Published: 05 June 2013
The Plants at Chelsea 2013
The plants were still the star attractions at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2013.
From around the world collections of plants transformed the Royal Hospital grounds into a global garden in order to stage the greatest flower show on earth.
From forest trees to specimen bonsai, aquatic plants to desert cacti or rare mountain orchids, Chelsea was the place to be. Up to 1999 the Great Marquee, now the Great Pavilion, has played a unique part in the history of British horticulture and showing. As plantsman Roy Lancaster commented on a recent BBC interview from the Great Pavilion 'Where else in the world could you see such plants from every corner of the world on display in one place'. 

Going down the tubes with the Royal Bank of Canada. 
This living wall was made by planting drought-tolerant
succulent into recycled clay pipes.

Going in with Groundwork. Awarded a Silver Gilt Flora medal in the RHS Environment Awards, this garden demonstrated how to transform the most unpromising urban sites.

Themed Planting

The indoor displays were created by different trade exhibitors, growers, UK and international charities, government bodies and tourist associations from many different countries; each exhibit displaying themed plantings relevant to the country or message being given out.
The floral displays came in many shapes and sizes and demonstrated how cut flowers and foliage plus some carefully chosen and positioned plant material can be used to create  displays that delivered strong messages or stories to the visitors. 

Going up (and down) with Warmenhoven. You may have spotted this striking display during the BBC coverage of the show.

Warmenhoven were displaying cultivars of amaryllis from 100 years ago to celebrate Chelsea's centenary, alongside modern alliums and cultivars of amaryllis that may become popular in the future.
The outside show gardens in the different categories also highlighted the use of plants for every situation. From town gardens with only a few square metres, to country retreats with rolling acres there were good examples of plants that would grow well and give great displays during the correct seasons. The added value for show visitors is that they can ask the exhibitors for information relating to specific plants that they may wish to grow in their own gardens and be fairly certain to get expert advice.
These images will give you a glimpse of what visitors saw at the centenary Chelsea show.  

Far Below the Sea Blooms by NAFAS. These forms, textural and colour contrasts witnessed in marine life are recreated by the NAFAS designers using plant material, both garden and exotic.

Going Underground with East Malling Research. This display, entitled "The fruit of the tree", features a large, excavated apple tree with all roots exposed as a stunning and novel centrepiece.  

Despite the prolonged bad weather over the past year, and immediately prior to the show, all the growers, exhibitors and designers should be congratulated on the high standards and quality they achieved with their plants that made Chelsea 2013 a world leader once again.
Reported by Chris Allen  

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