Stone in the spotlight at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024

The Bridgerton Garden. Designed by Holly Johnston. Sponsored by Netflix. Sanctuary Garden. This garden featured a dry seam limestone moon gate and walls created by Natural by Design Dry Stone Walls and a bespoke wall fountain in Fletcher bank sandstone designed and carved by Ryan James. This garden was awarded Silver.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show was established in 1913 and showcases the best of the best in garden design, planting and more. Attracting a lively crowd of professional gardeners, enthusiasts and celebrities, it's become a highlight of the social calendar for many.

And while it's mainly known for plants, it is also a great showcase for natural stone for landscaping and features. Many of this year's winning gardens featured stone including slate, limestone and sandstone. The show proved to be a platform for emerging talent, too and while most people were focused on the flowers, Stone Specialist editor, Clare Howcutt-Kelly was looking at the stone. Here's just a few of the highlights.

The Bridgerton Garden (images 1-3)
It was the first time at RHS Chelsea for designer Holly Johnston who was awarded silver for her garden sponsored by Netflix. This garden featured a dry seam limestone moon gate and walls created by Natural by Design Dry Stone Walls and a bespoke wall fountain in Fletcher bank sandstone designed and carved by Ryan James. The garden attracted a host of celebrities including the stars of Bridgerton – Adjoa Andoh, Ruth Gemmell and Hannah Dodd. Even the Queen was pictured enjoying the garden. The contractors involved were Stewart Landscape and CJ Landscapes.
©RHS/Sarah Cuttle 
©Clare Howcutt Kelly 

Muscular Dystrophy UK – Forest Bathing Garden (image 4)
Designed by Ula Maria and sponsored by Project Giving Back, this special garden featured a flint wall with a pattern reminiscent of muscle cells and was created in support of Muscular Dystrophy UK. Reclaimed materials including stone blocks and slate tiles appeared throughout. It was built by Crocus and awarded Gold and Best Show Garden. 
©RHS/Neil Hepworth

Terrence Higgins Trust Bridge to 2030 Garden (image 5 and 6)
The garden was designed by Matthew Childs, built by Yoreland Design and sponsored by Project Giving Back. Key features in the garden included a striking monolith Welsh Slate stepping stone bridge and steps produced from custom cuts and bi-product of Ffestiniog slate. A textural path was produced from Type 2 pillared, rustic and narrow pillared walling, all from the Ffestiniog quarry. Boulders from Welsh Slate's Penrhyn Quarry also featured in the garden - one as a balancing sculpture, one as part of Welsh designer Swyn Anwyl Williams' furniture design, and another as a water feature. Reclaimed Ffestiniog roofing slates clad the interior sides of the tiered garden pond at the front of the garden, and paths and garden mulches were formed from Welsh Slate aggregate. The garden was created in support of Terrence Higgins Trust and won a Silver Gilt Award. 
©RHS/Neil Hepworth

St James’s Piccadilly: Imagine the World to be Different (image 7)
Designed by Robert Myers and sponsored by Project Giving Back in support of St James’s Piccadilly, the garden included York stone pavings and Portland stone copings supplied by Albion Stone. It was awarded Gold and was inspired by St Christopher Wren’s St James’s Church and built by Stewart Landscape.
©RHS/Neil Hepworth

The Freedom from Torture Garden: A Sanctuary for Survivors (image 8)
This silver award-winning garden was designed by John Warland and Emma O’Connell and sponsored by Project Giving Back. It was created in support of Freedom from Torture. All stone used within the garden was sourced from within the UK.
©RHS/Sarah Cuttle

The Octavia Hill Garden by Blue Diamond with the National Trust (image 9)
Artisans of Devizes helped designer Ann-Marie Powell and the Blue Diamond team to source reclaimed York stone to sit alongside stone reclaimed from National Trust properties for this special garden. It was sponsored by Blue Diamond Garden Centres and The National Trust and built by The Landscaping Consultants. It was awarded a Silver Gilt award. 
©RHS/Neil Hepworth

Planet Good Earth (image 10)
This unique, interactive garden with edible plants was designed by specialist skatepark design and construction company Betongpark and Urban Organic. It was sponsored by Project Giving Back in support of Planet Good Earth. The skate ramp was made with grey granite supplied by Tony Huntbach and the garden was awarded a Bronze medal.
©RHS/Neil Hepworth

Sue Ryder Grief Kind Garden (image 11)
A sensitive, comforting space was the brief from garden designer Katherine Holland for this garden in support of Sue Ryder. It was sponsored by Project Giving Back and incorporated Artisan of Devizes' Linton sandstone and Kimmeridge limestone offcuts. The garden was awarded a Gold medal and was built by Greenscape Gardens.
©RHS/Neil Hepworth

The WaterAid Garden (image 12)
Designed by Tom Massey and Je Ahn and sponsored by Project Giving Back, this garden was created in support of WaterAid. Stone was sourced from Mark and Juliet Haysom at Haysom Purbeck Stone, a family-run quarry in Dorset. Crushed stone was used as aggregate and carved stone appeared throughout. Three Portland limestone seats were created from repurposed stone that was once part of the Aston Webb Screen at the V&A Museum. This screen had been at the museum since 1909 until it was dismantled in 2013 as part of a large-scale refurbishment. It was then taken to Haysom's quarry for safe keeping and was retrieved for use in this garden. It still bears the scars from The Blitz. Surrey-based Landscape Associates were responsible for the build. The garden won a Gold award.
©RHS/Neil Hepworth