Home Horticultural shows Virtual RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2020

Virtual RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2020

Green Switch by Kazuyuki Ishihara. Picture; RHS/Tim Sandall
Green Switch by Kazuyuki Ishihara. RHS Chelsea 2019. Picture; RHS/Tim Sandall

The show goes on(line), May 18-23…

Despite the challenges faces by COVID-19, this year’s Chelsea Flower Show will go ahead in virtual form online, the RHS has confirmed.

Throughout the week, the RHS website will play host to an online platform sharing free content from the gardening world, with Monday, May 18 being Members’ Day and showcasing exclusive content for RHS members only.

Each morning, a leading designer, florist or gardening personality will give a tour of their own garden as they share design tips, planting combinations and trends with virtual visitors.

A daily School Gardening Club for homeschoolers will provide a wealth of activities for families to get together, play, dig, grow plants and connect with nature.

National Chrysanthemum Society New Design Award winner. Picture; RHS/Luke MacGregor
National Chrysanthemum Society New Design Award winner, 2019 Picture; RHS/Luke MacGregor

Behind-the-scenes tours

You’ll get an insight into how some of the world’s best quality plants are grown, as the UK’s top growers take visitors on behind-the-scenes tours of their award-winning nurseries.

Monday 18 May – RHS Members Day: The online show will be officially opened by RHS President Sir Nicholas Bacon and RHS Vice President Alan Titchmarsh.

Join Monty Don on his morning routine, giving visitors a glimpse into unseen parts of Longmeadow as he heads out before breakfast to feed his chickens.

Clematis specialist Raymond Evison will take visitors behind the scenes of his award-winning Guernsey nursery, whilst perennial plant specialist Rosy Hardy of Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants will host a potting bench demonstration.

Medwyn and Gwenda Williams with their gold medal. Picture; Cartwright Communications
Medwyn and Gwenda Williams with their gold medal. Picture; Cartwright Communications

Tuesday 19 May – Perfect Plants: Sarah Eberle, the most decorated female designer in Chelsea history will welcome visitors into her naturalistic, woodland garden.

Co-designer of this year’s M&G Garden, Charlotte Harris will take viewers on a tour of some of London’s parks, highlighting the value of inner-city green spaces and the best performing plants for urban gardens.

Indoor garden specialist Ian Drummond and gladioli grower Rob Evans from Pheasant Acre Plants will be leading the Potting Bench Tutorial.

Meet the team at David Austin Roses who have been bringing their award-winning roses to the show for 37 years.

Wednesday 20 May – Health & Wellbeing: BBC presenter and multi-gold medal-winning designer Adam Frost will explain how he gardens with plant health in mind in his Lincolnshire garden.

Designer Kazuyuki Ishihara will provide an insight into his own exquisite garden at home in Japan.

Celebrated florist Nikki Tibbles and Founder of Wild at Heart will be showing how to create a seasonal bouquet and Todd’s Botanics will be sharing everything you need to know to grow your own show-worthy irises.

Sedum Atlantis. Picture; Suttons
Sedum Atlantis 2019’s Plant of the Year. Picture; Suttons

Thursday 21 May – Grow Your Own: Sarah Raven will take visitors on a tour of her garden at Perch Hill in East Sussex to showcase what’s ready for cutting in the garden now.

The Chelsea Pensioners will be showing how they have been busy on their allotment during lockdown.

Florist Larry Walshe will demonstrate how to use flowers and foliage from the garden to create a table setting whilst vegetable grower Medwyn Williams shares his tips on how to grow amazing veg at home.

Friday 22 May – Wildlife & Environment: Tom Massey, inspired by his design for The Yeo Valley Garden intended for this year’s show will be demonstrating how to create an organic, wildlife haven on a smaller scale, whilst designer Ann-Marie Powell will be in her Hampshire garden.

Sienna Hosta will be giving a tour of the show-stopping plants grown for this year’s show.

Newlands Nursery will lead the Potting Bench demonstrations showing how to get the best from chilli plants to ensure a constant supply.

Saturday 23 May – Small Space Gardening: Last year’s Chelsea Best in Show gold medal-winning designer Andy Sturgeon will be giving a tour of his own courtyard garden.

The UK’s oldest orchid nursery, McBean’s Orchids have amassed more than 70 Chelsea gold medals and you can have a look around.

Andy’s Air Plants and London-based interior planting duo RoCo will show how to propagate plants to help transform your indoor space.

Jo Swift and Sophie Raworth. Picture; BBC/Glenn Dearin
Jo Swift and Sophie Raworth. Picture; BBC/Glenn Dearin

Vote for your favourites

You can cast your vote on 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.

There is TV coverage on the BBC with presenters including Sophie Raworth, Joe Swift, Nicki Chapman and Monty Don.

Sue Biggs, RHS Director-General, said: “We’re lucky to live in a digital age where we’re able to bring aspects of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show online so we can continue to share the world’s best in horticulture and bring garden design inspiration, breath-taking displays and horticultural knowledge for the nation to enjoy during this difficult time.

“I’m also delighted that despite such challenging circumstances the BBC is producing a special series of programmes celebrating the World’s Greatest Flower Show which will air throughout ‘Virtual’ Show week on BBC One and Two.”

Visit rhs.org.uk/Chelsea and follow #RHSChelsea on social media for more information.

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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