The World's Most Famous Flower Show Will Be Going Completely Virtual for the First Time This Year
Though the in-person event was canceled, you can learn from award-winning, RHS-acclaimed experts from home this year.
For the first time since it was established in 1913, the most famous garden show in the world, the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show, is going completely virtual. Normally, just over 150,000 people visit the flower show each year (attendance is limited because of the size of the grounds where the show takes place, and you have to buy tickets in advance, usually starting at $50). But this year, because of social distancing guidelines due to the new coronavirus that canceled the usual show, it’s moving completely online. The virtual show kicked off on Monday, May 18, with a day just for RHS members, but the rest of the show, from May 19 through May 23, is free and open to everyone.
Each day, the RHS is posting new videos and articles from the flower show on their website. So far, you can watch gold medal-winning garden designer Sarah Eberle give tips for creating a great summer garden, learn how to arrange and care for houseplants from indoor garden designer Ian Drummond, watch a tour of the David Austin Roses nursery, and more. You can also catch up on some of the videos from Monday, including a welcome to the show from the president of RHS, Sir Nicholas Bacon, and see a tour of 2,500 clematis flowers that were grown for this year’s show.
There’s a lot to learn from the flower show’s articles, too. Christopher Blom of Bloms Bulbs (a farm in the UK that’s been growing flower bulbs since 1860) has tips for gardeners on planting tulips. And Alec White from Primrose Hall Peonies (which won an RHS Chelsea gold medal in 2019 for its peony exhibit) shares expert knowledge on planting and growing beautiful peonies.
There’s a lot more to come in the next few days. On Wednesday, you’ll be able to watch a virtual tour of designer Kazuyuki Ishihara’s Japanese garden, and a Q&A session with Matt Keightley, who designed the Feel-Good Garden at 2018’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Thursday brings more flower tips from cut flower expert Sarah Raven and celebrity florist Larry Walshe, while Friday will feature a tour with designer Ann-Marie Powell in her Hampshire garden. Finally, the virtual show wraps up on Saturday by announcing the winner of the Chelsea Plant of the Decade (which you can vote on!), and advice from 2019’s Best in Show designer Andy Sturgeon on creating a garden in a small space.
There’s plenty of inspiration and instruction planned for each day. And while it’s not quite the same as visiting the famed flower show in person, it’s still a unique opportunity for everyone around the world to learn from award-winning designers and gardeners, and get a taste of the show from home. There are plenty of videos and articles already on the site, with more coming soon, so enjoy soaking up some inspiration for your garden!