The Chelsea Flower Show is, quite simply, the most prestigious flower show in the world. Showcasing the very best designers, florists and growers, it’s an awe-inspiring, wholly immersive display of blooms and fragrances that also provides all the tips you’ll ever need to ensure your own garden meets its full potential. Open to everyone, this remains one of London’s great annual events, and in 2023 the theme is the restorative power of gardens and gardening.
Held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the festival runs from May 22nd to May 27th, and whilst attending you’ll be able to identify emerging gardening trends, learn about rare forms of botany, whilst browsing the cutting-edge horticultural products and rare sculptures on offer. However, the main draw is, as always, strolling through the breathtaking displays, resplendent in all their glory.
Covering eleven acres, the centerpiece is the Great Pavilion, generally considered to be the Crown Jewel of the show. Here, more than eighty exhibitors present the absolute pinnacle in both design and presentation, in what can only be described as a feast for the senses. Not only that, this is the arena where visitors can buy an extensive range of rare and exotic plants and have them transported back to their vehicles via rickshaw. Each year the atmosphere is inclusive, active and a lot of fun!
This year’s exhibition includes designs inspired by the importance of rewilding, spaces that welcome wheelchair users, and others that highlight the health benefits of growing your own food. It’s hugely positive and proactive, and the main focus overall is on how spending time in your garden not only benefits the environment, it’s also good for both your physical and mental well-being.
It’s also worth noting that, whether you're a gardener or not, this is just a great day out. There’s music on the bandstand, amazing shopping and for those seeking an outstanding dining experience, there’s a range of breakfast, brunch and afternoon tea available in established eateries like The Ranelagh, The Drawing Room and the Spring Garden at Chelsea.
It takes almost one hundred judges and mediators to evaluate all that’s on show, but none of this would mean anything without those who come to visit, spend time and drink in the atmosphere. They’re the ones who make the Chelsea Flower Show what it is today, and, as ever, this year promises to be another vibrant, community-led celebration. As we head into summer, what could be more joyous than that?