An established feature of the British summer social season, this year the greatest flower show on earth has gone digital.
As temperatures rise and the message remains to stay at home, our gardens, balconies and allotments have become sanctuaries. Reminded of the importance of access to nature, many of us are seeking inspiration for our own plots, and what better encouragement than RHS Chelsea Flower Show?
From unfailingly spectacular artisan gardens, to vaulted halls brimming with the latest David Austin Roses, fragrant hyacinths and rare sculptural bonsai, it’s no wonder the show is a firm favourite in the calendars of both garden devotees and A-listers.
From Gwyneth Paltrow and Sir Michael Caine CBE, to Naomi Harris and Zara Tindall MBE, opening day has long attracted a stylish crowd. This year HRH The Queen sent a message of support to gardeners involved in the “unique” event, sharing that her grandmother Queen Mary, who first visited the show in 1916, would be delighted that gardening is still such a popular past time.
For 2020 from 18th-23rd May, enthusiasts and amateurs will be able to experience the show via the RHS website. Featuring behind-the-scenes videos and online tours of celebrity gardens, each day will explore a theme, such as the health and wellbeing benefits of plants and making the most of small spaces.
The BBC will keep up their usual coverage with The Best of RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Presented by Sophie Raworth, familiar faces such as Monty Don and Mary Berry will share the latest garden trends, as well as revisiting the highlights of the last ten years of the show. 8pm on BBC2, or via iplayer.
So, after a hard day weeding, why not run a herb-filled bath and throw some Pimms and mint over ice, before pulling on your favourite floral dress, to tune in some tips. We know, it’s not the same. But, like the regal Chelsea Pensioners who give up their grounds each year, us hardy Brits will be sure make the best of it: For as every amateur gardener knows, there is always next year.
This year’s virtual RHS Chelsea Flower Show will be held online from Monday May 18 until Saturday May 23. Click here to visit the RHS website.