-filled bin.
Read more about the furniture at Chelsea this year.
In this patio garden designed by The Chelsea Gardener, the planting scheme reflected the challenges of climate change. Sustainable and lightweight hypertufa was used to create the containers and seating and drought-tolerant planting was a focus. In this planter the focal point is a Persian silk tree surrounded by muehlenbeckia, chives, fennel, verbena and aquilegias.
These plant-filled containers were a real highlight on the Restorative Balcony Garden sponsored by Viking, designed by Christina Cobb. The planting here is designed to be attractive to pollinators and birds, with a buddleia and a star jasmine adding height. Herbs, grasses and irises are mixed together to create a gorgeous display. The planters are made from recycled plastic bottles and are not filled to the base to save on weight.
Planting in small terracotta pots added more interest on Christina Cobb's balcony garden.
Container planting in the Show Gardens
Although there is a whole category dedicated to container planting, the designers of the Main Avenue Show Gardens also put their pot-display skills to good use.
The warm tones of Sarah Price's much-talked about Nurture Landscapes Garden were complemented by her succulent-filled planters. The bespoke planters were created out of waste-based castings using the cast-in-ground or soil-as-shuttering technique.
Listen to Sarah Price talk about her Chelsea Show Garden in the Talking Gardens podcast.
Elsewhere in Sarah Price's garden, these impressive dark-leafed succulents are echoed between the container planting and the garden itself.
In the Best in Show Horatio's Garden designed by Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg, the planters are all on trucks so they can be easily moved around the space. This is important as the garden will be relocated to the Princess Royal Spinal Injuries Centre in Sheffield, and the wheels will allow for the planters to be rearranged to suit every patient's needs when they're using the garden. This one has lush planting that reflects the planting in the garden including fleabane and deep purple foliage.
To hear more about Horatio's Garden, listen to our Talking Gardens Chelsea Edition podcast with Charlotte Harris.
On Manoj Malde's garden, RHS and Eastern Eye Garden of Unity, these colourful planters allow the garden to spill out onto the surrounding paths. They're full to the brim with luscious planting combinations.
Other container planting ideas from around Chelsea Flower Show 2023
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Head to our Chelsea Flower Show hub for all the latest news.
Molly is the Gardens Illustrated's editorial and digital assistant. She has a roof garden and has her RHS level 2.
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