100+ Ideas From Top Garden Designers

Designers from around the world bring their A-game to London's annual Chelsea Flower Show. But even ordinary gardeners can incorporate some of their ideas at home.

It's All in the Mix

Designer Cleve West's garden is inspired by Persian paradise gardens, spaces focused on sanctuary and contemplation. West's garden is also typically English with a vibrant mix of plants from around the world in this M&G Garden at the 2014 Chelsea Flower Show.

Carved Wall

In the distance in the M&G Garden is a sandstone wall carved by designer Cleve West with a pattern of tree roots symbolizing the Tree of Life. In the foreground, a fountain features an octagonal shape and a bench for seating and a rill that carries water away from the garden.

Paradise Found

Trees in designer Cleve West's show garden at Chelsea are surrounded by a vibrant bed of perennials, bulbs and herbs including English yew, bay laurel, rosemary, Artemisia schmiidtiana, fennel, thyme and mint.

Modern Meets Classic

A contemporary design sensibility blends with tradition in this garden. Don't be afraid to follow designer Cleve West's lead and mix styles, both old and new in your own space.

Vertical Interest

A mix of colorful and vertical plantings create dynamism in this garden. Represented plants and flowers include Digitalis purpurea, Salvia argentea, Lavandula angustifolia, Artemesia absynthium, Centranthus rubra and Nerium oleander.

A Renaissance Garden

Inspired by 16th century Italian gardens, the BrandAlley Renaissance Garden—a Bronze winner at the 2014 Chelsea Flower Show—employs formal design including clipped hedges and a rectangular pool.

Formal Features

Designer Paul Hervey-Brookes centers his garden design on classical features including manicured boxwoods, a loggia and a grotto in a scheme called both inspirational and achievable.

Outdoor Room

The trend for creating engaging outside rooms is reflected in this Fresh Garden from designers Chris Deakin and Jason Lock meant to illustrate the many uses for fabric outdoors.

Mad Moss

Moss goes vertical in this Fabric garden featured at the 2014 Chelsea Flower Show.

Punch of Pink

Hot pink flowers add an element of fun and energy to the Fabric Garden created to illustrate the design potential of outdoor spaces.

Sensational Garden

The Mind's Eye Garden is meant to tap into the potential of gardens to engage all of the senses and is a sensory garden designed for the blind.

Experiential Space

Meant to engage the senses of touch, sound, taste and aroma, this sensory garden created for the 2014 Chelsea Flower Show demonstrates the creative potential of gardens.

Dream Garden

Moss "stones" blend with actual rocks in this inspired garden Togenkyo - A Paradise on Earth created by brilliant Japanese designer Kazuyuki Ishihara.

Fairy Tale Space

By carving a very small space into much smaller rooms, garden designer Kazuyuki Ishihara manages to create an expansive, dreamy space that suggests a storybook garden. Though the garden is based on a Japanese fable, the garden's magical ambiance is universal.

Going Home With Gold

Japanese designer Kazuyuki Ishihara's Togenkyo - A Paradise on Earth won a gold medal for best Artisan Garden. Watch this RHS video to see the true splendor of Ishihara's garden.

A Waterscape Garden

The RBC Waterscape Garden is a contemporary garden defined by geometric shapes.

Making a Statement

Designed by Hugo Bugg, the Royal Bank of Canada Waterscape Garden highlights global water issues and offers ideas for practical water management in gardens. Run-off water is channeled through the garden in stages so that grouped plantings receive the amount of water they need to thrive. The cracked-earth platform symbolizes water scarcity.

Bright Colors

Key flowers in this garden include Iris robusta 'Gerald Derby', Alnus glutinosa imperalis, Lysimachia altropurpurea 'Beaujolais', Euphorbia wallichii, Angelica purpurea and Juncus inflexus.

Young Turk

Just 27 years old, the RBC Waterscape Garden designer Hugo Bugg is considered one of the rising young international designers to watch. Following the conclusion of the 2014 Chelsea Show, his garden will be donated to improve an urban stretch of London.

Italian Garden

The plants in the Telegraph Garden have been selected based on their suitability to an Italian garden.

Sense of Enclosure

The Telegraph Garden is enclosed on two sides by a bay hedge (Laurus nobilis) and defined by a canopy of 12 roof-trained lime trees.

Blue and Green

A defined color scheme of blue and lime green marks the Telegraph Garden's mix of shrubs, herbaceous plants and annuals.

Lime Trees

Lime trees have been trained to provide a beautiful canopy over this garden.

Wild and Tamed

An engaging blend of formality and wildness defines this garden by designers Tommaso del Buono and Paul Gazerwitz. Clipped boxwoods are softened by an array of herbaceous plants.

