The Greatest Show On Earth – Chelsea!

Chelsea flower show has been held every year since 1913 except for gaps during the wars and of course Covid times and is lauded as the greatest show on earth! A hell of a claim!

Its controversial, seen as being elitist at times, there is always a row over the ticket prices, how sustainable it is and how accessible it is but all that aside its, and perhaps because of it, it remains the top level event in the horticultural world.

To exhibit at Chelsea, to win a medal is literally the pinnacle of peoples careers and I say that as someone who has been involved with a team that did 3 times. I will always be immensly proud of what we achieved.

So what can we expect from this years Chelsea?

Previous gardens at Chelsea

This year’s show will take place from May 23 to 27, and it is sure to be a feast for the eyes. This year its being sponsored by The Newt, an inspiring garden in its own right, will that make a difference to the feel of the show?

One thing I noticed that sounds interesting is the rise of houseplants, which have their own section in the Houseplant Studio, I cant wait to see that!

There also seems to be a greater amount of show gardens, not just the main avenue and artisan but also they seem to be targeting a wider audience. Maybe they are finally throwing off their elitist image with the inclusion of Container Gardens and Balcony Gardens.

Or perhaps they’ve just renamed the Artisan Gardens and called them Sanctuary Gardens?

Previous Gardens at Chelsea

For me one of the highlights of the show has always been the Great Pavilion, which features leading growers and nurseries.

There will be new plants unveiled by their growers for Chelsea too, including Clematis and sweet peas.

This year’s Great Pavilion gardens include a number of innovative and sustainable designs, as well as gardens inspired by different cultures and countries.

In addition to the Great Pavilion, there are a number of other areas to explore at Chelsea Flower Show.

Food and drink, shopping and education are all part of your updated Chelsea experience and it really does feel like the RHS are trying to change the perception of the show with wheelchair accessible gardens, children friendly exhibits and lots more interaction with its visitors.

There is also a large number of trade stands, where visitors can learn about the latest gardening products and services.

Chelsea Flower Show is a great opportunity to see the latest trends in gardening and to get inspired for your own garden. It is also a great place to meet other gardening enthusiasts and to learn from the experts. If you are interested in gardening, then Chelsea Flower Show is definitely a must-visit event.

Here are some of the things you can expect to see at Chelsea Flower Show 2023:

  • A wide variety of gardens, from small courtyard gardens to large country gardens
  • Innovative and sustainable design
  • Gardens inspired by different cultures and countries
  • A large number of plants from all over the world
  • The latest gardening products and services
  • The chance to meet other gardening enthusiasts and to learn from the experts

If you are planning to attend Chelsea Flower Show 2023, here are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Tickets are sold in advance, so be sure to purchase yours early.
  • The show is very popular, it WILL be crowded, if you have a backpack or a trolley please be mindful of other visitors and don’t hit them in the face/trip them up.
  • There is a lot to see and do, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring a water bottle, I tend to bring nuts, sweets too as you will need snacks.
  • The show is open from 10am to 6pm each day.

Chelsea Flower Show is a great day out for anyone who loves gardening. With so much to see and do, it is sure to be a memorable experience.

Finally, I’d like to take my annual opportunity to show you all one of the proudest moments of my career! Working with Ryton Organic Gardens I grew and arranged the planting for the Alitex stand (we also won a Silver Gilt for Ryton that year!) The year was 2005 and it’s mad to think how long ago that was now!

If you’re planning on visiting this year I would love to hear your thoughts on the RHS’s efforts to make it more accessible to all!

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