RHS Chelsea Flower Show Garden Guide

Explore our guide to RHS Chelsea Flower Show Gardens.


RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023

Explore the blooming paradise of horticultural wonders at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, renowned as one of the world's most prestigious and captivating floral exhibitions, has once again opened its gates to unveil an exquisite array of gardens in the year 2023. Nestled in the heart of London, this year's showcases the finest craftsmanship, innovative designs, and the most captivating blooms the gardening world has to offer.

The RSPCA Garden Sanctuary Gardens

The RSPCA sanctuary garden is a lesson in wildlife-friendly design. Focused on changing perceptions on wildlife gardens. Showing a wildlife-supporting garden but it doesn’t have to be scruffy. But can be stylish and low-maintenance whilst still protecting and attracting wildlife.

The Sanctuary Garden aims to embrace nature's soothing and rejuvenating qualities In the design. Water has been incorporated through a magnificent water feature and pool constructed using recycled plastic. Water gracefully meanders through the garden, gently cascading into the pool, imbuing the entire space with a sense of serenity and calmness.
The garden features various small yet distinctive elements that showcase different aspects of nature. Among these are nesting boxes thoughtfully placed to support sparrows, which are experiencing a sharp decline due to nesting as a colony. Additionally, the garden incorporates bat boxes, hedging, and a canopy of native trees and shrubs that play a crucial role in supporting birds and wildlife. The planting follows a naturalistic approach, utilizing shades of green, whites, and blues, with a focus on pollinator-friendly plants.
For the hedging, Hornbeam has been carefully selected, not only for its aesthetic appeal but yo act as windbreaks to offer protection to butterflies. The garden's structure is enhanced by Yew cubes, providing year-round stability and offering refuge to birds seeking shelter from predators. The materials have been carefully selected to blend into the British landscape, using natural and vernacular materials such as Cotswold limestone, Yorkstone paving, and locally-sourced fir. The garden's two-storey wildlife hide is beautifully clad in Larch, seamlessly blending into its surroundings.
Silver Gilt medal winner
Designed by: Martyn Wilson
Built by: Landscape Associates
Sponsored by Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

RBC Brewin Dolphin Show Garden

The RBC Brewin Dolphin Garden has been inspired by the way knowledge is passed down through generations and interpreted for the modern world. At its core, the garden's concept revolves around a young couple who have inherited the wisdom and expertise of their grandparents. They have skilfully crafted a garden that embodies their values of longevity, biodiversity, and a sustainable habitat for the future.
The carefully selected plants contribute to a biodiverse environment, enhancing air purification, while the strategic successional planting ensures the creation of potential habitats. Amongst the meticulously shaped hawthorn and hornbeam, an artisanal oak pavilion stands adorned with a custom metalwork roof. Poppies, aquilegias and meadow rue have been selected for beauty, food and biodiversity to demonstrate the sharing of horticultural knowledge through the generations. The pavilion is complemented by three exquisite porcelain sculptures, crafted by the talented Parisian ceramicist Gregory Tchalikian, symbolizing the expansion of knowledge and its impact on the mind.
Silver Gilt medal winner
Designed by: Paul Hervey-Brookes
Built by: G K Wilson Landscapes
Sponsored by: RBC Brewin Dolphin

The RHS and Eastern Eye Garden of Unity Feature Garden

The RHS and Eastern Eye newspaper have come together, alongside garden designer Manoj Malde, who serves as the RHS' Ambassador for diversity and inclusivity, to craft a garden aimed at promoting horticulture for people of all backgrounds and in all places.
Drawing inspiration from his Indian heritage, Manoj has chosen a vibrant colour scheme of orange and pink, reminiscent of the bold and contrasting hues found in Indian saris worn by women. The garden features marigolds, which hold significance in Hindu worship, and showcases an arrangement of colourful spices and small oil lamps (diya), traditionally used during festivals and religious ceremonies.
Embracing his fashion background, Manoj celebrates the artisan skills of hand embroidery and embellishment from India, as well as acknowledging his African roots through the use of scatter cushions and a Kuba cloth. Bright hues and accessibility are at the heart of this garden illustrated through the colourful oil drums filled with ornamental and edible plants and bright posts featuring braille to tell the gardens story.
Sustainability takes centre stage in the garden's design, with a strong focus on peat-free planting and the integration of reclaimed materials. For instance, the garden's pathway is ingeniously constructed from recycled limestone slabs and fragments. Throughout the garden, bright posts are strategically placed, displaying sentences in braille. This symbolic gesture serves to emphasize that gardens and gardening are inclusive activities, open to all, regardless of race, color, creed, sexuality, or disability. It underscores the idea that gardening is a birthright accessible to every individual, promoting a sense of belonging, kindness, and humanity for all who partake in it.
Designed by: Manoj Malde
Built by: Gadd Brothers
Sponsored by: Royal Horticultural Society Eastern Eye

