11 Ridiculously Easy Ways To Turn Your Garden Into a Flower Show

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With Chelsea Flower Show – the most prestigious gardening and horticultural event in the calendar just around the corner – it’s time we take a peek out of the window and look at our own outside space.

If you’re guilty of having a lawn that hasn’t seen a mower in months, borders overflowing with weeds and wooden furniture that’s turned green, then help is at hand!

Just follow our 11 simple ways to turn your garden into a flower show and you’ll achieve an outdoor space to be proud of in no time...
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1. Add Some Colour

A splash of colour in your garden will instantly brighten the space (funnily enough) and lift your mood.

The big colour trend from last year’s Chelsea Flower Show was orange, with one particular variety of flower, named ‘Totally Tangerine’, causing quite a stir.

Orange flowers bring a sunny warmth to your garden. They sit beautifully with yellows and reds, or amongst soft grasses and heathers. 

Why not try creating a real colour pop by combining orange with the contrasting shades of purple? Another trend we spotted at last year's Chelsea. 
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2. Introduce Water

There has been a move away from more formal water features at Chelsea over the past few years, with designers choosing to opt for more tranquil ponds and streams

Whether you’re listening to its rhythmic trickling, dipping your feet in to cool down, feeding the fish or looking longingly into its depths for the meaning of life, water is renowned for its calming influences – and if you have a space big enough you should consider introducing it. Even if it’s just a beautiful bird bath!

Aquatic dyes can create the illusion of a deep pool when really it’s just a pond. Plus, they don’t harm the plants or wildlife.
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3. Opt for English Style

Thankfully for us the shabby-chic-untidy-planting-looks-like-I-haven’t-bothered look is always a winner at Chelsea.

This quintessentially English country cottage garden-style – filled with masses of colour and perfume, an abundance of wild flowers and fuss-free plants is big – and you don’t have to live in the countryside to achieve it either!

City dwellers who long for a taste of the countryside can achieve this romantic style in their own backyard, with very little maintenance. Wild flowers are designed to grow naturally, so you can be fairly relaxed about the upkeep – and they are a big draw for wildlife like bees too.
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4. Use Natural Materials

One of the biggest trends from last year's Chelsea Flower Show was the use of stone and slate within the garden.

You can recreate this look by introducing a sculpture or water feature, or simply placing stones in and around your plants and flowers.

Slate has a clean and contemporary feel to it, so it’s ideal if you have an urban garden. Use slate gravel to create shape and structure around your plants, or slate chips look stunning with water flowing over them in shallow streams or ponds.
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5. Fill Your Garden With Flowers

So we’ve told you that orange was ‘on fire’ at Chelsea last year, but what about the actual varieties of flower that need to be seen in your garden?

Well, the exotic peony is set to be the star of this year's show, with their delicate blousy petals in pretty shades popping up in every garden. The ever-popular rose is no surprise, but there's a newly named variety – the ‘Roald Dahl' rose, which is appropriately peach-coloured as a nod to the classic ‘James and the Giant Peach’. And – in honour of the newest member of the royal family – the ‘Princess Charlotte’ chrysanthemum.

Look out for lofty foxgloves, irises, meadow flowers such as pink campion, fragrant jasmine and gardenia, lush green ferns, box hedges, bay and yew trees too.
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6. Create a Wellbeing Haven

We all lead such busy lives, that it’s no wonder the trend to switch off and find a little calm away from all the hustle and bustle of everyday stresses is so popular. And the garden is the perfect place to achieve that tranquility.

At Chelsea last year, Jekka McVicar’s ‘A Modern Apothecary’ garden featured healing plants and herbs, which were donated to hospices and care homes after the show. The RHS also teamed up with award-winning designer Ann-Marie Powell to champion the health and wellbeing benefits of the garden. Her garden promoted health and happiness with wild flowers, a bug house, a kitchen garden, hanging baskets, seedlings and fruit trees.

Even if you don’t have the biggest outdoor space, you can still use it as a place of calm. Simply buy a nice chair to relax in, add a few fragrant pots, then sit back close your eyes and listen to the birds. Aaaand breathe....
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7. Go Potty

Pots add instant colour and variety to your garden, especially if you only have a paved space or time (and budget) is against you.

There are  so many styles of pots and containers in different colours, sizes, shapes and materials. Try grouping together various sizes, (designer tip - odd numbers work best) and then you can then have fun filling them with  delicate shrubs, blousy blooms, fragrant fancies or even  get the shears out and try your hand at topiary!

And if you fancy fresh fruit and veg – and want a low-maintenance alternative to an allotment – then pots are perfect for  some grow-your-own varieties
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8. Think About Furniture

Adding furniture to your outdoor space means you can instantly transform your garden into an outdoor room. But, choosing the right style is important.

First up, think about how you want your garden to be used.  A little bistro table is lovely for two people to share a drink, but if you are wanting to host a dinner party then you’ll need something a lot bigger.

And if your old furniture has sat out during the winter months, then give it a little TLC by scrubbing off the algae and adding a lick of protective paint. Investing in  covers to keep your furniture protected means you'll have one less job to do when the sun comes out next year.
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9. Invite Wildlife In

Attracting bees, butterflies and birds into our gardens needn’t be difficult.

You can achieve a wildlife-friendly garden however big or small your outside space is, and it’s a great way to get the kids involved with gardening and discovering nature too.

We all know how important the bees are, so start by planting flowers and shrubs that will attract them –  cornflowers, marigolds, jasmine and roses should do the trick.

Hang  a bird box out the way of any predators and treat your feathered friends to some protein-rich feed. Or why not try creating  an insect or hedgehog hotel by finding a quiet spot and layering rocks, wood, sticks and leaves?

Now all you have to do is sit back and watch while your outside space comes alive with happy guests!
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10. Add the Wow Factor

So, we've discovered that by adding colour, water, some appropriate furniture and a hedgehog hotel you'll be well on your way to creating a flower show-worthy garden, but what about something with the wow factor?

Chelsea saw an enormous Viking on horseback, a Medusa and even flower-embellished synchronised swimmers last year, but you don't have to go that far!

Try some unusual planting – using a birdcage, old barrel, tea cups or even  upside down wellington boots to house your blooms. Like the idea of mosaic, but no time?  Lay a sheet of mosaic tiles on plastic mesh on a tabletop, garden seat or wall and secure with  outdoor grout, easy!

Sundials are also back. This ancient way of telling the time can make a stunning focal point in your garden (as well as letting you know when you've been sunning yourself too long!) .
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11. No Garden? No Worries...

If you don’t have an outside space to play around with, and you’re reading this dreaming of a garden, then worry not, we’re not going to leave you out.

You can go from being green with envy to achieving green fingers by simply bringing the outside in.

You could attach a window box and make a mini garden, or try growing a few herb varieties in the kitchen and go all Jamie Oliver by chucking some of your homegrown basil or thyme into your dishes.

Orchids are a popular indoor choice as they only require watering weekly, as well as the very on-trend cacti and succulents.

If watering isn’t your thing at all then get yourself a few air plants – they are self sufficient by actually absorbing the water from the air, clever huh! And, if all else fails, there are some surprisingly realistic-looking artificial flowers available too....We’re not sure what the Chelsea judges would make of that though!
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