Chelsea Flower Show 2022: Our 20 Floral Highlights

The world's most famous flower show is back and we were lucky enough to pay a visit!

Given how much we love flowers here at Appleyard HQ, you can imagine our delight when the RHS Chelsea Flower Show announced it would be returning in May for the first time since the Covid pandemic.

Bar a one-off autumnal run last September, it had been a long three-year wait for this spring-time floral splendour to return to the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in west London.

Despite some hit and miss Great British weather, it didn’t disappoint, with a riot of colour and creativity filling the iconic Main Avenue and Great Pavilion.

Every nursery display and show garden featured flowers to swoon over, but here are a handful of our 2022 highlights.

Main Avenue

The show gardens along Main Avenue exhibit exemplary, cutting-edge garden design created around a unique concept or theme. 

Trends across this year’s selection included environmentally-friendly ‘rewilding’, the sustainable use of raw materials, atmospheric water features and the regal colour purple (most likely a nod to the Platinium Jubilee this weekend).

The Perennial Garden ‘With Love’

Designed by Richard Miers with horticultural charity Perennial, this elegant, silver-medal-winning garden was crowned the People’s Choice after a vote by visitors. 

Flat-topped hawthorn trees formed a canopy over a soothing palette of green, white and purple plants, while a neon sign at the far end reading ‘If I had a flower for every time I thought of you…’ added a modern touch to its otherwise classic style. 

The end of the quote, by Alfred Lord Tennyson, is ‘...I could walk through my garden forever’. Romantic, isn’t it? Miers believes that gardens are “a gift of love between those create and nurture them and those who visit and enjoy them”. 

We spotted lupins, foxgloves, gladioli, peonies and roses in this stunning garden, which, if we had to pick, was our favourite, too.

Morris & Co. 

Rivalling the above garden for our affections was Ruth Willmott’s homage to 19th-century textile designer William Morris. 

It won a gold medal for its reimagining of his timeless Trellis and Willow Boughs patterns, which were reflected in the designs of the layout, pathways, pavilion and waterways. Morris’s go-to colours of rust, blue and apricot inspired the lively borders. 

Wild Kitchen Garden

If you’re short on outdoor space, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the joy of gardening. Designed by Anne Treneman, this container garden showed what you can do by informally filling galvanised zinc tubs with edible plants and trees, from nasturtium and roses to herbs like mint and thyme. 

Inspired by the textural flowers growing in Derbyshire hedgerows, it played right into the home-grown trend and won a silver-gilt medal (the one below gold).

The Mothers for Mothers Garden: ‘This Too Shall Pass’

Created by Pollyanna Wilkinson for mothers raising young children and the associated mental health challenges that come with it, this silver-medal-winning garden was based on the popular mantra ‘this too shall pass’. 

Its shift from muted flowers to a brighter, more joyful palette represented the transition from despair to hope. The bronze walls and archways, meanwhile, reflected how staying at home with a baby can feel like both a sanctuary and a cage. 

A Textile Garden for Fashion Revolution

This colour-blocked garden by Lottie Delamain was designed to imitate a woven fabric and re-establish the link between plants and fashion. 

Shallow reflective pools were filled with fabric soaking in natural dyes, while clever paved ‘seams’ led visitors through the planting.

The Mind Garden

Meadow planting was at the heart of this wild yet contemporary garden, designed by Andy Sturgeon for mental health charity Mind. It was set among open woodland, with splashes of colour softening the curved clay walls. 

It won a gold medal, and we can see why. What we would have done to enjoy a summer’s picnic in the middle somewhere!

The New Blue Peter Garden – Discover Soil

Contrasting blue and orange blooms reflect the colours of long-running children’s TV show Blue Peter in this fun-filled garden by Juliet Sargeant, who picked up a silver-gilt medal for her efforts. 

It featured an underground observation chamber where you could watch all the goings on in the soil below your feet. 

The Mandala Garden

Nikki Hollier was inspired by the conditions imposed by the pandemic when creating this restful and rejuvenating place of escape, which scored a silver medal. It offered a safe haven to spend time sitting and meditating, listening to the tranquil water, bees humming and birds singing. 

Great Pavilion

Some of the best plant nurseries from Britain and worldwide bring their prized blooms to Chelsea in a bid to win a medal, and the resulting displays are magnificent.

Blackmore and Langdon 

This Bristol-based nursery caught our eye with its rainbow display of towering blue, purple and white delphiniums and giant fiery-coloured begonias. 

Helen James Flowers

This florist’s tablescape, ‘Nature’s Table’, revealed how nature can create a table for humans, wildlife and animals to feed from and live off. 

It was rooted in atree shape and constructed from layers of natural materials in a life-affirming palette of blue, purple, yellow and green. Simply gorgeous.

Simon Lycett

Designer Simon Lycett created this silhouette of the Queen formed by 70 hand-thrown terracotta pots – one for each year of her reign – in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee. 

Each pot was planted with fabulously fragrant lily of the valley, which Her Majesty revealed to the RHS in 2020 to be her favourite flower. 

Parigo Alstroemeria

It was carnival time at this stand, with vibrant alstroemeria spilling over from spray-painted steel cans and jazzy cardboard cut-outs of dancers. 

Given this species is also known as ‘Peruvian lily’, this display was all about recognising its South American heritage. It certainly made us want to party!

Binny Plants

This Scottish nursery’s display looked exactly how we imagine our dream garden, with its beautiful mass of peonies, hardy perennials and leafy shrubs, all grown in peat-free compost.

David Austin Roses

The legendary rose breeder unveiled a new rose at the 2022 show, ‘Elizabeth’, in honour of the Queen. 

It featured clusters of large, apple-blossom pink rosettes, paling to blush white. Its sweet fragrance smelled slightly lemony and reminded us of strolling through a quintessential English country garden. Bridgerton fans, this one’s for you.

From left: 'Elizabeth' Rose, 'Princess Anne' Rose & 'Bring Me Sunshine' Rose

Raymond Evison Clematis

Raymond Evison knows how to grow a clematis – and so this Guernsey-based nursery should, as its spend six decades searching for, breeding and developing the very best, producing up to three million young plants every year.

Brighter Blooms

Brighter Blooms has been growing calla lilies (official name ‘zantedeschia’) for over six years, with the nursery now known for its striking floral arrangements and unusual wedding flowers. 

Bloms Bulbs

Tulips are one of our favourite flowers, so we hot-footed it over to this family-run company which has nurseries in England, the Netherlands and the US. 

Bloms Bulbs has won an impressive 65 gold medals at Chelsea over the years, that’s how beautiful its tulips are, though it also sells daffodils, cyclamen, crocus, lilies and anemones.

Peter Beale Roses

Old-fashioned and contemporary roses looked dazzling together at this rose lover’s paradise. They are all grown for two years in East Anglia, where they are tended to lovingly by local experts. 

National Chrysanthemum Society

Formed in 1846 in Stoke Newington, the NCS helps its members to cultivate chrysanthemums to the highest quality. This year, it designed its Chelsea display around a Japanese theme, as the flower is the Asian country’s national symbol.

Harkness Roses

Dating back to 1879, this Yorkshire-based nursery is known for its premium roses, with a new white and blush variety named in honour of bowel cancer campaigner Dame Deborah James taking centre stage this year.

If you’ve been inspired by all the floral beauty on display at the Chelsea Flower Show, treat yourself to a bouquet or two from our luxury range, featuring everything from roses and lilies to orchids and peonies.

Use discount code FDGIFT20 for 20% off all full priced bouquets at Appleyard London. Excludes delivery charges & add-on gifts, subscriptions, hampers, and alcohol