Discover 2022's RHS Chelsea Flower Show Container Gardens.


This year there are 27 Chelsea gardens, divided into six categories.

• Six Show Gardens
• Two Artisan Gardens
• Six Sanctuary Gardens
• Five Balcony Gardens
• Three Feature Gardens
• (Plus the Houseplant Studios)

Here's the next new category – fresh for 2021 – the five RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021 Container Gardens.

In this category, designers were invited to create a garden where it was impossible to dig into the ground. For renters or anyone with awkward plots or two much hard landscaping, conventional 'large scale' gardening just isn't an option.

A container garden allows gardeners of any level to create something special, filling spaces with colour and inventiveness and allowing everyone to interact with nature.

The Hot Tin Roof Garden

Designer Ellie Edkins
Contractor Topoforma Landscape Media

The Hot Tin Roof Container Garden at Chelsea 2021
The Hot Tin Roof Container Garden at Chelsea 2021

This small garden is all about creating a relaxing and engaging outdoor space for the urban environment. Inspired by a life lived by the beach, the garden draws from various reference points, contrasting hot and cold in its design. The wild, overflowing planting is led by the shady nature of the imagined space, producing a cool atmosphere and in contrast the hard landscaping which is inspired by a coastal theme and feels warm, with colours inspired by sand and sea.

Curves are a common theme in the design, from the undulating corrugated steel that forms the planters, to the funky abstract print in the tiles.

Lush greens are the main theme in the planting, with pops of purple and blue. Fatsia japonica give a tropical kick to the palette while dryopteris filix-mas and hakonechloa macra give a wild look.

Pop Street Garden

Designer John McPherson
Contractor Big Fish Landscapes

Pop Street Container Garden at Chelsea 2021
Pop Street Container Garden at Chelsea 2021

Pop Street Garden was designed as a space to get energised and jump-start that transition from ‘lockdown to on-the-town’. Taking its inspiration from Pop and Street art, it’s a place to hang out over drinks with good company.

The vibrant colours, coupled with bold shapes, textures and pop culture references, are designed to get everyone in the mood to celebrate. The garden contains dynamic sculptures and an original mural by artist Robert Littleford. The design is inspired by the objects, décor and interests of designer John McPherson’s own home and garden.

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The colour scheme is ‘colour me happy’ with exuberant, lush, playful, and exotic planting.

The Stolen Soul Garden

Designer Anna Dabrowska-Jaudi
Contractor Big Fish Landscapes

The Stolen Soul Container Garden at Chelsea 2021
The Stolen Soul Container Garden at Chelsea 2021

The Stolen Soul Garden is intended to raise awareness of mental health issues, especially in the new reality shaped by the global pandemic. The Garden is a visual expression of an invisible story of loneliness and despair but also inner strength and hope. With the pressures of modern life, everyone at some point in their life may experience this journey on a personal level or through someone close to them.

The focal point of the garden, with its variety of shades of purple, is the amethyst crystal which symbolises the spiritual thread that runs through our lives. The crystal is interlocked within larger geometrical components of the design but still remains the centrepiece of the garden.

The living wall represents the dark scope of emotions such as fear, emptiness and despair. The planting within the containers symbolises empathy, joy and light. The black water pool is a symbol of life and connects all the elements in the garden by reflecting them in the water.

A Tranquil Space in the City

Designer Mika Misawa
Contractor Big Fish Landscapes

Tranquil Space in the City Container Garden at Chelsea 2021

This garden is for people in the city who seek tranquillity. The space is arranged not only with plants in pots but also with fragments of nature, such as a boulder and gravel. There is only one flowering plant in the space.

A very simple planting scheme is used with only one flowering plant and few other plants. The plants have been chosen as they are easy to find, making the garden easy to replicate.

The IBC Pocket Forest

Designer Sara Edwards
Contractor Big Fish Landscapes

The IBC Pocket Forest Container Garden at Chelsea 2021
The IBC Pocket Forest Container Garden at Chelsea 2021

Inspired by the balconies of Milan’s Bosco Verticale and tiny urban forests utilising the Miyawaki method of creating diverse multi layered forest, this garden’s aim is to create an urban pocket forest and haven for wildlife, repurposing Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBC) into a sanctuary to sit and be immersed in nature.

IBC’s are sold off cheaply at the end of their leasing lifecycle and, like pallets and shipping containers, they are readily available, modular, and easily customisable, and far cheaper than buying comparable planters of the same size, making this attainable for the smallest budgets especially if planting the forest from scratch like the Miyawaki method.

The IBC containers are planted with a multi-layered scheme with trees, mid-storey shrubs, and underplanting. The main focus of the garden are the trees which have been selected for their benefits to wildlife.


Head to our Chelsea Flower Show hub page for all our coverage of Chelsea


Daniel GriffithsDigital Editor

Daniel Griffiths is a veteran journalist who has worked on some of the biggest home and entertainment brands in the world. He is a serial house-renovator and home improvement expert, taking on everything from interior design and DIY to landscape gardening and garden design.