RHS Chelsea Flower Show – 5 trends to watch out for in 2022

These trends sparked conversation at Chelsea – will they reshape your garden and planting habits this year?

RHS Chelsea Flower Show trends
(Image credit: RHS / Sarah Cuttle)

For the visitor, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is an incredible source of new landscaping and planting trends and inspiration that we expect to see emerging in domestic garden design in the seasons ahead.

This maze of diverse botanicals, unconventional house plants, and exterior decor features has repercussions not just in London or the UK, but globally. Therefore, it is only natural that you may want to keep up with the most exciting of garden trends to be showcased at this year's event, wherever you are in the world, and whatever the style or size of your backyard.

From interior-designed greenhouses to the promotion of (good) bacteria, this year's garden ideas are as provocative as ever.

1. Mindfulness 

RHS Chelsea Flower Show trends

(Image credit: RHS / Tim Sandall)

Mindfulness and wellbeing are, arguably, the most prominent trends to emerge from Chelsea this year. Just as the world of interiors is increasingly concerned with paints and decor pieces that promote better mental health, the garden is certainly no exception. Many spaces paid homage to mindfulness in some way, including designer Nikki Hollier's container garden. 

'My garden supports mindfulness with its colors, plants, and water feature. A pond, water feature, or fountain can have positive health benefits, primarily reducing blood pressure and stress levels as well as improving physical and mental health,' Nikki shared with H&G

The designer suggests that the increased focus on mindfulness is a response to the current pressures of the world that is 'full of technology, stress, and pollution' – so anything that can improve our mental health is a positive. 

'Water features and ponds can provide a sense of calm and tranquillity and allow us to enjoy our surroundings even more by reducing the noise pollution around us,' Nikki says. 

If you're looking for another way to improve wellbeing in your garden, the designer recommends investing in sensory plants whose organic benefits can aid your health. She suggests choosing 'roses for their scent, mint to make tea, and grasses that you can run your hands through and help you connect with nature.'

2. Interior-designed greenhouses 

RHS Chelsea Flower Show trends

(Image credit: Hartley Botanic)

You would be forgiven for believing that Chelsea is a festival for green-thumbed enthusiasts only, but this greenhouse idea proves that it has an impact on those with an admiration for interior design too. This stylish trend involves turning your greenhouse into a space that mimics your interiors, so you can continue your space outside and elevate a 'practical' space into a fashionable sanctuary. 

Greenhouse manufacturers Hartley Botanic exhibited the space shown above – designed and styled by Llevelo. It comes complete with decor pieces that wouldn't look misplaced in your living room.

'Excellent design always combines both form and function,' says their CEO, Tom Barry. 'The team wanted to showcase the emotional benefit of a greenhouse with its 'unparalleled beauty and style when in the right context.'

These greenhouses allow you to continue your favorite decorating ideas outside so that you can elevate a functional space into another room in your home. '[We wanted to] demonstrate how our greenhouses might look within customers' gardens. But most importantly, we want visitors to have an emotional response. To feel calm, relaxed and to realize how a garden with a wellness focus can deliver this with style,' Tom adds. 

3. Yellow planting 

RHS Chelsea Flower Show trends

(Image credit: RHS / Sarah Cuttle)

Following trends doesn't always need to involve a significant investment, and the rise in yellow planting is an example of one of Chelsea's most accessible statements of the year. Many gardens, including the Swiss Sanctuary (designed by Lilly Gomm) above, featured yellow flowers in some form – but the demand for this garden color scheme is no surprise to Nikki. 

'Yellow is bright and cheerful. I feel after everyone has been through the doom and gloom of the pandemic and other world events, a simple pot of yellow daffodils, or swathes of geums on a border and fields of sunflowers can be a simple way to brighten our day,' Nikki explains. This joyful cottage garden idea will 'lift our spirits' and shine through the sunny season without a notable commitment. 

4. Bacterial goodness 

St Mungo’s Putting Down Roots Garden

(Image credit: RHS / Neil Hepworth)

According to Cityscapes Director and Landscape Designer Darryl Moore (who designed St Mungo's garden above), this year saw a rise in the understanding of 'good' bacteria and how you can use it to benefit your health in the garden. 

'There are a lot of new sciences coming out about how the relationship with bacteria in the soil, air, and plants circulates, and how we breathe it forms part of our microbiomes in our gut,' Darryl says. 

In the discussion of his garden, Darryl shared that there is a lot of interaction between the plants – and it is important to replicate its diversity in your own garden. 

'The planting is very dense, and it involves a lot of different species, like a natural, wild plant community. We are looking at expanding that diversity, so it's better for us and better for all the other wildlife that shares that garden with us,' he adds. 

5. Mushrooms  

Mushroom plant

(Image credit: Malvern Garden Buildings)

The mushroom plant trend is so unconventional that we already had to explore it further. This feature comes from stylist James Whiting who collaborated with Malvern Garden Buildings to create the Planet Studio (above). In this studio, the designer used mushrooms as house plants around his home bar – to make an edible statement unlike any other. 

'People are cooking these at home, and they're quite expensive to buy in the shops, so if you love growing things and you love house plants, then mushrooms are stunning. They're yellow, they're pink, they're real, and it's just fascinating,' the stylist shared. 

James recommends starting with oyster mushrooms that you can observe before ending up with a flavorful result in the end. 'You can watch things develop and change, and you can go on a journey with your plant. You become proud of what you create,' he adds. 

Will a mushroom become one of the best indoor plants of the year? Only time will tell. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.