RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024 Round Up

East London Parasol Takes Time To Reflect on the Annual Institution

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is the horticultural highlight of the year that often informs and influences much of the design language and creative thinking for outdoor spaces across the next 12 months. Inevitably, in the minutes, hours and days after the show has finished, and sometimes while it’s still going, there is a rush to report on what these themes for the year will be and how they should be applied to gardens across the country. At ELPC, the way we work is a little different. We like to approach things in a more measured, relaxed and calm manner to let the seeds of what we’ve seen from the show take root and grow. Letting the petals settle as we read through our notes allows us to better understand the elements and trends for 2024 and beyond for our team. Our products, and most importantly our customers.

A Sustainability Future is the Only Future to Work Towards

The presence of HRH King Charles III as patron this year was fittingly appropriate for a Chelsea Flower Show that wanted to promote and celebrate sustainability for garden design in an overt and progressive way. The King has long been an advocate for stronger climate change measures, and it was thrilling to see how far we have come in recent years in terms of the sourcing and production of materials. The story and provenance of our luxury garden parasols has always been a key element of all East London Parasol Company products. Our luxury garden parasols are handcrafted by artisan suppliers in Bali, Jaipur and the UK, creating exquisite and beautiful detailing that makes each piece unique. All sandstone bases for our octagonal parasols are lovingly hand carved by seventh generation stone carvers of Rajasthan using local sandstone. The Marigold Base is a wonderful example of their work with a charming, chic and decorative aesthetic that recognises both India’s craft heritage and culture with details inspired by the gorgeous lobed petals of the saffron yellow marigold flower, used to decorate water pools during religious festivals. 

The Colours of Chelsea Shine Brightly

A large part of the planting for the show this year was concerned with bringing together colour clashes and bold ideas. In fact, just stepping out of Sloane Square Tube Station felt like an invitation as a  parade of primary coloured florals guided people to the venue. The Stroke Association’s Garden for Recovery, designed by Miria Harris – a stroke survivor herself, demonstrated how important use of colour can be for our experience and journeys through outdoor spaces. The garden was planted to create a place to aid recovery and stimulate senses, using scent, colour and sound. Visitors were guided around the garden by walkways with the sound of flowing water, with plenty of sheltered places to rest and connect with loved ones. Harris selected a palette of oranges, pinks, yellows, purples and green to bring a sense of calm and to support movement. The planting was done in blocks, using wallflowers, honesty and bronze fennel.  

This colour block theme chimes perfectly with our new  Edmund Green Octagonal Garden Parasol. For this new luxury garden parasol design we used a bold chevron pattern screen printed in British Racing Green with a contrasting subtle primrose yellow lining. The dramatic external print brings energy to the garden, but the yellow interior is soothing and calming, and creates a welcoming haven to sit beneath.


Traditional Pomp, Circumstance & Heritage in Full Bloom

One of the greatest joys of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is in the history and lineage that it represents.  This world famous show takes place in one of London’s most attractive locations and conjures up some quintessentially English notions of how important gardens and outdoor spaces are to us. This year, the traditional Cottage Garden created by Tom Stuart-Smith for the National Garden Scheme seemed to pay tribute to this idea with a fascinating coppiced hazel wonderland with an ‘edge of woodland’ theme underplanted with woodland perennials. The garden centred around a hut where visitors and volunteers could gather for tea and cake and was designed to mark 100 years of opening private gardens to the public to raise funds for charity under the National Garden Scheme. 

Bringing people together for alfresco tea and cake is close to our hearts, and our East London Parasol Co. x Warner House collaboration seeks to tread similar lines - combining heritage prints with luxury garden parasols to create inviting spaces to relax, gather and celebrate. The Elizabeth Citrine Octagonal Parasol features Warner House’s signature Balmoral print, recoloured in a deep yellow. The print is inspired by the Indian Chamba Rumals that were  popular in 17th Century England. The patterned and tasselled canopy is supported by a meticulously crafted frame made from FSC-certified ash wood by carpenters in Hampshire, bringing  traditional craftsmanship and textiles into use in a modern setting. 

Our take-away was the healing power of gardens, and how gardens can bring people together - which is healing in itself.  They’re spaces where you can be creative with colour, zoning and planting to construct places for peace, recuperation and celebration.