BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 13 Apr '18

2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show will champion the immense power of plants for wellbeing and the environment

The importance of gardening and growing plants to help tackle some of the biggest issues facing us today will be showcased at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show (22-26 May).

Garden designs at the world’s most famous flower show will demonstrate how plants and green spaces can improve lives and help mitigate the effects of major environmental issues as well as reminding us of the simple beauty of gardens and the positive effects gardening and green spaces have on our health and wellbeing.

Gardens and wellbeing

There is growing evidence of the positive impacts gardens and gardening can have on mental health, and promoting this important message is a key element of this garden.

The power of plants to improve people’s lives is embodied in ‘The Lemon Tree Trust Garden’ by debut designer Tom Massey, inspired by the ingenuity, resilience and determination of people in situations of forced migration, in particular the gardens created by Syrian refugees living in Domiz Camp, Northern Iraq.

In the toughest of times and in the harshest of living conditions, refugees are creating gardens to bring a sense of normality, wellbeing and civility back to their broken lives. For people in war-torn countries gardens provide a tranquil space to escape, reconnect with home and forget the harsh reality of life in the refugee camp.

‘The RHS Feel Good Garden’, designed by twice-winner of the RHS/BBC People’s Choice Award at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Matt Keightley, will highlight how gardening, and simply being in a garden or green space, can make you feel happier and healthier.

‘It is fantastic to see the gardens at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show are reminding us all of the power of plants. They demonstrate the huge impact gardening and green spaces can have on so many aspects of our lives, whether that be at an individual level like helping to improve health and wellbeing or to mitigate against wider environmental challenges.’

SUE BIGGS
RHS director general

Plants and climate change

A number of the gardens at this year’s show demonstrate how plants and gardens can help mitigate the impact of environmental concerns such as pollution and flooding.

Tony Woods, RHS Young Designer of the year 2013, has designed a garden to accommodate the conditions of a changing climate, creating a vision for water conservation and environmentally considerate landscaping whilst maintaining a practical and versatile outdoor living space. Clever planting is used within the design to deflect and process pollution and excess rain fall, as well as to attract and sustain wildlife.

The devastating impact of plastic waste on our oceans is the focus of ‘The Pearlfisher Garden’ (main image), which celebrates the beauty of this vast underwater garden. The garden is a call to action for brands, businesses and designers to create sustainable lifecycles for products and packaging. It consists of a series of aquatic tanks containing fish with cacti and succulents used to imitate the structure and form of underwater coral.