This years 2016 Chelsea Flower Show, arguably the finest flower show in the world and certainly the most prestigious, will be a show that is both memorable and very special.
Situated at London’s Royal Hospital Chelsea, SW3 the grounds of which, each year are transformed into show gardens displaying the most beautiful, vibrant and stunning small model gardens and nursery exhibits. Under the guidance of The Royal Horticultural Society, the show has become an important venue for the development of emerging garden trends wherein new plants are launched and older favourite varieties revived.
Over 157,000 visitors attended last year and due to the limited capacity of this 11 acre venue, tickets must be purchased in advance. It is the flower show most associated with the Royal Family, who attend the opening day every year.
The RHS Great Spring Show was first held in 1862 in the now vanished RHS garden in Kensington. Between the years of 1888 and 1911 it was held in the Temple Gardens, before moving to its current site in 1913. In 1912 The Great Spring Show was cancelled in order to hold The Royal International Horticultural Exhibition at Chelsea Hospital. It was the success of this event that made The RHS move the Great Spring Show to Chelsea.
Of the firms that exhibited at the first show in 1913, only two are still showing: McBean’s Orchids and Blackmore and Langdon
The Great Marquee, which was first erected in 1951, was named in the Guiness Book of Records as the world’s largest tent, spanning a space of 3.5 acres. It was replaced by the current modular structure in 2000. The remains of the old tent were cut up and used to make bags, aprons and jackets
Exhibits of flower arranging have appeared every year since 1948, and by 1956 there were so many as to require a separate tent.
1979 was the first year in which the turnstiles had to be closed in order to prevent overcrowding. Since then a ceiling has been put on the number of tickets sold per day.
During the last week in May this spectacular showground is transformed by leading garden designers to illustrate the possibilities of good gardening and landscaping.
Exhibits worth viewing are the:
- Belmond British Pullman Railway Carriage, forming part of a 600 sq metre planted-up station exhibit in the Great Pavilion.
- The Acoustic Garden, as inspired by World leading percussionists Dame Evelyn Glennie, will play musical notes.
- The RHS Health, Happiness and Horticulture Garden as designed Ann-Marie Powell
- The Modern Apothecary Garden created by newly appointed RHS Ambassador Jekka McVicar for St John’s Hospice.
- The British Eccentrics, sponsored by Harrods, and designed by TV gardener Diarmuid Gavin