Some years ago I worked for Wells & Winter, a company which sold garden labels, tools, and accessories. Chelsea Flower Show was one of the highlights of our year, and as an exhibitor I was able to get a sneak peek at the show gardens before the queues and crowds began.

Late 1990s minimalism spawned prize-winning installations that seemed to consist of nothing more than an expanse of gravel, a clump of marram grass, and a couple of rusty girders; and I remember reading a newspaper article by one renowned designer in which they said that their aim was “to create year-round interest without having to resort to anything so vulgar as flowers”.

Since then of course, we’ve all become much more aware of the importance of garden flowers to pollinating insects, and regarding them as “vulgar” seems unutterably pretentious, and really rather stupid. But garden design, like everything else, is constantly innovating, and the shock of the new means there’s always at least one garden at Chelsea that generates controversy (maybe that’s deliberate).

May is Chelsea month, so click here to listen to my song – a paean to all the designers who regard their creations as artworks, rather than something most folk would regard as an actual garden: The Chelsea Gold Medal Winning Cutting Edge Garden Designer