The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is “Blooming” Marvellous

The world’s most prestigious and colourful horticultural event is only days away.

Once again, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is set to bedazzle visitors with a vast array of floral displays and innovative gardening ideas.

From Tuesday May 22nd to Saturday May 26th, tens of thousands of people will flock to this part of London to wander amongst the fabulous exhibits, take part in Gardening Question Time and pick up the best tips and products for their own outdoor projects.

There will be 500 exhibitors and landscapes on the 23-acre site, including Show Gardens, Artisan Gardens and Fresh Gardens. The Great Pavilion will house around 300 displays and stands.

So how did the Royal Horticultural Society nurture and grow the Chelsea Flower show, into this globally recognised event?

 Seeds are sown

The origins of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show were a one tent event in 1862, in the organisation’s garden in Kensington. Known as the Great Spring Show, it proved a hit and recorded a £88 profit.

The show became an annual fixture, and in 1913 moved to the grounds of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, to acquire more space.

This much anticipated event for gardeners and horticulturists continued during the First World War. However, it was forced to halt some years later, when The Second World War meant the land was needed as an anti-aircraft site.

The Chelsea Flower Show resumed in 1947 and gradually grew to be the wonderous event it is now.

Floral facts

There are many interesting anecdotes and kernels of information branching off with the Chelsea Flower Show.

One is that “shows of flowers” only started to appear from 1948! Until then it was planted gardens then everyone came to look at.

The focal point of the event is the fabulous Pavilion – large enough to house 500 London buses – which officially opened in 2000. Before that, the show was supported by what was officially recognised in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest tent. Once it became redundant, the tent was recycled in to 7,000 aprons, bags and jackets.

And did you know that gnomes are a “no-go” at the Chelsea Flower Show? Exhibitors have been known to sneak them in and hide them in their foliage.

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