Darling Domes

The sunken area of the Telegraph Garden is defined by domes of clipped box (Buxus sempervirens).

Glamorous Garden

The Laurent-Perrier Garden at the annual Chelsea Flower Show is known for its elegance, as befits the luxury champagne brand. The 2014 garden was created by designer Luciano Giubbilei. Walls of concrete and metal give the space definition.

Wood Works

The Laurent Perrier Garden features a wooden sculpture by American artist Ursula von Rydingsvard and plays into the garden's mix of textures, rough and smooth, organic and human-made.

Nature and Culture

White walls and green foliage provide similar architectural interest in the Laurent Perrier Garden.

Color Spectrum

A color scheme of yellows, creams and whites can be found in plants including Lupinus 'Chandelier', Euphorbia cornigera AGM, Digitalis lutea, Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus, Euphorbia palustris AGM and Baptisia australis AGM.

Planting Ideas

The Royal Horticultural Society website provides garden fans with lists of plants featured in Chelsea Flower show gardens like this Brewin Dolphin Garden so that home gardeners can create the look in their own spaces.

Arbors Are King

Many of the 2014 Chelsea Flower Show gardens featured arbors and pergolas that create flow through the gallery, as with these copper archways in the Brewin Dolphin Garden.

Color Range

Shades of purple, chartreuse and purple give the Brewin Dolphin Garden its memorable color palette.

Silver Winner

Winner of the Silver Gilt award at the 2014 Chelsea Flower Show the Brewin Dolphin Garden designed by Matthew Childs uses bold archways, paths and sculptures to create drama.

Swiss Inspiration

The Extending Space Garden designed by the firm of Auderset Fischer Design shows the international influence of the Chelsea Flower Show. This garden was inspired by the Pfyn Forest region of Switzerland.

The Power of a Pergola

A pergola made of Swiss pine blends beautifully with these hedges. Pegolas in various materials were a recurring element of 2014 Chelsea Flower Show gardens like the Extending Space garden.

Eclectic Landscape

Plantings in the Extending Space garden are meant to reflect the diversity of the Swiss landscape with grassy plains, wildflower meadows and pine forests giving the country its distinct beauty.

Making Memories

Many of the Chelsea Flower Show gardens engage with social issues like the Homebase Garden "Time to Reflect" garden created in association with the Alzheimer's Society. The garden, designed by Adam Frost is meant to provide a place for reflection and includes flowers like geraniums, Siberian iris and foxgloves that are familiar and easily grown in home gardens.

Rules of Green Thumb

The Homebase Garden designer Adam Frost recommends gardeners follow his lead here and plant foxgloves, geraniums and other favorite plants in groups of three or five and use those groupings in more than one place in the garden to enhance the garden flow.

A Soldier's Story

Designed by Charlotte Rowe, the "No Man's Land" Garden celebrates the centenary of World War One and is a conceptual representation of the landscape of that war.

Giving Back

The "No Man's Land" Garden made good on its charitable mission by employing Chris Parrott, a solider who sustained a head injury in Afghanistan and re-trained as a horticulturalist through funding from the ABF Soldiers' Charity. Parrott assisted in building the "No Man's Land" garden.

Sensory Tour

The Cloud Bay Sensory Garden uses charred timbers on this terrace which features a shallow rill running alongside. Water as a soothing, restful, contemplative element is a feature of many Chelsea Flower Show gardens.

Wine Country

Designed by Wilson McWilliam Studio the Cloudy Bay Sensory Garden is meant to evoke the taste and smell of the Cloudy Bay winery in Marlborough, New Zealand.

Savory Plantings

Low ornamental grasses and purple and red flowers form dimensional layers in the Cloudy Bay Sensory Garden.

Garden Celebrity

Famed British garden celebrity Alan Titchmarsh designed his Chelsea Flower Show garden "From the Moors to the Sea" to honor the RHS volunteers in Britain in Bloom who tend the 200,000 acres of public land in England.

Work Station

His first Chelsea Flower Garden in almost 30 years, this Alan Titchmarsh designed garden features a cozy outbuilding with a vase of alliums.

High Ground to Lowlands

The Alan Titchmarsh garden co-designed with Kate Gould tells a story of plants growing in the highlands of England, all the way down to the unique foliage nearer the sea.

Wide Range

The "From the Moors to the Sea" garden features the diverse variety of plants, from Arctic to Mediterranean, found in England.

Third Times a Charm

"From the Moors to the Sea" from Alan Titchmarsh is his third garden for the Chelsea Flower Show and "reflects the breadth of things we grow in Great Britain" he says.

Stone Wall

A dry stone wall built by Yorkshire craftsman creates a dramatic boundary in this Alan Titchmarsh and Kate Gould designed garden.

