Chelsea Flower Show

Published: 30/04/2019 By Allan Fuller

The start of The Season

For about the last 40 years I have regularly attended the Chelsea Flower Show, a cornucopia of floral and fauna delights, naturally I started very young! But did you know...
  • In 1927 there was a campaign to get the RHS to ban foreign exhibits from RHS Chelsea to reduce competition with British firms. The RHS refused saying, ‘horticulture knows nothing of nationality.’
  • In 1932 the rain at the Show was so severe that a summer house display fell to pieces. One very wet year an exhibitor named it ‘The Chelsea Shower Flow’.
  • The Great Pavilion is roughly 11,775 square metres or 2.90 acres, enough room to park 500 London buses.
  • Of the firms that exhibited at the first Show in 1913, three can still be seen at the Show today: McBean’s Orchids, Blackmore & Langdon and Kelways Plants.
Royal Horticulture Society’s Chelsea Flower Show has been held in grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea since 1913 and is a mecca for  flower and garden lovers and it is probably the most famous garden show in the world. Only in 1917, 1918 and during the Second World War was it cancelled.

It is attended by 157,000 visitors each year who shuffle in around the 11-acre site gazing with awe and amazement at the incredible displays. They range from stunning outdoor display gardens, to the marques filled with floral stands where nurseries have fooled non seasonal flowers  to be fully in bloom in May. For budding florists the display of indoor creations show a range of amazing artistry.

Exhibitors compete with extreme rivalry to achieve one of the coveted awards. There are four grades of award presented–gold, silver-gilt, silver and bronze–in each of the dozen different categories.

If you want to attend this year most tickets were sold out a while ago but in case try 
here, or look out for when you can book for next year.