The Royal Entomological Society Show Garden

This garden will house the RHS Chelsea Flower Shows first insect laboratory, which will conduct live insect surveys throughout the show. The insect laboratory will be used to study insect numbers visiting the garden during the show, and project these insects onto a screen allowing visitors gain insight into the biodiversity created by planting. The gardens focal point is a large bright blue dome housing the insect laboratory, which is surrounded by pollinator friendly blooms in purples and pinks giving a insects eye view of a biodiverse garden.
The cleverly integrated lab blends naturally into the landscape of a hillside, invites visitors to experience the world from an 'insect's eye view' while offering a conducive space for study and research. Inspired by the compound eye of insects, the lab's unique roof structure reflects its purpose of real scientific inquiry, monitoring, and observation of the insects that frequent the garden.
The site's diverse topography features rammed earth floors, hoggin pathways, dead wood, rubble piles, bare sand, and gabion walls, creating a myriad of habitats for various insects. Still pools and flowing streams further enhance these vital habitats, adding an element of fascination to the garden's appearance and soundscape.
Artistic elements, such as a sculpted dead tree, segmented into rings and raised on steel poles, seemingly hovers above a biodiverse planting. Additionally, a standing dead tree and tree stump contribute to the sculptural habitat of the garden. The careful selection of plants caters to pollinators and a wide array of beneficial insects, crafting an attractive and resilient landscape that offers year-round nourishment, shelter, and intrigue.
Excitingly, once the show concludes, the garden will find a permanent home at IQL Stratford in East London. This relocation presents a long-term opportunity for education and ongoing insect research, ensuring that the garden's impact extends far beyond the show's duration.
Silver Gilt medal winner
Designed by: Tom Massey
Built by: Landscape Associates
Sponsored by: Royal Entomological Society, Project Giving Back

The Folio Society’s Reading Room Balcony Garden

The Folio Society's Reading Room Garden offers a verdant retreat designed specifically for unwinding with a captivating book. Embracing the transformative power of literature, the garden seeks to create an enchanting ambiance that complements the pleasure of reading .Drought resistant planting in striking colours have been selected to create a peacefully and soothing area for reading and reflection.
Just outside the balcony doors, lush plants envelop the area, forming a peaceful green oasis. The addition of a gentle water feature provides a soothing white noise, effectively blocking out the hustle and bustle of the city beyond. Adjacent to this space, oak seating beckons visitors to relish the scenic view or engage in social interactions.
The back wall serves as a striking focal point, adorned with hand-crafted oak cobbles that were historically utilized in ink production from oak tree galls until the 20th century. Designed to be illuminated from behind, the wall casts intriguing shadows during dusk and night-time. Furthermore, a charming cut-out in the wall reminiscent of bookends adds to the garden's literary allure.
Promoting a tranquil ambiance free from the distractions of technology, this garden beautifully celebrates the significance of reading, both for enjoyment and as a means to enhance mental well-being. Its versatile design can cater to different household needs, accommodating families with young children learning to read, teenagers preparing for exams, busy professionals seeking solace after a taxing day, or retirees immersed in the pages of a captivating novel.
Silver Gilt medal winner
Designed by: Katherine Holland
Built by: Phil Sutton Landscapes Ltd
Sponsored by: The Folio Society

The Shifting Garden by the Chelsea Gardener- Container Garden

This sustainable urban garden creates a natural feel thanks to the selection of stone hues and carefully selected drought resistant planting scheme creating a practical and relaxing retreat.
The garden is skilfully designed to make the most of the limited space typically found in urban settings, while also serving as a reflection of the shifting climate that is leading the UK towards dealing with extreme weather patterns.
A strong focus on sustainability permeates the entire garden, incorporating natural, bio-composite, and recycled materials. Welcoming visitors at the entrance is a majestic Albizia julibrissin tree, whose intricate canopy creates a feeling of being nestled in a protected sanctuary.
Along the borders, recycled plastic rod screens are strategically placed, representing the concept of water without the actual use of water. Standing against a dark backdrop, staggered containers made from hypertufa offer built-in seating, resembling natural stone in appearance. A strategically positioned mirror reflects the planting in the front bed, adding dimension to the garden's contours.
The garden, known as The Shifting Garden by the Chelsea Gardener, addresses the significant challenges that arose during the 2022 heat wave concerning the maintenance of British gardens. Its main purpose is to showcase a climate change-resistant planting scheme and demonstrate how such an approach can be integrated into an appealing and functional urban garden.
Silver Gilt medal winner
Designed by: The Chelsea Gardener

