As much as we couldn’t tear our eyes away from Meghan Markle, now the Duchess of Sussex, and her chic, understated style, we also anxiously awaited the opening of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Commencing just three days after the wedding, and also welcoming the Queen, this prestigious annual flower show is presented by The Royal Horticultural Society. As expected, this year’s show did not disappoint and offered plenty of inspiration for gardening lovers and event designers who just happen to adore flowers and the décor possibilities they present (that would be our entire team).  

In the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Great Pavilion, guests got a look at nearly a hundred vibrant displays, while the Show Gardens offered a global tour of garden styles. The show also provided a feast of floral displays, including entrants in the RHS competition, which, not surprisingly, had a Spring Wedding theme.

One focus this year highlighted the many ways gardening can benefit overall heath. The RHS Feel Good Garden in partnership with NHS Mental Health Trusts in England served to “promote health and well-being through horticulture,” according to its designer Matt Keightley. The garden considered the healthy act of simply meandering through a garden and provided freedom to roam for bees, birds, and butterflies. An Urban Flow Garden included a cool outdoor kitchen and was created with families with older kids in mind. Here, the sound of water was used to drown urban noise, and pots for growing food were included. The Lemon Tree Garden, set in a refugee camp in Kurdistan, explored the fact that even people who have lost everything start a garden upon arrival to become grounded and find a connection. The message is that gardening can help you in difficult times.

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You can even watch a video where these passionate garden designers explain the purpose behind each of the well-being spaces. 

And now for some of our favorite florals.

We love the fluid melding of indoor-outdoor space in the winning Morgan Stanley Garden for the NSPCC. It was designed to display in physical form the transformation children go through when they benefit from the work of the organization, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. WM Events explored the idea of transformation at a three-day conference in Atlanta and also paired a minimalist canvas with bright pops of color, although we created this indoor “garden” with custom walls, floor decals, and pillows.  (http://wmevents.com/2015/05/three-day-conference-atlanta-ga/)  

The Wuhan Water Garden, China featured a mist spray, as well as other water features, and got us thinking the beautiful, calming mist would translate well into an outdoor summer event.

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Of particular interest to us were the Best Floral Arrangement winners. This year, Jayne Edmonds took the Gold Medal and Best in Show for her hanging arrangement of woven horticultural circles that suspend from one another and featured asymmetrical roses in white and lavender paired with deeper purple blooms, greens, and just a few sprigs of baby’s breath. 

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Photo Courtesy of: Chrissie Harten Horticultural and Floral Art Photography

Another eye-catching arrangement focused on bold color and minimalist materials by pairing red rich red leaves of varying shapes into a swooping, pointed configuration softened by a wooly, winding element snaking its way along the structure. As a whole, it was more focused on leaves than flowers and reminded us that color can be pulled from a variety of sources for floral design. 

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Photo Courtesy of: Chrissie Harten Horticultural and Floral Art Photography

Other trends we noted in the Florist of the Year submissions were natural wooden base structures covered with densely packed blooms so that the flowers and greens seem to have naturally overgrown the structure. Some would have been perfectly at home on the set of  “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

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Photos Courtesy of: Chrissie Harten Horticultural and Floral Art Photography

The takeaway? Whether you do it for the herbs, the flowers, or the floral arrangements, gardening is good for you. And just like with the Royal wedding, it’s best with a great hat.

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