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Concrete at Chelsea – Hard Landscaping in Prize-Winning Small Gardens

The Appeal of Hard Landscaping

The list of prize-winners at the 2018 Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show has once again demonstrated the vital role hard landscaping plays in contemporary gardens.  The best entries at the trend-setting event all reflect the way that the ‘bones’ of the garden can offset and enhance the planting scheme, resulting in an overall sense of completeness and harmony.

Making the Most of Space

As in previous years, much of the focus of the Chelsea show was on the importance of making the most of small spaces.  As modern gardens tend to become ever smaller, the potential of vertical surfaces and dual-purpose design elements is increasingly recognised.  Planters whose edges double as seating; walls which both divide the space and support climbing plants: changes of level which create an illusion of distance; all these and more were to be found at Chelsea, and they are ideas which can be copied in small gardens, or equally, as part of a larger garden design.

A City Garden

The New West End Garden, a Gold Medal winner, was a particularly striking example of the way in which a tiny space can become a life-enhancing asset for residents and visitors.  In this garden, the hard landscaping is used to provide privacy without sacrificing a sense of light and air; pale and reflective surfaces are important elements of the design.

Versatile Materials

Wood, steel, concrete and stone, which all featured as landscaping materials at Chelsea, each have their own characteristics and advantages.  In small spaces, concrete should be considered for characteristics which can be particularly appropriate to these locations; its ability to withstand wear and tear, its adaptability to features of every kind of shape and size, and its versatile surface, which can be textured or polished, or painted to reflect light.

Bespoke Solutions

In a small space, it can be difficult to fit in standard landscaping elements, and products which correspond exactly to the needs of the location will be vital for a successful design.  Bespoke products, such as those supplied by Evan Concrete, give architects and home-owners the flexibility to create a unique and lasting garden landscape.


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