By Kim Kerr-Dearsley
Undeniably one of the world’s leading flower shows, the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show – which runs from May 23rd to 27th and is one of the top things to do in London – once again promises to be London’s garden event (if not the city’s social event) of the year. Taking place in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea where it’s been held almost continuously since 1913, this year’s event once again promises to impress visitors with an astounding array of horticultural talent from some 500 exhibitors gathered to showcase their creativity and design ideas.
The stars of the show are of course the spectacular gardens themselves, superb examples of horticultural excellence and innovation in landscape design, materials and methods. Traditional gardening techniques and craftsmanship are also acknowledged in the delightful Artisan Gardens, a collection of smaller gardens that add a contemporary twist to classic gardening techniques.
As always, the show’s crowning glory is the magnificent Great Pavilion, home to over 100 nurseries along with the Discovery Zone which features the latest technological advances in horticulture. Shoppes are never disappointed, either, thanks to the many exhibitors selling the latest in garden accessories and products.
Other highlights of this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show include:
- Nigel Dunnett, creator of London Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s wildflower meadow, demonstrates the many benefits of including plants in small areas, along with the importance of developing communal gardens.
- Gary Breeze’s amazing garden featuring a replica of the 800-year-old boat discovered recently in the Norfolk Broads.
- Ishihara Kazuyuki’s ‘Gosho No Niwa’, a garden inspired by Japan’s Kyoto emperors
- Jack Dunckley’s amazing ‘Bermuda Triangle’ resembling an active volcano surrounded by tropical plants.
- Laurie Chetwood and Patrick Collins are showing their ‘Chengdu Silk Road Garden’, a combination of stunning architecture and plants in a conceptual East-West landscape complete with a bridge linking its different sections.