Garden Star

Vital Earth Night Sky Garden was created by one of the youngest designers to present at the Chelsea Flower Show, 23-year-old David Rich who worked alongside his brother Harry Rich on their garden.

Up, Up and Away

A spiral staircase leads to a rooftop pavilion made for observing both sky and garden in the Night Sky Garden.

Earth Angel

Boulders in the Night Sky Garden are meant to evoke fallen meteors. Use your garden like the Rich & Sons brothers Harry and David do, to tell a story.

Stateside Salute

Garden designers Susannah Hunter and Catherine MacDonald created the Massachusetts Garden to evoke the Cape Cod landscape.

Landcape in Leather

The backdrop to the Massachusetts Garden was created with leather applique panels of a coastal scene.

Creative Space

This contemporary building in the Massachusetts Garden references the artists' retreats in the sand dunes of Provincetown.

Help for Heroes

Designed by Matt Keightley, the Hope on the Horizon Garden commemorates soldiers transitioning to the home front after way.

Soft and Hard

In the Hope on the Horizon Garden represents soldiers' physical well being and plants and flowers represent their psychological well being.

Block Party

Though the granite blocks in this garden are symbolic of returning soldiers, they illustrate the artistry that can result when solid, hard, sculptural elements are integrated with soft, flowing, natural elements in the garden space.

Forward March

An avenue defined by hornbeams lead to a horizon that focuses attention on the future for returning soldiers in the Hope on the Horizon garden.

Curved Wall

The WellChild Garden draws attention to seriously ill children in Britain. This sensory wall provides protection for the garden.


The The WellChild Garden features a meadow surrounding a garden oasis defined by this elegant water feature.

Sculptural Focal Point

A bronze sculpture mingles with vertical plantings in the WellChild Garden.

Flowers on Parade

Designer Sarah Eberle's Flora garden created for the Italian fashion house Gucci, features lush, colorful arrangements of flowers flowing out of large, sculptural vases.


Vases crafted from metal supports embellished with plant material provide the vessels for flower arrangements created by designer Sarah Eberle and the London florist Rebel Rebel.

Floral Explosion

Flora won a Silver Gilt award at the 2014 Chelsea Flower Show and this dramatic profusion of flowers shows why. Designer Sarah Eberle used both cut and potted plants and flowers for her Chelsea display.

Tribute for a Princess

Sarah Eberle's Flora garden is a tribute to Princess Grace of Monaco, formerly Princess Grace, for whom Gucci designed its Flora-patterned scarf.

Plant Hunting

Plant hunters Sue and Bledynn Wynn-Jones worked with designer Sophie Walker to create the Cave Pavilion in Support of The Garden Museum. This enclosed garden features new plants species discovered  by the Wynn-Jones and displayed for the first time at Chelsea.

I Spy

Rare plant species discovered in their native habitat by plant hunters peek out from the white box container created for this Chelsea Cave Pavilion.

Explosive Garden Design

Exhibitors from around the world feature their products at the Chelsea Flower Show including this company that creates outdoor furniture from volcanic basalt.

Material World

This innovative hanging chair featured at the 2014 Chelsea Flower Show is created from volcanic basalt.

Circle of Life

The Reachout Garden created by designer John Everiss is a commentary on the difficult path from childhood to adulthood and features a slate wall that serves as a backdrop to a metal sculpture placed in the garden.

Watery Passage

A channel in the Reachout garden symbolizes the progression from child to adult and ends in a thicket planted with healing plants including rosemary and thyme.

Trending Plants

Living walls like this one from British company Scotscape continue as a major garden trend. Check out HGTVGardens' story on living walls to find more inspiration.

Culture Clash

Himalayan plants are the focus of the Himalayan Rock Garden designed by Janey Auchincloss and James Soane.

New Order

The Himalayan Rock Garden shows that not every garden at Chelsea is about a mix of formality and free-form plantings. This garden features carefully laid out plantings in almost puzzle-like arrangement around a rill that flows through the garden.

Uniform Colors

A predominate color theme of yellow and orange conveys a sense of brightness and exotica in the Himalayan Rock Garden.

London Calling

Evoking a typical British park setting the London Square Garden, this garden celebrates the grand tradition of gardens and gardening woven into so many facets of British life.

The Art of Seating

This graphic, stylish bench in the London  Square Garden is evidence that a unique resting place can give a garden its own unique aura and serve as a defining, sculptural element.

Color Block

Colorful panels distort or change our perspective of this Mind's Eye Garden, encouraging viewers to see the garden in a different way. The panels are also an opportunity for the designer to play with light and color in an unexpected way.

Modern Garden

Garden design in England goes beyond tradition to embrace modernity as in the Mind's Eye garden which employs graphic walls and colorful panels to define the space of the garden.

