Shopping at RHS Chelsea 2017

The show gardens at Chelsea Flower Show are of course are a must, as are the fabulous, extravagant exhibits in the Great Pavilion, but many people go to Chelsea to window shop and WOW is there a lot on offer. Here are five trade stands that caught Jean Vernon's eye.

SquareRoot Planters
SquareRoot Planters
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The Chelsea Flower Showground is packed with exhibitors from pretty much every section of the industry. Even the trade stands have been carefully designed to showcase not just the latest garden trends but to show how they can be incorporated into a garden setting. Some of the trade stands are just as interesting as the show gardens themselves, with products, accessories and garden trends all displayed with flair and ingenuity.

Kadai Firebowls

Kadai Firebowls
Kadai Firebowls

If you want to create a new lifestyle effect in your garden take a look at the and garden accessories on the Chelsea stand. More than just a barbecue these huge cooking vessels double up as firepits and create a central part of entertaining in your garden. There are even curved benches designed to fit around the bowls and solid steel garden gazebos to sit under and relax. The stand is full of ideas and innovations based on the versatile Kadai Firebowl – including using it as a water feature – and if you are lucky you might even get to taste some freshly cooked nibbles too. 

SquareRoot Planters

SquareRoot Planters
SquareRoot Planters

The planters from SquareRoot Planters look like timber, but are made from lightweight, but strong aluminium, an ideal material for the garden. They won’t rust and they will be slower to dry out than timber or clay. The planters are handmade to order and are available with a range of inner pots so that you can change the planting as you please. The stand at Chelsea is beautifully designed around the planters and offers plenty of vibrant planting ideas that would look lovely in any garden or terrace.

Hartley Botanic

Hartley Botanic
Hartley Botanic

If you fancy a greenhouse then Chelsea is a great place to go shopping. Not only are there special show deals, but also you can see the glasshouse up close and even go inside and look at the accessories and the quality of the build. The Hartley Botanic stand at RHS Chelsea features several of their new designs including the very lovely Westminster and a very practical but pretty Grow and Store greenhouse, which is part potting shed, part glasshouse. I may be slightly biased (I have a Hartley Botanic greenhouse myself) but the company has just been given a prestigious RHS endorsement for its entire product portfolio, so that says a lot. Every glasshouse on its stand is tastefully styled with appropriate plants and interplanted with a hot mix of plants in gravel. 

James Doran Webb

James Doran Webb
James Doran Webb

You can’t fail to notice the spectacular driftwood sculptures by James Doran Webb, always a magnificent feature of the flower show, well in recent years, anyway. This year he’s got a stand on Main Avenue and has created an astonishing display of his work. Lifelike (and life size) cavorting horses, hares and goats are positioned within a beautiful meadow setting to show them off in the best possible way. They are simply stunning and well worth a closer look even if your wallet can’t quite stretch to a purchase.

Willie Wildlife Sculptures

Willie Wildlife Sculptures
Willie Wildlife Sculptures

These beautiful birdbaths from Willie Wildlife Sculptures are pretty and practical offering a really stylish way to provide essential water for the birds and other garden wildlife. Adorned with dragonflies, frogs or different birds they are cast in bronze so they won’t rust and will simply weather creating a handsome patina that will last for generations. The stand is planted with lots of bee friendly plants and is alive with insects.

Jean Vernon

About Jean Vernon

Jean Vernon is a slightly quirky, bee friendly, alternative gardener. She doesn’t follow the rules and likes to push the boundaries a bit just to see what happens. She has a fascination for odd plants, especially edibles and a keen interest in growing for pollinators especially bees. She’s rather obsessed with the little buzzers. Telegraph Gardening Correspondent, mostly testing and trialing products and Editor-In-Chief for Richard Jackson’s Garden.
@TheGreenJeanie
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