Hedges at the Chelsea Flower Show

The publicity machine ahead of this year’s Chelsea Flower Show (May 20th – 24th 2014) is cranking up and a few clues have already emerged of what we have to look forward to…
Hedges and hedging plants may not get the attention enjoyed by new floral exotica or out-to-shock celebrity designers but they remain at the heart of many Chelsea gardens, both as structural backbones and aesthetic focal points.
Last year’s hedging highlights included geometric hornbeam topiary and pleaching (trees trained to form a hedge screen). So what of 2014?
• The BrandAlley Garden designed by Paul Hervey-Brookes takes its inspiration from three gardens on the Italian Riviera and will feature clipped hedges, reflecting the ever-popular formal garden style of the Early Renaissance
• Designer Cleve West, who won Best in Show in 2012 with a garden including beech hedging and yew topiary, is back in 2014 This year he is designing a ‘contemporary paradise garden’ with a centerpiece fountain, flanked by yew hedging
• The DialAFlight Potter’s Garden designed by Nature Redesigned will surely not be the only garden we will see marking the centenary of WWI. Alongside the cottage-style planting, a disused kiln and a water-feature, visitors will see native hedging
One of the most common reasons visitors give for a pilgrimage to Chelsea (or to any other flower or gardening show) is to find inspiration – and at any large show you are bound to find both traditional and innovative use of hedging and hedging plants.