Wandering: The Chelsea Flower Show

show garden

A visit to The Chelsea Flower Show with over 500 exhibitors, from the large show gardens to the smaller displays and vendors booths, is difficult to condense into a blog post or two!

From the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) website to help explain:

The Chelsea Flower Show has been held in the grounds of the Chelsea Hospital, London every year since 1913, apart from gaps during the two World Wars. It used to be Britain’s largest flower show (it has now been overtaken by RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show), but is still the most prestigious.

The Chelsea Hospital seen from the show grounds.

Chelsea Hospital

The Queen visits every year before the show is open to the public if that gives you an idea of the influence of Chelsea.  We have wanted to go the last few years, but did not think about it soon enough before the show sells out, as it does each time.  This year I remembered and ordered our tickets in February.

rose garden

As first time visitors our strategy was to arrive early and try to see the show gardens and the outside displays before it got too busy.  We saved the Grand Pavilion, which was undercover for the afternoon when rain was predicted.  This is what the grounds looked like when we arrived just after opening.


This is what it looked like about 4 hours later.  We didn’t quite make it did we?


If you are not one to fight the crowds the BBC provides in depth coverage of the show throughout the week.

bbc coverage

The garden below was the winner of The People’s Choice, Best Show Garden.  It’s called Hope on the Horizon, a contemplative space that represents the process which injured servicemen and women go through on the road to recovery.  Designed to support Hope for Heroes.

people's choice

From the Moors to the Sea was Mr. H’s favourite garden.  Designed to celebrate both 50 years of Britain in Bloom and Alan Titchmarsh’s 50 years in horticulture.

jt 2

In the Artisan Gardens the Topiarist Garden was designed with a personal space for a head gardener at a manor house in mind.

gardeners cottage

The Massachusetts Garden was influenced by the Cape Cod landscape.

beach garden

The Mind’s Eye was the People’s Choice winner of the best Fresh Garden.  The garden is designed to simulate the mind’s eye through a series of contrasting sensory experiences.


Is it any surprise that this Artisan Garden was sponsored by Viking Cruises?

viking garden

There were a variety of places for refreshments around the grounds.


A place to rest and recharge while listening to the music at the bandstand.  (actually loved it, they were playing show tunes.)


The British know their gardening and are very passionate about it, which I find impressive and overwhelming, their depth of knowledge.  But Hello!  The Midwest represents too!

john deere

Hope you enjoyed this little recap wandering the flower show.  Next post I will take you inside the Grand Pavilion.  If you would like to subscribe to Hope and Wander by email there is a little Follow Button in the right hand corner and that will get you started.  Thanks for reading.

Categories: England, Gardens, London
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