Chelsea Flower Show 2022: Greenery and wellbeing
This year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show was the first spring event to take place on the Royal Hospital grounds since the gruelling Covid-19 outbreak in 2020. It was no surprise, then, that several displays explored the positive effects green spaces have on our wellbeing. According to Mind, one in five adults struggled with their mental health during the first lockdown, and it is estimated that three million took up gardening after the NHS highlighted the importance of being outdoors.
Created for Mind, Andy Sturgeon’s display won multiple Best in Show awards. The focal point of the garden was a series of curved walls, made from textured clay render, which enclosed a private seating area. These towering blocks were designed to represent the range of mental health issues people experience, from turmoil to peace.
Sturgeon’s clever planting evoked an enchanting birch forest, where sunlight flickered through tree branches onto restful greens. Another zone, filled with bright California poppies, bishop’s flowers and purple verbascums, created a welcome sense of optimism.
Fortunately, it is easy to recreate such a scene at home. The key is to separate sections of distinct character to avoid a busyness that might be uneasy on the eye. For calming areas, lush greens and pastel tones are suggested. On the other hand, bold colours will produce an uplifting effect.
Furthermore, including pollinator-friendly plants in your garden, such as echinacea and rosemary, can be mentally nourishing as well as important for the environment. Herbs also appeal to multiple senses thanks to their ornamental, aromatic and culinary nature. Why not start with lavender?