Nettles and native wild flowers abounded at Chelsea helping two prominent designers take Silver and Silver-Gilt medals.
Robert Myers, whose Silver-Gilt winning Cancer Research garden had a coastal landscape and was all about survival used around 1,000 native coastal plants including Thrift, Sea Campion, Viper Buglass along with Maram Grass and Red Fescue, all grown and supplied by British Wild Flower Plants (BWFPs). A Chelsea veteran – this is Robert’s 7th show garden and his 7th RHS medal – he wanted predominantly coastal planting especially at the front of his design. “We’ve used BWFPs before and I knew that these plants are the ones that will survive,” he said. “Native species are so much tougher; they’ve been growing here in the British Isles for thousands of years.”
Anne-Marie Powell with her design for the British Heart Foundation, which took Silver and is only her second Chelsea show garden wanted a naturalistic landscape which included plants such as Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) which is rich in aspirin and used in cardiology, but also stinging nettles. “Life isn’t perfect,” she says “it’s messy. I had a shady space and I wanted to mix everything up, nettles among the Cow parsley.
“We grow nettles as plugs from seed and pot them on” Linda Laxton BWFP managing director explains. “They’re surprisingly popular. I’ve been stung so many times in my life that now, they don’t bother me.”