RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022 was very much about naturalistic planting, greens and the concept of rewilding, with Best in Show going to Lulu Urquhart and Adam Hunt for their A Rewilding British Landscape.


Reflecting the trend, plant nursery The Plant Centre at Hortus Loci, created three 50cm x 50cm planters for the Gardens Illustrated stand at Chelsea Flower Show, showcasing a selection of plants that would fit into any garden scheme. So even if you don’t have a big garden to let areas go completely wild, there are elements to take on board from the rewilding message, whatever space you have.

This container planting idea draws on the rewilding aesthetic to use hardworking, tough plants that don’t need too much mollycoddling and are brilliant for pollinators. By using perennials alongside annuals, the display can be adapted seasonally and come back year after year to give a loose, naturalised appeal.

The Gardens Illustrated planters at Chelsea 2022
The Gardens Illustrated planters at Chelsea 2022

How to get the rewilding look

Plants used

Centranthus ruber (x 6 for three containers)

Often seen growing on walls and in hedgerows, red valerian is a tough perennial with masses of tightly clumped flowerheads in crimson, pink or white. Beloved by pollinators and with good drought tolerant qualities. Flowers from late spring to autumn. Deadhead regularly if you want to control self-seeding.

1m x 50cm

Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Double Click Cranberries’ (x6)
Gorgeous, intensely coloured cosmos with flowers in dark reddish-purple. Double petalled with a bright-yellow centre. Attractive to pollinators and flowering in profusion through summer and into autumn.
1.5m x 1m.
Read more about the best cosmos varieties to grow.

Geum ‘Bohema Pink’ (x6)
Introduced in 2020, this geum produces masses of flowers from as early as April and into summer (keep deadheading to encourage repeat flowering). Large flowers of ruffled petals in salmon pink surround bright yellow-orange stamens. Grows best in sun but will tolerate some shade and works well alongside low-growing grasses and other creeping perennials to give low-level interest.
40cm x 40cm

Linum narbonense
Linum narbonense © Jason Ingram

Linum narbonense (x3)
This blue flax is a lovely addition to the garden with open blue flowers with a white centre held above lance-shaped leaves on wiry stems. Tolerates dry soils. Flowers from late spring to midsummer and will self-seed if happy.
60cm x 30cm

Sue Robertson with the Gardens Illustrated planters from Hortus Loci
Hortus Loci's Sue Robertson with the Gardens Illustrated planters from the Chelsea stand

Oenothera lindheimeri (x3)
White gaura is a graceful delicate-looking perennial with arching stems bearing starry white, or pink tinged flowers. Long season of interest and good for pollinators.
1.5m x 1m

Salvia ‘Cool Cream’ (x2)
Semi-evergreen, busy perennial with lipped flowers in creamy white that contrast with the purple stems. Aromatic green foliage. Good for pollinators.
1m x 50cm

The Gardens Illustrated planters at Chelsea 2022
The Gardens Illustrated planters at Chelsea 2022

Delphinium ‘White Swan’ (x6)
While delphiniums do need a bit of care and attention, they are a great statement plant, bringing height to a container display and summer indulgence. Pure-white flowers borne on tall spires with lovely informal appeal.
1m x 50cm


Terrazzo Cube from The Plant Centre at Hortus Loci

With thanks to Hortus Loci for creating our RHS Chelsea Flower Show stand planters
The Plant Centre at Hortus Loci
Hound Green
Hampshire RG27 8LQ
Tel 0118 932 6487




Sorrel Everton is deputy editor of Gardens Illustrated.