Highlights From the 2015 RHS Chelsea Flower Show
Follow along with HGTV editor Felicia Feaster as she tours the 2015 Chelsea Flower Show and London garden highlights.
Photo By: Image courtesy of the Autograph Collection St. Ermin's Hotel
Photo By: Image courtesy of the St. Ermin's Hotel
Photo By: Image courtesy of the Autograph Collection St. Ermin's Hotel
Photo By: Image courtesy of the Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard
Photo By: Image courtesy of the Shangri-La at the Shard.
Photo By: Image courtesy of the Conrad St. James
Photo By: Image courtesy of Park Tower Knightsbridge
A Garden Hotel
From the moment you pass beneath the foliage-covered arch of the Autograph Collection St. Ermin's Hotel, you know that you're in a special place. This historic London hotel in the heart of the city features a beekeeping program, beekeeping classes and an exquisite garden that welcomes visitors to the hotel.
St. Ermin's Hotel Containers
A garden within the city, the Autograph Collection St. Ermin's Hotel features beautifully curated garden beds and containers leading to a generous front porch where guests can take in the flowers over a coffee or cocktail.
A Bee-Sourced Cocktail
A signature cocktail at the Autograph Collection St. Ermin's Hotel that uses honey from their on-site beehives, the Bowler Hat balances sweet and tangy flavors for the perfect garden sip.
The Bee's Knees
How many hotels boast an onsite bee hotel? Under the wise tutelage of bee-mistress Camilla Goddard the 300,000 resident Italian honeybees at the Autograph Collection St. Ermin's Hotel pollinate gardens throughout the city (include the Queen's own gardens at Buckingham Palace, just a hop, skip and jump away). Their honey is incorporated into cocktails and other fare at the hotel. Inquire about beekeeping classes and programs during your stay.
A Skycraper Garden
Not the first place you might think of to find Chelsea Flower Show-worthy blooms perhaps, but the gorgeous Shangri-La Hotel at Renzo Piano's Shard skyscraper and one of Europe's tallest buildings has an incredible flower program overseen by bespoke floral designer Laura Kuy. Kuy provides an exotic mix of flowers with both Asian and Western inspiration for both the public areas and each room in this stunning hotel. Just how romantic is this skyscraper hotel? Kuy reports there have been 363 marriage proposals since it opened in spring of 2014, with the on-trend florist filling rooms with full-size cherry blossom trees or 600 red roses to celebrate a famous footballer's proposal.
During the Chelsea Flower Show the Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard features an Afternoon Tea in their Lang garden lounge featuring sweets with floral notes in exquisite outdoor surroundings.
The rose-infused Bermondsey Bubbles cocktail featured at the Gong cocktail lounge at the Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard is served at London's highest cocktail bar on the 52nd floor.
In the Spirit
Gong mixologist Christian Maspes has created an impressive array of cocktails at the Shangri-La Hotel including this sweet-and-sour tipple the Silk Road served in a steam basket and crowned with an edible flower.
Floral designer Laura Kuy uses a variety of vessels and flower types, often in one color family, for her elegant designs at the Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard.
Mix and Match
Sarah Bernhardt peonies decorate the tables at the Lang cafe at the Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard.
A portion of Laura Kuy's floral design for the Shangri-La Hotel's reception area.
Texture and Color
One of the multifaceted floral designs at the Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard, created by Laura Kuy.
Glorious Garden Tea
What do the Brits love more than flowers? Why tea, of course, and during the Chelsea Flower Show a number of hotels and restaurants create lovely, flower-themed teas to celebrate this seminal event in the London social calendar. During the Chelsea Flower Show the Conrad London St. James hosts a Glorious Garden tea featuring floral-infused sweets and mini-veggie savories including carrot cake baked in a tiny terra-cotta pot. To find out about more themed teas in London, head to the website Afternoon Tea UK.
How inventive are the British? This bridal shop celebrates the growing season with an artful potato plant/sculpture.
A secret garden in the heart of the city, the Garden Museum features several gardens on the grounds of this sprawling space occupying a former church, including a knot garden. If you're looking to take home a garden souvenir from your London trip, the museum also features an on-site shop featuring everything from witty tin mugs with garden themes, local jams and seed bombs to a wide array of Franchi seeds.
Prince Among Plants
Prince Harry stopped by the 2015 Chelsea Flower Show to confer with his garden designer Matt Keightley whose Sentebale garden was created to raise awareness of the prince's charity to benefit children in Africa struggling with poverty and AIDS. The garden took home a silver award and a People's Choice award at Chelsea.
Prince Harry's Garden
A detail of Prince Harry's Sentebale Garden which mixes characteristically British flowers like lupines with more exotic African grasses and plants. Prince Harry was on hand on Chelsea press day to see the garden.
Each year the Japanese designer firm Ishihara Kazuyuki Design Laboratory knocks it out of the park in the Artisan Garden category. This year's garden won gold, and featured a waterfall, stream, a small house, numerous Japanese maples and moss sculpted into beautiful shapes. The space transported you to another time and place, conjuring up visions of Japan's Edo period, but also a child-scale wonderland.
The profusion of sculpted moss in designer Kazuyuki Ishihara's gardens gives it its magical, dream-like feel.
A River Runs Through It
Designer Kazuyuki Ishihara's Edo no Niwa garden was a gold-winning Artisan Garden filled with Japanese maples, iris, liriope and a waterfall and stream.
