RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014: the trade stands

by Drucilla James

Khora Architectural Dome www.khoraspaces.com

What could be more luxurious than the opulent Khora Architectural Dome garden room inspired by the Palm House at Kew? Winner of the Best Trade Stand at Chelsea, this stately pleasure dome of curved glass and steel allows 360 degree views from which to contemplate life, the sky and the universe. Sadly with a starting price of £240,000 the Khora is unlikely to fit every plot and pocket, but if you still want to sprinkle a little Chelsea stardust at home, then try out some of these other sybaritic splendours spotted on the trade stands this year.

More stately pleasure domes


How about a dome of a different kind? One of the Chelsea Product of the Year finalists, was this rather remarkable hand- sculpted fire pit, ‘English Country Ball’, (cost £1499) featuring silhouettes of woodland, deer, boxing hares and an embracing couple. This and other designs, providing both evening light and warmth and day-round interest, are the creations of Suffolk  farmer Andy Gage once, more used to raising Gressingham ducks than producing garden decor. www.thefirepitcompany.co.uk


For other kinds of sculpture you could try installing these multi-coloured stained glass pillars displayed by Hayhoe Designs (small panels £85 and large £105) or watch the changing patterns made by these wind chimes with their dual movement sails from Jonart Designs. The Jubilee is £82, the Hampton £57 and the appropriately named Chelsea is £104. www.hayhoedesigns.com and www.jonart.co.uk

Jonart and glass

Hayhoe Design, Jubilee, Hampton and Chelsea

A different kind of garden feature could be created by using any of a number of signature pots which were on display on the trade stands- like these Provence Jars from French pottery Le Chene Vert suppliers to Cluny Abbey and Versailles.

Church Street and Cherne

Or there were these unique hand-built and frost- proof tall-necked bottles by Fin Orrom Carr, each a work of art, priced at  £300 – £400 from  a collection available at One Church Street Gallery. Placed at a strategic point in the garden these could enhance any view. www.poteriedanduze.com and www.onechurchstreet.com/

Growing globes

For sculpture you could plant in, there were these copper-look bell-jar planters from Capital Garden Products (around £198 for the smaller one and £294 for the larger). www.capital-garden.com/

copper and lechuza

Lechuza’s self- watering planters also came in rounded shapes this year in the form of the new Puro Colour ball-shaped planter (£119.99) which was exhibited on a stand designed by Inchbald School of Design competition winner Eileen Wood. Check out too their Balconera range (£29.99 to £44.99) for mounting on balcony walls or railings and useful for small spaces. www.lechuza.co.uk

Sitting pretty

Decorative furniture similarly has a dual role – enhancing the space where you sit and eat as well as providing somewhere to relax and contemplate your labours. These undulating wood and ironwork benches shown by Big Black House Design Co would fit the brief – the Butterfly and Daisy Bench costs £365 or the Curved Back Scroll Bench starts at £295. www.bigblackhousedesign.co.uk

Big Black House

For another form of undulation, there were the swinging seats from the Sitting Spiritually stand; the new Heart Back seat, inspired by arts and crafts designers Voysey and George Walton, costs from £1510 to £5014 and also marks Sitting Spiritually’s 10th anniversary. www.sittingsiritually.co.uk

Or for other wooden furniture, the oak A la Carte elevated bar stools from Gaze Burvill (£720) presented the chance to perch at your garden cocktail bar. www.gazeburvill.com

wooden furniture

Table mats consisting of vivid photographs of flowers (£27 for the set) also caught the eye on the Rosemarie-Schulz stand and would make a colourful addition to the table or if you wanted to bring the garden inside how about their moss or flower collages made on canvas? www.rosemarie-schulz.eu

marion schulz

The music of the spheres

And for a final luxurious flourish we return to the spheres. We loved these lights/hanging planters made by the Canadian company Bocci which, as sculpted inverted gardens, were used to light up the rock bank tunnel at Chelsea. Bocci lights are large blown-glass balls with haphazardly-placed  white cavities, some of which house lighting elements, while others are deep enough to contain earth and succulent and cacti planting. Created by hand, copper tubing is used both as wire conduit and structural support to create this idiosyncratic blend of vegetation and light. Prices start at 3000 euros. https://bocci.ca/

Bocci edited


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