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This year’s Feature Gardens – pics and details

Take a look at this year's Feature Gardens – home to the largest garden at Chelsea 2021.

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

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

And here are the three RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021 Feature Gardens.

The feature gardens are created by the RHS and partners to act as a centrepiece to the show. The Show Gardens may be the diverse, bold new takes on what’s possible, but it’s the Feature Gardens that form the heart and soul from which the rest of the show obtains its life.

Often the largest on show, this year was no exception with three large-scale, bold new looks on display in the Feature Gardens, setting the tone for Chelsea’s first ever September show. Here’s a closer look at all three.

RHS Queen’s Green Canopy Garden

Designer David Dodd www.theoutdoorroom.co.uk 
Contractor The Outdoor Room www.theoutdoorroom.co.uk 

RHS Queen's Green Canopy at Chelsea 2021.

The RHS Queen’s Green Canopy Garden is the largest garden on show this year, featuring 21 native trees, more than 3500 plants and covering a total of 433 square metres.

The garden took the form of a long, wide, leaf-shaped plot, with two long winding paths running its length, bisecting fields of grassland and wildflower meadows. All the while beneath a canopy of 21 mature trees, expertly placed to overlap and keep the rest of the show hustle and bustle at a polite distance.

Created in partnership between the RHS and The Queen’s Green Canopy its aim was to bring attention to the campaign designed to encourage us all to plant more trees through the coming year in order to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022. It’s central message therefore was one the importance of woodland and biodiversity.

The grassland was designed to signify the poor diversity typical of many grass landscapes around us and the potential they present for regeneration. Highlighting these spaces were three full-scale hay bale sculptures, woven by Jay Davey, to evoke images of agriculture and the possible merging of farmland with future woodland.

The wildflower meadows show land being used to its fullest potential, blooming with colour and diversity.

And – of course  – the trees show what is possible, their strength to support biodiversity and what a world with many more beautiful trees carefully planted around us might look and feel like.

RHS COP26 Garden

Designer Marie-Louise Agius, Balston Agius www.balstonagius.co.uk
Contractor Swinburne Horticultural Services Ltd www.swinburne.co.uk

RHS COP26 Garden at Chelsea 2021.
RHS COP26 Garden at Chelsea 2021.

Another garden with another important message. The RHS COP26 Garden has been created to show how gardens, plants and green spaces can play an integral part in protecting our planet and people and ensure a greener more resilient future for all of us.

With the 26th UN Climate Change Conference taking place in Glasgow in October this garden aims to show what’s possible if we work together and what could happen if we don’t.

Overall the aim is for visitors to realise their part in the puzzle and make those small differences that collectively make a big difference. The garden therefore shows simple measures such as diverting water run-off into water butts, and choosing plants that attract pollinators which can be grown from seed.

The garden features four zones: Decline, Adaption, Mitigation and Balance.

Decline shows flooding, drought, pests and diseases, with a paved-over garden flooded by rising water levels and industrial intrusions.

Adaption shows environmental awareness with a drought-tolerant meadow able to cope with hotter, drier summers and fast-drain terrain to help alleviate flash flooding.

Mitigation shows a wildlife garden, a pollinator’s meadow, a compost area and a green front garden space, showing the simple changes we can all make at home.

Finally the Balance area is a modern cottage garden with diverse plants working alongside recycled materials.