Nothing marks the arrival of summer quite like the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, but this year it’s format will be a little different as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic…
Lead image: RHS /Luke MacGregor
For the first time ever, the show will be taking place online from 18 to 23 May, and it promises a packed schedule of virtual tours, celebrity talks and expert advice.
Not even the RHS Chelsea Flower Show could escape the impact of Covid-19, with the pandemic forcing the cancellation of this much-loved annual event for the first time since the Second World War.
But as the saying goes, ‘the show must go on’, and next week the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is doing just that – except it will be taking place online instead.
‘We felt it was important for us to continue to provide gardening inspiration to help fill the gap left in the calendar by the cancelled show,’ explains Katherine Potsides, Head of Shows Development at the RHS.
’It has become clear how many people feel they need gardening in their life right now, for both their mental and physical wellbeing’
’It has become clear how many people feel they need gardening in their life right now, for both their mental and physical wellbeing.’
Visitors to Virtual Chelsea can expect an action-packed schedule of events, including everything from garden tours from the industry’s top designers, florists, famous faces and personalities to behind-the-scenes peeks inside some of the country’s leading nurseries.
‘There will be lots of advice and insight into how the experts grow and care for their plants with daily demonstrations that we hope will encourage everyone to get involved, plus interactive Q&A sessions with RHS advisors and special guests,’ adds Katherine.
For the little ones, there will be a daily School Gardening Club complete with family friendly activities.
Highlights of the 2020 Virtual
RHS Chelsea Flower Show
- Daily videos from well-known gardening presenters and experts
- Interactive lunchtime Q&A sessions with RHS Advisors and special guests
- Behind-the-scenes tours from award-winning nurseries
- The chance to vote for your favourite plants, products and gardens
- A daily School Gardening Club with family activities
- The My Chelsea Garden competition that anyone can enter
Don’t miss out on the chance to cast your vote for the RHS Chelsea Plant of the Decade, the RHS Chelsea Product of the Year and the BBC/RHS People’s Choice Garden of the Decade, or become a competitor yourself and enter the My Chelsea Garden initiative.
This is being run by the RHS alongside BBC’s The One Show, and it aims to encourage amateur gardeners to share images of their green spaces, however big or small.
Categories include Back Garden, Front Garden, Indoor Garden (including house plants, window sills and balconies) and Kids’ Corner Garden – you’ll just need to submit a photo, accompanied by a maximum of 250 words about how your garden is helping you at this moment in time.
‘I can’t wait to hear how growing and planting has been helping people get through this extraordinary time’
‘I can’t wait to hear how growing and planting has been helping people get through this extraordinary time and am excited to see the results of everyone’s creative efforts,’ says The One Show’s Alex Jones.
The competition opened at the start of the month, and it doesn’t close until 18 May, so you still have time to enter – simply visit bbc.co.uk/theoneshow to find out how.
‘We’re proud we’ve been able to come together to offer support and connect our communities and visitors despite the challenges,’ reflects Katherine, ‘and of course we are hugely grateful to everyone involved for all their contributions and ideas.’
Monday 18 May is Members Day, so members will have access to exclusive content, but the rest of the week is open to anyone and everyone. Head to rhs.org.uk/Chelsea to experience the joys of this world-famous event from your sofa
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