Chelsea Flower Show 2019 highlights

Eva Nemeth

One of the most exciting gardens this year is from Andy Sturgeon for show sponsor M&G. His lush, green woodland planting is set against a dramatic backdrop of charred wood sculpture, highlighting leaf shape and texture. Glossy-leafed rodgersias contrast with steely-blue amsonia and an unusual large-flowered libertia (L. procera). In contrast to the M&G garden, Jo Thompson's for Wedgwood is soft and feminine, with a pretty apricot and pink planting scheme set off by an arched pavilion. Pale apricot geums and the beautiful Verbascum 'Helen Johnson' reflect the current fashion for dusky pink and peach colour schemes.

The masterful planting combinations in Tom Stuart-Smith's RHS Bridgewater Garden are worth spending time on, and visitors can walk through the space to get close to the plants. Large drifts of plants mingle together under a canopy of flowering cornus trees. The Savills and David Harber Garden, designed by Andrew Duff, celebrates the beauty and environmental benefit of trees, plants and grass in urban spaces. A tranquil, shady retreat, it's the type of garden that makes you want to take off your shoes and walk barefoot in the buttercup-studded grass.

The Welcome to Yorkshire Garden designed by Mark Gregory is Chelsea showmanship at its best. A realistic canal lock is bordered by meadowy planting, while a lock-keepers house is surrounded by a charming cottage garden. Chris Beardshaw's garden for Morgan Stanley is a beautifully executed English garden with intricate herbaceous planting set off by huge mounds of yew. The piece de resistance is a wonderful sculptural pine tree that frames the view from the front of the garden.