Rethink Gardena Trade Garden

The garden focuses on the importance of innovation and how new and recycled materials can be used to design stylish outdoor spaces that are environmentally friendly. Built on the foundation of the Circular R’s: Reduce, Repair, Recycle. Hoping to inspire gardeners to create and maintain green spaces, and use precious resources, such as water, wisely.
The garden has been designed in line with a circular plan and process in mind that ensures zero waste throughout the build and beyond, meaning all materials will be reused, recycled or donated post show. From materials used in construction, the staff, and the charities supported, every element of sustainability has been carefully considered.
The garden has a strong emphasis on growing your own food, one of the designers passions and an important practice for a sustainable life, the garden will showcase a social space to entertain friends and family. A planting scheme of edibles will be grown in innovative ways making the space not only functional but beautiful.
The materials used in the garden showcase an array of innovative brands looking to create a kinder economy and who utilise recycled materials. Combined with upcycled designs, skip finds and incorporating elements of rewilding and biodiversity with the garden. The design features walls built to incorporate huge bug hotels, planting of edibles and pollinating plants and clever water harvesting systems.
Designed by: Lynne Lambourne
Built by: Wayne Perrey, Boa Contractors.

RHS Heroines of Horticultural garden

An RHS commissioned garden celebrating women in horticulture with a traditional, cottage garden scheme. To fit the brief of cottage garden Pollyanna opted for Bothy, woven willow and cottage garden favourites. The planting is a garden of two halves - half full sun, half part shade - and the plants used are those readily available and happy in much of the UK
The garden design featured a bothy and traditional cottage garden plants and flowers, paying tribute to the women who shaped much of the development of horticulture as we know it today. Pollyanna has worked with all-female design and planting teams to usher her vibrant cottage planting from the ground up. From willow containers woven by Mollie McMillen of Field Farm rise specialist plants grown by women from Hare Spring Cottage Plants, Botanical Nursery and Claire Austin Hardy Plants.
Designed by: Pollyanna Wilkinson

The Restorative Balcony Garden

The Restorative Garden exemplifies the art of blending reclaimed elements with carefully chosen new materials, showcasing how to create an environmentally conscious space without sacrificing aesthetics or quality.
The thoughtful selection of plants aims to entice pollinators and birds, inviting them into the garden. Fragrant trees, climbers, and herbs provide a delightful sensory experience for visitors. Adding to the ambiance, a water table serves both as a birdbath and a source of soothing sounds for meditation. Reclaimed teak is utilized for practical purposes, including shelving, a simple pergola, and comfortable lounge chairs that offer a perfect vantage point from the balcony.
At the entrance and along the rear wall, salvaged terracotta planters with their unique patina and texture enhance the garden's charm. As dusk descends, soft lighting gracefully illuminates the foliage, transforming the entire space into a magical oasis. The garden serves as a haven for relaxation, rejuvenation, and restoration, providing visitors with a tranquil escape from the demands of everyday life.
Silver Gilt medal winner
Designed by: Christina Cobb
Built by: Garden Club London
Sponsored by: Viking

The School Food Matters Garden

The garden offers an engaging and interactive natural landscape, inviting children to explore and discover a diverse array of edible and climate-adapted plants. Child-sized paths enable young adventurers to let their imagination roam freely as they wander among the plants, climb over boulders, and witness the various elements of food production. Tactile earth walls, reflective water features, pollinator-attracting flowers, and light-capturing grasses enhance the sensory experience along the way.
Within the serene surroundings, vibrant ribbons of colourful flowers intersect the calming textural planting, leading to a tranquil space where children can share their thoughts on food and climate change through direct quotes artfully displayed on the central wall. The central pond is surrounded by purple and orange hues. All plants in the garden are edible allowing children to discover and engage with the planting as they meander through the miniature winding paths.
The garden's underlying message emphasizes the importance of nutritious food, a healthy planet, and access to nature as fundamental rights that every child deserves. Once the show concludes, the garden will be relocated to serve as a valuable educational resource for school children, ensuring its lasting impact on inspiring future generations.
Silver Gilt medal winner
People’s Choice Best Sanctuary / All About Plants
Designed by: Harry Holding
Built by: Landscape Associates
Sponsored by School Food Matters, Project Giving Back

