I always think that Chelsea must be akin to a fancy street food fair for the local pollinators – they get to sample wares from around the world. And in Sarah Price’s exquisite and painterly Mediterranean garden there are plenty of delights on offer. I loved this garden and it was the one I kept returning to, as its subtleties unfolded over the day. It’s a garden composed of soft colour – the warm hues of the rammed earth walls, the gentle burnt orange of new pomegranate leaves and the wispy annuals in pink and white – but it is brought to life by the punctuation of piercing, intense colour (it is perhaps unsurprising that she trained in Fine Art). And it’s a garden that’s not afraid of negative space, of allowing the plants to breathe – a rare thing in a Chelsea garden, where everything is usually so tightly packed.
Over in the woods, I much enjoyed The Viking Cruises’ Wellness garden by Paul Hervey-Brookes. This is inspired by a solitary sauna retreat that centres around a magnificent, aged Mulberry tree. It is filled with Nordic herbs, from lemon balm to Angelicas. It’s a very clever garden for a small space with floating decks and such a chic, pared down sauna and a tiny plunge pool. It works, in part, because this is a dream you might just be able to shoehorn into the bottom of your average terrace garden, without it looking out of place.