Paving featured as a strong trend in many of the gardens on show at Chelsea this year, but not the strict rectilinear designs we’ve come to expect in hard landscaping, but rather in diagonal and geometric shapes. The RHS Chelsea Flower Show, probably the most famous flower and landscape gardens show in the world, was first held in 1862 in Kensington and was originally called the Royal Horticultural Society’s Great Spring Show. It was only in 1913 that it moved to the grounds in Chelsea where it has been held ever since.
Each year thousands of people visit the show to see the spectacular gardens on display, eager to see what the outdoor trends will be for the coming year. And this year did not disappoint. According to House Beautiful, three design trends to replicate in your garden, centre around concrete, paving, and bringing the inside out.
The Rise of Concrete
Sometimes controversial as a material, concrete was everywhere to be seen in this year’s show – from polished and patterned to textured. The Best Fresh Garden Award which went to Kate Gould for creating City Living even featured light transmitting concrete terrazzo panels.
Geometric Shapes and Crazy Paving
Paving has always been utilised in the hard landscaping of the gardens, but in previous years, it was symmetrical and ‘orderly’ in layout. This year at Chelsea, diagonals and geometric shapes were everywhere, and especially evident in The Morgan Stanley Garden which won the People’s Choice Award – ‘inspired by the fractal geometry and patterns found in nature, music, art and communities’.
Bringing the Inside Out
This is a trend that shows no sign of abating and the goal of achieving a seamless flow from indoors to outdoors can be seen in the fact that more and more materials, which traditionally were used only for interiors, are now being made available for exterior use, the use of porcelain is a fine example – the Breaking Ground Garden displayed a stunning etched porcelain clad wall in a warm bronze colour.
While trends may come and go, hard landscaping will always be a feature of a beautifully laid out garden, and for that, paving plays an essential role. Paving in Cape Town is particularly crucial right now as the Western Cape faces a third year of drought, so this element of hard landscaping should form the greatest part of any garden design at present. For more on how paving can help elevate your garden from the ordinary to the sublime, contact QPave today.