The world famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show has been held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital in London every year since 1913, with the exception of the war years, and this year I got an opportunity to go for the first time and it blew my mind.
The Chelsea Flower Show is such a quintessentially British event and I have watched coverage of it on TV and read about it in the press over the years. It is really popular and tickets tend to sell out fast and if you do manage to get hold of some they can be pretty pricey and so I feel incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to explore this world-famous festival for the very first time with thanks to the Grenada Tourist Board, Pure Grenada. They kindly invited me along to experience it after hours as well as see their ”A Carnival of Exotic Caribbean Blooms’ Garden, which won a gold medal – their 15th Gold Medal at The Chelsea Flower Show!
In case you were wondering how the various gardens are awarded medals, these are awarded to the Garden’s judged on certain elements on the Sunday and Monday at the start of the exhibition. On the Tuesday morning the medals are distributed to the lucky winners – full coverage is then shown in the evening on television.
There are four grades of medals available Gold, Silver-gilt, Silver and Bronze, these are awarded across the three garden categories Show Gardens, Fresh Gardens and Artisan Gardens.
The medals are decided based on:
- How much like the original plan is the real life gardens?
- How fit for its purpose is the garden that has been created?
- Can the garden be used by inhabitants?
- How well do the plants used mix together?
As I wandered through the grounds to see all the various gardens I could see the different medals awarded to each one.
Favourites from the day were this climate-crisis inspired garden by Baroness Floella Benjamin, which touched on the impacts of single use plastic through its theme.
I also loved this design by Michelle Brown called Miles Stone: The Kingston Maurward Garden, which can be found in the Artisan Gardens section. It won a Silver-gilt medal.
The Manchester Garden had a quirky design where its choice of planting around an undulating white sculpture, pools of water and hexagonal blocks tells how the city is now Britain’s leader in “future-proofing” urban environments through various schemes.
As well as the various gardens, I loved seeing all the different flower and plant varieties on display and never have I felt like I have such little knowledge about plant species as at the Chelsea Flower Show! It gave me lots of inspiration on what to do with my own garden, which was fantastic as we have plans to landscape it and plant lots of different types of flowers over the summer, as well as medicinal plants, such as herbs.
I also adored these test tube plant displays!
How to plan your visit
I would set aside plenty of time to see everything properly as it is overwhelmingly amazing!
The show is open from 8am to 8pm on Tuesday – Friday and then 8am to 5.30pm on Saturday. If you do decide to visit on the Saturday make sure you stick around for the highly anticipated selloff which begins at 4pm, which is a great opportunity to bag yourself a bargain and take home some incredible plants and flowers.
I would recommend wearing comfortable shoes and to dress up according to our wonderful unpredictable British weather – it does get nippy in the evenings so don’t be like me and go in a summer dress with no cardigan! For men a jacket and smart trousers and shoes would be perfect.
There are plenty of ATMs around the showground allowing you to withdraw cash, which do have a small charge. Some vendors only take cash and so if you were planning to buy something maybe bring some cash with you to avoid being charged extra to withdraw it.
There are lots of food and drink options at the show to keep you nourished and hydrated so don’t worry about starving or being thirsty! I did notice a lot of Gin themed bars around so if you like Gin you will love that!
If you do visit the show this year let me know what your favourite(s) were!
Upcoming Travel Plans
I am so delighted to have been invited on a press trip to Grenada at the start of June for their annual Chocolate Fest. The itinerary sounds amazing and celebrates Grenada’s sustainable chocolate making culture. We will explore the island’s rich history, visit organic cocoa plantations nestled in the lush verdant Caribbean rainforest, hear the story of Grenada’s chocolate, make our own chocolate and indulge in delicious chocolate-inspired cuisine and cocoa-infused island life! I am so excited!
A big thank you to the Grenada Tourism Authority for inviting me to the Chelsea Flower Show – it was a fantastic experience and I definitely got lots of inspiration from it. It was wonderful to see all of Grenada’s wonderful plants on display and I certainly can’t wait to see them thriving in Grenada very very soon!
Follow my trip on Instagram from 1st-6th June: https://www.instagram.com/binnysfoodandtravel/
After Grenada I am off to New York so watch this space for lots of new travel content coming your way!