Pumpkins, grasses and seed-heads take center stage at the Chelsea flower show as the deep, rich hues of autumn replace the fresh pastel spring palette usually on show over the event’s 108-year history.
Forced to cancel last year, and postponed from its traditional late May slot to late September this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, there will be unfamiliar sights and trends among the displays. Designers will be challenged to adapt to accommodate the change in season.
Late-flowering plants, such as asters, dahlias, penstemon, salvias, and autumn varieties of camellias and alstroemeria, will be among the stars of the show. Alongside those, displays will capitalize on autumn’s harvest, celebrating fruit and vegetables, and especially the bounty of squashes.
Ornamental grasses, at their very best in September, replace ferns and hostas, which usually deliver the fresh greenery in the designers’ spring palettes.
“We know what a challenge the change in season has presented for our exhibitors, and their amazing displays are a real testament to the skills and expertise of the growers, designers, contractors and everyone involved,” said Helena Pettit, the RHS director of gardens and shows.
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