So says award-winning garden designer Chris Beardshaw, co-presenter of BBC2’s Great Garden Revival, who is currently planning his forthcoming ‘Healthy Cities’ show garden with first-time RHS Chelsea Flower Show sponsor Morgan Stanley.
“There’s a real awareness of the challenges of the weather,” he says. “We’ve gone through that period where we thought it was going to get hotter and buying phormiums and cordylines and then finding that the winter killed them.
“People are going back to much more resilient planting types. There’s a real resurgence in shrubs. The last few decades have been about herbaceous perennials and grasses and I think a lot of people are now much more interested in combinations.
“We often put shrub roses with clematis and an underscore of bulbs to give the three hits of interest. People are becoming aware that one plant doesn’t necessarily cover all bases and are adopting a more refined approach to planting.”
Plants such as phillyrea and deciduous rhododendrons, which provide masses of interest through a long season and little maintenance, may become more popular, he predicts, while we are moving away from ‘static gardens’, low-maintenance, minimalist plots which don’t change through the season and are lacking in personality.
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