Chelsea Flower Show

April 22nd 2014
By: Melanie Hollidge

If you’re looking for inspiration for your garden, you could take some time to visit the Chelsea Flower Show in May.  The daily television coverage for the duration of the show goes behind the scenes and has exclusive interviews with some of the designers.  With aspirational gardens and traditional plants, the show has something for everyone.
The five day show sees around 160 thousand visitors each year having pre-purchased their tickets.  The first two days are exclusive to RHS members and the show is extensively shown to millions on the BBC.  It has evolved over the years to become more popular and has moved venues from its original home in Chiswick back in the early nineteenth century, to the present location at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea.
Members of the Royal Family attend the show as they are royal patrons of the RHS. Many new plants are often launched at the show and sometimes old varieties can enjoy a revival under the show’s spotlight.  Chelsea is essential viewing for identifying new trends and fashions which become replicated in homes across the country.
Awards are given in a range of categories, and medals are awarded for gold, silver-gilt and silver places, with an award but no medal given for bronze place.  There are five different categories
Flora:  Gardens and floral exhibits
Grenfell:  Exhibits of pictures, photographs, floral arrangements and floristry
Hogg:  Exhibits of trees
Knightian:  Exhibits of vegetables, including herbs
Lindley:  Exhibits of special educational or scientific interest
Recently there have been some inspired and unusual gardens with a garden in 2011 suspended in the sky, designed by Diarmuid Gavin.  One of the most unusual was back in 2009, James May designed a garden made completely of plasticine – and the story was covered in James May’s Toy Stories for BBC2.