Regularly attracting 157,000 visitors each year to the 11-acre ground, Chelsea Flower Show is the most prestigious event of its kind in the UK. The historic horticultural extravaganza was first launched in 1913 at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, where the grounds become a blaze of colour for the four-day show, held every May.
This year’s event, from 22nd to 26th May, has plenty to offer for all the family. Famous landscape gardeners, designers, horticulturalists and nursery owners have provided a selection of the most stunning gardens in the world.
The exhibition gardens include 10 large show gardens on Main Avenue, eight Artisan gardens (where natural, sustainable materials are used) on Serpentine Walk and Ranelagh Gardens, and a new Space to Grow category on Royal Hospital Way, featuring take-home gardening ideas to inspire visitors.
Chelsea Flower Show is one of three major horticultural events in the UK, the others being Harrogate Spring Flower Show and Woburn Abbey Garden Show.
Harrogate show, taking place from 26th to 29th April, is organised by the North of England Horticultural Society and is held at the Great Yorkshire Showground. It features a multitude of spectacular show gardens including the Garden of Eden, the Garden of Life representing St Michael’s Hospice and the Tranquil Yorkshire garden.
Among the highlights is a special display called The Green House, where the garden has taken over the living space to create a unique home. Walls adorned with spring flowers burst into life in the bedroom, while the colourful lounge is created by the Flowers from the Farm group, comprising florists and artisan flower farmers.
Woburn Abbey Garden Show takes place on Sunday 24th June. Set against a backdrop of the historic abbey and within its 42-acre gardens, the ninth annual show promises to be more spectacular than ever. The Plant Village will be filled with offerings from the RHS Gold Medal-winning Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants and other high-quality exhibitors.
Highlights of the Woburn Abbey show include informative talks and practical demonstrations by Gardeners’ World presenter Adam Frost and Royal Horticultural Society ambassador Pippa Greenwood. An array of plants and garden furniture, and a food hall selling food and drink from many specialist suppliers can also be enjoyed at the event.
Chelsea Flower Show highlights
There’s plenty to do at the Chelsea Flower Show this year, from relaxing as you view the gardens to watching the awards presentation. Explore the beautiful exhibits from prominent garden designers, florists, plant specialists and nurseries to get some take-home ideas for your own garden.
Thought-provoking show gardens cover everything from the traditional to the contemporary, such as the LG Eco City Garden designed by Hay-Joung Hwang, exhibiting how to enjoy sustainable city living. The Wedgewood Garden is a modern interpretation of the popular late 18th century secret gardens and tea gardens, where people relaxed as they entertained guests.
Open up your garden
The influence of the Chelsea Flower Show over the past century has been far greater than just changing our gardens. The style and design of the exhibition gardens have given householders new ideas, whether they live in the city or in a country mansion. The Chelsea Flower Show has spurred us into rethinking how we use our living space.
When the show started in 1913, garden features such as the conservatory or orangery were the hallmark of gracious living, where the upper classes would entertain guests, while showing off their exotic plant collection during the summer months. However, in the early 20th century, it would have been too chilly to use such facilities during the winter.
Today, thanks to modern innovations such as bifold doors, householders can enjoy a sense of the great outdoors from the comfort of their own home. The Chelsea Flower Show and other horticultural shows have given us plenty of ideas on how to make the most of our garden – and now bifold doors will open up our living space, creating a seamless link between indoors and outdoors.
Providing a flexible space for entertaining, bifold doors can be left wide open in the summer months to create extra light and space – you can also enjoy the feeling of living amongst the plants and trees. Even in winter when the doors are closed to keep in the heat, you can still experience unspoiled views of your garden, thanks to the unique bifold door design.