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Award winning must-haves from Chelsea

Dig It! // Gardening & Green Spaces// Events // By Hester Macdonald // June 11, 2018

The Royal Horticulatural Society’s Product of the Year is a hotly-contested title, judged by a panel of experts including Deborah Meaden, business woman extraordinaire and long-running judge on the BBC startup investment show, Dragon’s Den, also Peter Seabrook a veteran of the British horticultural industry, and two managing directors of UK garden centres, Chris Harrop and Caroline Owen.

The last few years have seen winners including a “no-frame greenhouse”, a mobile app for watering and a potato pot, which should give you some idea as to the range of products entered in the competitions. The range is also a good guide as to what interests and motivates the British garden consumer; greenhouses, comfy seating and practical items were all in the running.

PJ Bridgman Verona Sofa, © Hester Macdonald​ Award winning must-haves from Chelsea
  • Image: PJ Bridgman Verona Sofa
  • Chelsea Flower Show, Chelsea, London, 2018. Photo © Hester Macdonald


The RHS Chelsea Flower Show Product of the Year winner for 2018 is a range of seeds from the British seed specialist, Mr Fothergills. The company was started in 1978, selling seeds and has expanded to include vegetable plants, fruit and more. The new range is the Optigrow collection, which uses water and air to get seeds to the perfect stage, ready to germinate before packaging and shipping. There are 13 varieties in the range currently, including peppers, tomatoes, parsnips and parsley, and are readily available on line.  I think consumers will love them and be happy to pay the extra for a good start for their seeds.

I also loved the wall-mounted greenhouse from Wilston. It’s a one-piece solid steel frame, and with a nod to visually-appealing winner from 2017, the Pure Greenhouse, has a mirrored back to maximise light, as well as all the practical elements you might expect from a greenhouse, like galvanised trays, capillary matting and folding shelves.

  • Image: Kadai Firebowls Wilstone Wall Greenhouse
  • Chelsea Flower Show, Chelsea, London, 2018. Photo © Hester Macdonald


My absolute favourite for unique, British eccentricity, was the entry from James Doran Webb. He makes custom built natural rock streams, ready to install anywhere you want, and the miniature version alone was enough to make me want one!


  • Image: James Doran Webb rock stream model
  • Chelsea Flower Show, Chelsea, London, 2018. Photo © Hester Macdonald



"Hester Digs Chelsea" is sponsored by Meier in Dürnten - Switzerland's most typical English-style Garden Centre


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