by Arit Anderson
The BBC presenter, award winning garden designer and fan of a Ridley floral dress gives us a sneak preview of this years Chelsea Flower Show and her must see highlights
An example of the beautiful soft natural planting at this year's Chelsea Flower Show and Arit Anderson at last years show in her stunning floral print silk maxi dress
If you’ve managed to get tickets and are heading to Chelsea Flower Show this week, you’re in for a real treat! I’ve been dashing in and out filming the build up and this year’s show is going to be really special. So put on that beautiful floral dress because after two years away (because of Covid), Chelsea is back on the calendar in May where it belongs. And this year is also The Queens Diamond Jubilee so there’s lots to celebrate. And the garden designers and growers have pulled out all of the stops and tickets are completely sold out so it’s going to be busy.
All the spaces on main avenue are completely full with designers this year and there’s an incredible array of creativity and ideas. Picking up on the re-wilding trend, overall there’s a theme of soft natural planting, featuring meadows of luscious grasses and beautiful wild flowers like in Andy Sturgeon’s Mind Garden. This highlights a real shift towards celebrating and preserving our natural environment and creating spaces that nourish wildlife.
Plants are definitely king this year with the hard landscaping materials and structures toned right down to their simplest forms and bold pops of colour like in the St Mungo’s Garden, which is really playful and fun, and definitely worth a visit.
(From top left to Right) The colourful floral garden for St Mungo's and Arit Anderson in her new Ridley London Manon dress featuring the stunning Bumblebee floral print. (Bottom) a visual of Sarah Eberle's stunning garden for SmartPly
Water features have been popular in recent years, but this Chelsea there’s only one garden with a large scale, show stopping water feature. Water seems to be much more tucked away this year and more modern in the way it’s incorporated into gardens. Look out for Sarah Eberle’s garden with its amazing cascading waterfall and wild planting. She never lets you down and I absolutely love the drama she’s created in her garden this year. In contrast the Morris & Co garden designed by Ruth Willmott is really delicate and beautiful with inspiration directly from the arts and crafts movements and incorporating some of William Morris's signature floral patterns.
Indoor plants which were so popular last time have also returned along with lots of examples of balcony gardens like Jay Day’s clever and stylish habitat which encourages birds to come and feed. We’ll be featuring these along with the other gardens and best ideas from the show every evening on our BBC Chelsea Flower Show highlights. There’s nothing anywhere else in the world that showcases the very best of creativity and horticulture quite like Chelsea and for a designer like me it’s completely inspiring. You’re going to absolutely love it!
Ridley London's new collection of statement floral summer dresses is available to purchase online at and in Ridley's Barnes store. Celebrate your individuality this season with a unique piece that's individually crafted to flatter from your choice of any of our stunning new printed floral or solid silks or cottons. Or call us to arrange a virtual fitting:
Ridley London, 82 Church Road, Barnes, London SW13 0DQ T: 01730 823097