Horatio’s Garden

Horatio's Garden serves as a haven of solace and optimism, aligning with the Horatio's Garden charity's mission to establish and maintain beautiful, accessible gardens in NHS spinal injuries centres.
The garden splendidly embodies the distinctive qualities of these special spaces, while also incorporating elements inspired by the Sheffield region, establishing a strong connection to its future permanent location at the Princess Royal Spinal Injuries Centre in Sheffield.
Designed to be an immersive and rejuvenating retreat, this garden stands in stark contrast to a clinical hospital environment. It takes into consideration the unique perspectives of patients, whether they are viewing it from their beds or wheelchairs.
Tactile stone cairns lend rhythm and structure, while the presence of water adds sensory experiences throughout the garden. An organic garden pod offers a comforting space for physical and emotional respite. Additionally, a carved stone serves as a tribute to Horatio Chapple, whose life inspired the creation of all Horatio's Gardens.
Drawing inspiration from the flora of the wooded valleys that historically provided essential timber for the forges and furnaces of Sheffield, the garden features thoughtfully chosen shrubs. These selections, such as Rosa mutabilis, Hydrangea petiolaris in shrub form, and Aruncus 'Horatio,' offer extended seasonal interest and are an integral part of every Horatio's Garden.
Gold medal winner, Best Show Garden
Designed by: Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg
Built by: Ryan Alexander Associates
Sponsored by: Horatio's Garden, Project Giving Back

The Platform Garden

The Platform Garden draws its inspiration from disused overground platforms in London, envisioning a futuristic garden platform with a strong emphasis on community-led gardening and education. Combining the man made and natural, full of edibles and an earthy coloured planting scheme of green, browns and burgundy's.
The garden specifically targets key areas where additional green infrastructure can be integrated. It emphasizes the significance of incorporating vegetation in transportation spaces to promote biodiversity, collect rainwater, capture carbon, and enhance the well-being of people.
Taking cues from the design elements found in train platforms, the garden features a section reminiscent of this public space. Graphic retro tiles, recycled concrete litter bins repurposed as planters, and reclaimed paving materials are among the elements creatively utilized.
The ultimate aspiration for the garden is to inspire everyone, regardless of the size of their spaces, to cultivate their own plants and produce. It encourages individuals to engage with their communities, fostering a sharing of horticultural knowledge among neighbours and beyond.
Silver Gilt medal winner
Designed by: Amelia Bouquet and Emilie Bausager
Built by: Andrew Jackson Gardens
Sponsored by: Energy Garden

The Nurture Landscapes Garden

The garden draws its ambiance and creative influence from the captivating paintings of Cedric Morris and the collection of plants he cultivated and bred at Benton End, Hadleigh. Cedric gained renown for his skill in both breeding and painting bearded iris, nurturing a remarkable variety of around 1000 new seedlings annually and producing over 90 distinct named varieties.
To frame views within the garden and offer glimpses beyond, climbers are gracefully supported by reclaimed timber and cordage. A sense of a partially reclaimed and untamed space is conveyed through the presence of saplings, grasses, and distinctive trees. The colour scheme, reminiscent of watercolour paintings, features plums, mauves, olive yellows, and creamy browns, creating a unique and memorable palette.
The surroundings of Benton End, with their sixteenth-century origins crafted using traditional methods, have served as a source of inspiration for the garden's contemporary approach, incorporating locally sourced and sustainable materials.

Gold medal winner
Designed by: Sarah Price
Built by: Crocus Ltd
Sponsored by: Nurture Landscapes

London Square Community Garden

The origins of this garden trace back to London-wide Open Gardens Weekend in 2022 when London Square, the event sponsors, drew inspiration from the volunteers at the Doddington Estate in Battersea. These volunteers had successfully created a thriving half-acre community garden using donated trees, shrubs, perennials, and edibles, nestled amidst towering buildings, forming a green oasis.
Uniting the community lies at the heart of this garden's concept, providing a space where people can come together, unwind, share food, and connect with nature. A welcoming meeting area is situated beneath a pergola, complete with an outdoor kitchen and a large communal table featuring chess and draughts boards. The garden's character is further enhanced by individually styled upcycled chairs crafted by The Repair Shop's Jay Blades furniture restorers. Raised beds are thoughtfully planted with edible crops, contributing to the garden's sense of community and self-sufficiency.
A serene planted section houses a generously sized swing seat, dappled in soothing shade, creating an idyllic setting for conversations or reading books from the garden bookcase. The garden also boasts fragrant plants like climbing Trachelospermum jasminoides, rosemary, thyme, salvias, Erigeron karvinskianus, and Mahonia eurybracteata subsp. ganpinensis 'Soft Caress,' chosen for their resilience and beauty.
True to its roots, after the event, some elements of the London Square Community Garden will find a new home at the Doddington & Rollo Community Roof Garden in Battersea, reaffirming London Square's dedication to promoting green spaces for local communities.
Gold medal winner
Designed by: James Smith
Built by: The Landscaping Consultants
Sponsored by: London Square
Explore our Pinterest board showcasing the gardens from RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023
. Or find our more about all for RHS Chelsea Flower Shows gardens on the RHS website