Trends from Chelsea to inspire autumn planting

Chelsea Flower Show was a bit different this year. For the first time in its history, it took place in September with late flowering plants, grasses and edibles will take centre stage.

The pinnacle of the gardening calendar, the autumnal dates gave the show a completely different look, with late flowering plants such as asters, salvias and dahlias, fruit trees replacing the usual spring showcase. We take a look at the latest trends at the show and how it can influence your autumn planting season.

Late flowering plants

The new date for the 2021 resulted in a whole new planting palette for Chelsea this year. The September date saw gardens brimming with darker, autumnal tones, with dark purple salvias complimenting wispy grasses and daisy-style asters in pinks and yellow rudbeckias attracting the eye. These plants were featured on many of the Main Avenue gardens and are one of the last feeding opportunities for bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects.

One of the stars of the show was the dahlia, with their colours and bold florals in abundance on the showground. Oranges, yellows, reds, pinks and purples were be a big part of the Chelsea this year, replacing the popular pastel shades that are associated with the show in May.

Chrysanthemums and gladioli also lit up the Great Pavilion with their autumnal flowers. Being late flowering plants in September and October, their blooms offer end of season colour, whilst spring bulbs were replaced with autumn flowering bulbs such as nerines, scadoxus and alliums.

Balcony Gardens

This year there was a new category to explore, Balcony Gardens. The 4 x 3-metre gardens showcase an array of container styles and demonstrated that small spaces can be practical, productive and accommodate your own garden sanctuary.

When you have a small space, gardening can seem daunting, but it can be turned into a beautiful space. For an urban and contemporary look, our Fibreclay & Recycled Plastic Lightweight Planters are ideal for clean, geometric lines, simple but effective designs and minimal, fuss free planting. Stylish in design, the Ida planter would contrast well with hardy, low maintenance shrubs such as box balls, holly, lavender, ivy and yuccas.

The ‘Balcony of Blooms’ ,designed by Alexandra Noble was designed to support biodiversity. Our range of Terracotta Plant Pots are ideal for plants for pollinators and culinary herbs, and inspired by vintage style and would look at home in an old-fashioned cottage garden setting.

Ornamental grasses

Grasses have also featured strongly in the show gardens, adding lightness, movement, sound and year-round interest. There was also an entire area dedicated to grasses at the show in the Great Pavilion, taking the place of the spring plants that would usually have adorned the area. The new autumn date ensured they were at their peak and looking their best.

Great for both borders and containers, grasses such as carex, pampas, stipa and festuca offering visual interest and stunning colour late into the year.

Autumn Colour

Foliage in autumn colours also featured at the show last week. The RHS Plant of the Year was the Cercis canadensis ‘Eternal Flame’®, a stunning tree with burnt orange foliage, synonymous with the season.

Colours such as gold and burgundy were popular ranging from acers to alstroemeria, euonymus with leaves that turn the brightest of reds, to the echinacea with its blaze of golden yellows and fiery tones.

Whilst many plants begin to fade, this doesn’t mean your garden is finished until spring and you can still enjoy injections of colour as we reach the end of the year.


New for 2021 was the Chelsea Houseplant Studio which positions plants as an integral feature of the home. Each exhibit showcased a different theme including a plant pharmacy, tropical bathrooms to autumnal houseplants.

The trend for houseplants has taken off as residents with a lack of outside space start to create their gardens indoors. They also tap into the increasingly important ‘wellness’ trend, as they work to purify the air that we breath, reduce stress and improve our mental wellbeing.

Popular plants at the show and in the home include pilea peperomioides, monstera deliciosa, , philodendron, aglaonema, orchids and air plants.

Our new range of indoor planters provide a contemporary look to your interior, with our Terra pots available in four sizes and different colours to compliment all kinds of houseplants.

Our Margot planters are a collection of modern, indoor pots that will a touch of style to your home. Available in a grey or taupe, these indoor planters will look at home in neutral, black, or white interiors and their simple design will let your plants shine.

For more autumnal advice, why not try:

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