Visit the Chelsea Flower Show – virtually

A visitor in the Great Pavilion at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019. Credit: RHS/Georgi Mabee

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the charity behind the world’s most famous flower show, reveals its plans for the first ever ‘Virtual’ RHS Chelsea Flower Show

The world-famous flower show sees 157,000 visitors every year but has sadly been cancelled for 2020 due to the current crisis – something that has not happened since the Second World War. Following huge disappointment among Chelsea fans, and a renewed interest in gardening as a pastime among the general population, a virtual show is being put together for the week of 18-23 May. “Many feel they need gardening in their life now more than ever for their mental and physical wellbeing during this national emergency”, says RHS director general Sue Biggs. “This applies to everyone, from those who are having to self-isolate to families planning, maybe for the first time, to grow their own food.”

Queen Elizabeth smiles as she views flower displays in the Great Pavillion at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019. Credit: RHS/Luke MacGregor

So what is planned for Virtual Chelsea? Throughout the week of 18-23 May the RHS website will host an online platform. Each morning the show will kick off with a tour from one of the world’s leading garden designers, florists or gardening personalities of their own private gardens as they share their top design tips, favourite planting combinations and gardening trends with virtual visitors.

Only the very best nurseries and growers from across the country are chosen to exhibit at RHS Chelsea. Virtual visitors will get an insight into how some of the world’s best quality plants are grown, as a selection of UK growers take visitors on behind-the-scenes tours of their award-winning nurseries.

Chelsea Pensioners pose during a photocall on the Real Flower Company exhibition designed by florist Jay Archer at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, London Monday May 20, 2019. Credit: RHS/Luke MacGregor

Some will be replicating the spectacular plant displays that were due to fill the Great Pavilion – the jewel in RHS Chelsea’s crown – at home for the world to enjoy. These leading growers will also host daily potting bench demonstrations, sharing their specialist plant expertise, growing techniques, tips and advice on how to keep plants happy and healthy.

View of the Great Pavilion filled with visitors at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019. Credit: RHS/Georgi Mabee

For those looking to expand their gardening knowledge, every lunchtime RHS Advisors will be joined by a special guest for an interactive Q&A. Chelsea enthusiasts will also have a chance to cast their vote on the RHS Chelsea Plant of the Decade and the BBC/RHS People’s Choice Garden of the Decade.

Ducks swim on the water feature in the Dubai Majlis Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019. Credit: RHS/Luke MacGregor

Meanwhile, the BBC is planning a series of programmes celebrating the show. It will air throughout the same week on BBC One and Two.