Every gardener’s favourite event is back and better than ever for 2022. These are the highlights to look out for in the Platinum Jubilee year.

From 24 – 28 May, Chelsea’s Royal Hospital will, once more, be transformed into a canvas for cutting-edge garden design and floral displays. For the first time in the much-loved event’s 108-year history, 2021’s spectacular was, thanks to the pandemic, held in September, thus swapping the usual spring blooms for equally resplendent autumnal displays. This year, however, marks a resumption of normal service, its loose theme to ‘embrace the wild’ and ‘bring nature back’. Expect, then, plenty of riotous, untamed designs and a focus on a looser, more informal style of gardening that embraces wildflowers and blossoming hedgerows.

Chelsea Flower Show is famously a favourite fixture of The Queen, who has been the Royal Horticultural Society’s patron since 1952, the year that she ascended the throne. Across the 70 years of her reign, she has visited more than 50 times, and in 1977, her Silver Jubilee was marked with the creation of a carpet-bedded crown.

This Platinum Jubilee year is set to be all the more spectacular. As Helena Pettit, Director of RHS Gardens and Shows, says, ‘This year's RHS Chelsea is going to be particularly special as we celebrate this historic anniversary for Her Majesty and as the show returns in May following the pandemic. These imaginative floral tributes are a fitting and joyful representation of a truly unique monarch, and we hope visitors will enjoy seeing them at the show in the lead up to the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.’

The RHS has also introduced a brand-new category for 2022. All About Plants, which will be housed inside the Great Pavilion, is an examination of how we can use plants to affect and improve our mental health and foster community.

We love that the work on show at Chelsea Flower Show ranges from floral tributes to Her Majesty right through to those by ex-footballer Tayshan Hayden-Smith, whose garden in tribute to the Mangrove Nine highlights ‘the social injustice through the Mangrove Nine and the environmental injustice through the deforestation of mangrove forests.’

These are just a few of the highlights to look out for in 2022.

Rewilding Britain

Lulu Urquhart and Adam Hunt’s debut Chelsea garden shows a rewilding landscape in South West England, after the reintroduction of a native, keystone species – the beaver.

Hands Off Mangrove

Tayshan Hayden-Smith was inspired by the community activists known as the Mangrove Nine who were tried for, and eventually acquitted of, inciting a riot in 1970. The garden will unite two issues: global deforestation and social injustice. It promises to be both ambitious and important.

St Mungo’s Putting Down Roots

Cityscapes (Darryl Moore and Adolfo Harrison) are behind this inclusive garden which embodies the spirit of St Mungo’s Putting Down Roots Programme: to help people who have been homeless to recover both their lives and their confidence.

Brewin Dolphin Garden

Designed by Paul Hervey-Brookes, this impressive show garden has been ‘imagined as the metamorphosis of a former 1900s’ industrial site, the garden has been designed to illustrate how brownfield land can be rehabilitated using existing and repurposed materials to establish a new, sustainable and environmentally-aware landscape.’ It is especially apposite given the thousands of homes set to be built on brownfield sites in the coming years.

The RNLI Garden

Chris Beardshaw’s beautiful garden for the RNLI nods to the charity’s Georgian origins (it has been saving lives at sea for almost 200 years) and features a classically inspired green oak pavilion and turned columns.

BBC Studios Our Green Planet & RHS Bee Garden

If you want to learn how to grow a bee-friendly garden, do make a beeline (sorry) for BBC Studios’ Our Green Planet & RHS Bee Garden. Here you can learn how to create the perfect environment for these precious pollinators, whose numbers are in alarming decline.

The Blue Garden

No aspiring gardener should be put off creating a beautiful spot to immerse themselves in nature on account of not have a big plot. Tom Wilkes-Rios’ The Blue Garden is a celebration of the sheer joy it is possible to create in small areas, thanks to his balcony wrap-around planting.

The Wild Kitchen Garden

Nourishing ourselves with an abundance of home-grown veg need not be the preserve of those with rambling country gardens. Ann Treneman’s garden demonstrates how to bring wild edible planting into an urban setting.

The Mothers For Mothers Garden – This Too Shall Pass

Pollyanna Wilkinson’s garden is one for all the mothers running the gauntlet between anxiety, loneliness and post-natal depression, and represents a place to come to turn despair into hope.

By Nancy Alsop
May 2022

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Nancy Alsop


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