The allium remains one of the constants at Chelsea, a whimsical, vertical plant that consistently appeals to the British designer's taste for unusual shapes and vivid color.
Circle, Circle, Dot, Dot
Whimsical round shapes, whether in garden decor or the beloved shape of allium lend character to British gardens. The Chelsea Flower Show is an opportunity to pick up endless ideas for how to imprint your own garden with style and attitude.
Though women can be seen in the requisite fascinators, it's the men of Chelsea who really shine with their flower-festooned suits and their clever chapeau.
Bringing Home the Gold
The splendid, wild Laurent-Perrier Chatsworth garden designed by Dan Pearson won Chelsea Gold and won a Best Show Garden award and demonstrated a refreshing embrace of naturalism within all of the carefully manicured show gardens.
Companies from luxe to humble display their wares at Chelsea including this manufacturer of glamorous cabanas.
Mad for Huts
Like the Yanks, the English are mad for cozy, fully-equipped outbuildings, a big, big trend at the 2015 Chelsea Flower Show.
One of the greatest pleasures at Chelsea is witnessing the variety and depth of various flower obsessions, as in this display of perfect specimens of auricula. In the Georgian and Regency periods, auricula obsessives displayed the plants in decorated wooden theaters, referenced in this Chelsea Flower Show auricula display.
Cutting Edge Designer
London-based designer Fernando Gonzalez's Pure Land Foundation Fresh Garden at Chelsea took home silver and used Hollywood technology to craft a flowing, sensuous garden bench and water feature from a computer-generated design using marble-like Jesmonite. The garden featured a palette of rust and yellow and three golden rain trees.
Designer Fernando Gonzalez's Pure Land show garden at the 2015 Chelsea Flower Show was partly inspired by the Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi.
Hostess With the Mostest
Garden designer and expert Lucy Summers took HGTVGardens on a tour of new trends at the Chelsea Flower Show. Here, she poses in front of Darren Hawkes' gold-winning Brewin Dolphin garden.
Intense ruby and magenta colors were big at the 2015 Chelsea Flower Show notes garden writer, designer and trend-watcher Lucy Summers.
Many show gardens featured the Dr. Seuss whimsical structure of angelica.
Water features of every sort were front and center at the 2015 Chelsea Flower Show, with streams, waterfalls, ponds, rills, fountains and every imaginable use of water on display as in the Telegraph Show Garden.
Brewer Dolphin garden designer Darren Hawkes who won gold at Chelsea.
Brewin Dolphin Water Feature
A stream ran through and under Darren Hawkes' masterful show garden before reemerging in this small pond.
Slate Is Great
Designer Darren Hawkes places slate on its side on this garden path in his gold-winning Brewin Dolphin Chelsea garden. That placement gives better traction as well as a fresh, modern look. Hawkes said his Chelsea show garden design was inspired, he told HGTVGardens, by a diverse array of influences, from Stanley Kubrick to "Winnie the Pooh."
The Breakthrough Breast Cancer Garden features a female sculpture rising from a black pool which ripples every 10 minutes to highlight how often UK women are diagnosed with the disease. The pink and white planting scheme features, among many others, Digitalis dalmation 'Pink', Lupinus 'Gallery Pink', 'Nymphe' peonies, Silene dioica 'Firefly', and Astrantia 'Roma'.
The World Vision Garden by John Warland is inspired by the rice fields of Cambodia and was created to bring awareness to the issue of child hunger.
Cacti recessed in black mirrored boxes within a water feature at the World Vision Garden are meant to illustrate hopefulness and a way out of childhood hunger in this garden created by designer John Warland to bring awareness to the issue of child hunger.
Clematis varieties at the Chelsea Flower Show.
Shoot for the Stars
Lupines are a favorite Chelsea Flower Show flower.
One of the flowers that popped up again and again in multiple Chelsea show gardens was Circium rivulare 'Atropurpureum'.
A single, glorious poppy at Chelsea.
Located in the midst of leafy, luxurious Knightsbridge, the Park Tower Knightsbridge boasts an impressive floral design program featuring the work of floral designer to the stars Neill Strain, whose boutique is just down the road. The Park Tower is also home to one of London's most renowned restaurants helmed by chef Pascal Proyart One-O-One (shown here) featuring some of the city's best seafood.
Laws of Attraction
A rare bourbon rose, dating back to 1843 is on display in a collection of heritage roses at Neill Strain Floral Couture in London.
David Austin 'Charity' Rose
Neill Strain Floral Couture in Knightsbridge is a paradise of roses during the 2015 Chelsea Flower Show, with rare, new and heritage varieties of every sort on display.
A wall of roses greets visitors to Neill Strain in Knightsbridge.
Gorgeous pre-made bouquets are prepared by the Neill Strain staff for drop-in customers.
'Grasshopper' grassheart rose, one of the rare rose varieties available at Neill Strain.
A rare yellow rose, the 'Caraluna Gold' at Neill Strain.
The British love a fragrant rose and the rare 'Ecstasy' rose at Neill Strain is a knock-out, with an intense perfumed scent.
The shelves at Neill Strain Floral Couture are filled with unique roses of every kind sourced directly from growers in Holland.
A Rose By Any Other Name
Some of the roses at Neill Strain are so new and unique they have yet to be named. For a fee, customers can have a rose named in their honor.