My 5 reasons why this garden should have won Best in Show:

1) The rehabilitation of orange: There’s a LOT of purple and white at Chelsea every year. They’re people-pleasers. In fact yellow and orange are the first to be shunned, which is why I was so pleased to see this ‘difficult’ orange being celebrated. There’s a real depth and warmth in the brick oranges of Iris ‘Red Zinger’ and Verbascum ‘Petra’ set against the bronze fennel and coppery bark of the cherry. The sprinkled white of Libertia acts as a palette cleanser to stop the dish getting too rich.

2) Tactile treats: Cornus mas, Prunus maackii ‘Amber Beauty’ and London plane all have the most wonderful flaky barks. The fennel and feathery iris are delicately frothy. Both textures are offset cleverly against the finely polished cedar frames.

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3) The catwalk: Swift likes the way his local canal bridges frame the views and draw you along the towpath, and his proscenium arches invite you right down to the seating area at the back. The path, while straight, is at a slight angle – lending a dynamism to the layout. It’s the same size plot as the show gardens either side, but felt deeper and more inviting.

4) Confident charm:  This is a lesson in how to balance the large-scale and bold with the soft and unashamedly pretty. While other gardens’ topiary and pleaching simpered politely, this one fluttered it’s eyelashes and then bought you a pint.

5) It’s a London thing: London plane, London canal bridges, a huge chunk of stone in his local park… he’s a designer who’s used inspiration from what’s around him; in this case his Hackney ‘hood. It proves that looking a bit harder or in a different way can yield creative results.

For a quick garden tour, take a look at the RHS video. And for a better backgrounder to his design approach, check out the BBC mini-feature.

And here’s the full plant list!