Going Up

Vertical plantings that emerge from lower growing plants are one way British garden designers create interest in the garden. This Mind's Eye Garden is also designed to use senses beyond sight, like smell and sound, to engage viewers.

Wit and Whimsy

Sponsored by Viking Cruises, this clever Norse garden uses sea-faring elements like a boat's prow turned into a seating element, proof that often unexpected materials can make for the best garden design.

Early Days

Designer Sadie May Stowell manages to suggest virgin forest and a spirit of discovery with her use of pine trees and meadow-like plantings in her Viking Cruises Norse Garden.

Cottage Garden Splendor

World War One was the theme at the 2014 Chelsea Flower Show including in this The DialAFlight Potter's Garden meant to evoke a garden abandoned during WWI and brought back to life in contemporary times.

Compare and Contrast

Brick provides a lovely contrast to lush plantings in the DialAFlight Potter's Garden, one of the many Artisan Gardens featured in the 2014 Chelsea Flower Show.


The centenary of World War One is the jumping off point for design firm Nature Redesigned's garden recalling the lost agrarian talents of previous generations.

Magic Mulch

Broken pottery shards provide a clever idea for mulch in this cottage garden.

Fight or Flight

Clever ways of emphasizing a garden's theme include bullet casings used as edging, or strewn around this DialAFlight Garden with a World War I motif.

Raised Bed Material

The kind of sand bags used in trench warfare compose the apropos raised beds in this garden with a World War One theme.

Delicate Beauty

Designer Shuko Noda's Arita garden pays homage to the 400 year old art of Japanese Imari porcelain with its distinctive blue and white tones.

Japanese Influence

A colorful porcelain vessel plays off of the purple and green tones in this garden from Japanese designer Shuko Noda.

Blue and White

The blue and white edging in these raised beds evoke the distinctive color scheme of Japanese Imari porcelain, the reference point for designer Shuko Noda's Arita garden.

Rooting for the Home Team

The Artisan Garden Tour de Yorkshire celebrates the rugged country lanes and urban sophistication of Yorkshire and boasts a water feature focal point made from Corian. The water has been dyed black to enhance the sense of depth and drama in the fountain.

Taking a Ride

In a clever reference to the Tour de France, portions of this stone wall have been filled in with recycled bicycle wheels in the Tour de Yorkshire garden.

Secret Garden

The 2014 Chelsea Flower Show paid homage to the memorable Kensington Roof Gardens, tucked away in the heart of bustling London. Designed by David Lewis, 75 Years of The Roof Gardens in Kensington is inspired by the vivid colors of the rooftop's Spanish Garden. HGTVGardens took a tour of the Kensington Roof Garden you can see here.

Bright Spot

Designer David Lewis paid tribute to the vibrant mix of herbaceous plantings and vivid colors that define the Roof Gardens in Kensington in his Chelsea Flower Show Artisan Garden.

Celebrating the Past

75 Years of the Roof Gardens in Kensington celebrates the incredible rooftop design created by Ralph Hancock in 1936. Take an HGTVGardens tour of the Roof Gardens here.

Momentary Relief

The Togenkyo - A Paradise on Earth garden is inspired by the Japanese concept of the Togenkyo garden, which can help people forget their worldly troubles but once visited can never be returned to again.

Artisan Garden

The Artisan Gardens—like The Topiarist Garden at West Green House— featured at the Chelsea Flower Show are generally a more liberated, creative, whimsical and smaller-scale expression than the bigger budget Show Gardens that grab all of the headlines.

Play Time

Part of the fun of the Chelsea Flower Show is watching garden designers indulge their flights of fancy. For the Topiarist Garden at West Green House designer Marylyn Abbott created a garden around the notion of a manor house caretaker whose tidy cottage garden blended formal garden topiaries inspired by the big house with lush, whimsical plants and flowers. English designers are proof that garden design can be fun and inventive and a place to allow marriages of many different styles.

Shape Shifting

Proof that topiaries aren't just for grand, formal spaces, the Topiarist Garden at West Green House blends topiaries within a cottage garden.

Topiary Time

The Topiarist Garden at West Green House was created by designer Marylyn Abbott to suggest the tended garden of a gardener at an English manor house indulging a love of both topiary and perennials in a small, cozy garden space.

World Upside Down

The World Vision Garden features a wooden crate filled with upside down flowers that has been airlifted to Ethiopia to fight famine. This witty, symbolic garden shows the hope embodied in that crate of flowers in eradicating famine and hopelessness in Africa through World Vision's actions.

Relief From the Heavens

The World Vision Garden at the 2014 Chelsea Flower Show is a clever way of addressing a serious topic: famine in Africa. World Vision helped bring aid to Ethiopia symbolized by a crate of flowers dropped on the country via parachutes.

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