Chelsea Flower Show has been hosted in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea – a majestic retirement home for veterans of the British Army with Grade II listed grounds – since 1912. One of the most famous years for the show was in 1937, when King George VI and Queen Elizabeth celebrated their Coronation Year. As a result, the Chelsea Flower Show staged an Empire Exhibition, with plants and trees brought in from as far afield as Australia and East Africa. Chelsea Flower Show has become synonymous with royalty, as the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 led to another celebratory Chelsea Flower Show, and most members of the royal family attended.
Nowadays, the show is as popular as it ever was. As well as members of the royal family making regular appearances every year, the show is also attended by more than 150,000 people from across the world annually. It’s widely believed even more people would attend if they could, but the limited number of tickets are in high demand and must be bought in advance. Various awards are presented to exhibitors at the show every year, ranging from floral arrangement trophies to Best Show Garden awards. Award-winners continue to enjoy even more success in their careers, thanks to the prestige associated with the Chelsea Flower Show.
In 2019, the Chelsea Flower Show is on from 21 to 25 May. Here are just some of the highlights at this year’s show…
- Designer Andy Sturgeon has created a garden inspired by rock formations on an Australian beach
- Mark Gregory has designed a Show Garden called ‘Welcome to Yorkshire’, which incorporates a towpath running alongside an idyllic canal
- ‘The Resilience Garden’ by Sarah Eberle tackles issues relating to forests and climate change
- An eating experience called ‘Jardin Blanc’ has been created by the award-winning chef, Raymond Blanc OBE
- HRH The Duchess of Cambridge has co-designed ‘The RHS Back to Nature Garden’, and the designs for this will be available to see at this year’s show
- Industrial designer Tom Dixon has partnered with IKEA to create a walk-through garden in the show’s Great Pavilion
- ‘The Artisan Garden’ – sponsored by The Donkey Sanctuary – has been created for this year’s show, where donkeys in a garden will demonstrate how they help underprivileged communities across the world gain access to clean water
- Japanese designers Kazuto Kashiwakura and Miki Sato have created the ‘Kampo no Niha’ garden to showcase how health and happiness can be achieved through plants
- ‘The Chelsea Late’ is perfect for those who want to stay on for a while after hours, soaking up live jazz and botanically-inspired cocktails surrounded by the world’s best garden designs.
Chelsea Flower Show is on from Tuesday 21 May to Saturday 25 May 2019. On Tuesday to Friday, the show is open from 8:00 to 20:00 and on Saturday, the show is open from 8:00 to 17:30. Tickets are available from the Chelsea Flower Show website.