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Virtual Chelsea BBC TV programmes

Monty Don and Joe Swift. Picture; BBC/Glenn Dearing
Monty Don and Joe Swift. Picture; BBC/Glenn Dearing

Chelsea Flower Show’s cancelled but Virtual Chelsea and BBC fill the void – when the programmes are on

It’s all change for Chelsea this year – apart from the programme schedule, which is, as usual, all over the place! Here’s when the shows are first aired and repeated if you’re not into using the iPlayer…

Best of Chelsea season – 7 shows

Sophie Raworth, Monty Don and Joe Swift present a week of programmes celebrating the best of Chelsea.


BBC One, Sunday, May 17, 5.50pm, repeated BBC Two, Saturday, May 30, 1.20am.

Sophie and Joe broadcast from their own back gardens, looking back over the last 10 years, featuring the gardens that have won the Best Show Garden. With Mary Berry, Arit Anderson, Rachel De Thame, Toby Buckland and Adam Frost. The BBC RHS People’s Choice of the Decade vote is launched, where the public get to vote on their favourite People’s Choice-winning garden.

Keen gardener and RHS Chelsea veteran Joanna Lumley. Picture; David Austin Roses
Keen gardener and RHS Chelsea veteran Joanna Lumley. Picture; David Austin Roses

Best of British

BBC Two, Monday, May 18, 8pm.

Monty and Joe broadcast from their own gardens, celebrating the best of British. Mary Berry and Joanna Lumley join the team to talk about what makes this beloved flower show a quintessentially British affair.

Around the World

BBC Two, Tuesday, May 19, 8pm.

Monty and Joe are joined by Carol Klein, Adam Frost and the team to meet the international fleet of designers and plantspeople who travel thousands of miles to bring fresh ideas and fabulous floral creations to the show each year.

Carol Klein. Picture; BBC/Glenn Dearing/Geffrye Museum
Carol Klein. Picture; BBC/Glenn Dearing/Geffrye Museum

Trailblazers and Trendsetters

BBC Two, Wednesday, May 20, 8pm.

Monty and Joe look at the latest ideas in garden design and the newest must-have plants. Joined by Carol Klein, Adam Frost and the team, they see how technology has influenced our gardening habits and meet new talent. Fashion designer Paul Smith relives the designs that challenge our notions of what gardens can be.

A Better World

BBC Two, Thursday, May 21, 8pm.

Monty and Joe celebrate the positive power of plants. At the heart of Chelsea is a reminder that gardening is good for your physical and mental health. Special guests Ellie Harrison and Fergal Keane talk about the importance of gardens to wildlife and wellbeing.

Legends and Legacies

BBC Two, Friday, May 22, 8pm.

The team looks at the legends and legacies that have made the Chelsea Flower Show the greatest event in the horticultural calendar, talking to designers and plantsmen and women that have broken records, won global recognition and inspired generations of gardeners.

Chris Bavin hosts the Britain in Bloom series. Picture; BBC/Electric Ray
Chris Bavin. Picture; BBC/Electric Ray

People’s Choice, Best Of

BBC One, Sunday, May 24, 5.50pm.

Carol looks at plants with royal aspirations and how the royal family has been involved with the Chelsea Flower Show over the years. Chris Bavin discovers the people’s favourite plants in the Great Pavilion, and find out how tapping into the nation’s love of animals has helped designers scoop the Small Garden People’s Choice Awards. Sophie and Joe reveal the garden and designer who has won the BBC/RHS People’s Choice Garden of the Decade.

Making the Most Of… programme schedule

Nicki Chapman and the team look at a different aspect of gardening every day to help you make the most of what you’ve got.

Making the Most of Colour

BBC One, Monday, May 18, 3.45pm, repeated BBC Two, Tuesday, May 19, 7.15am.

Nicki looks at some of the brightest classic flowers and finds out how to make them look their best. Experts will delve into best of Chelsea’s gardens and give us a sneak peek into their own gardens. Experts create a modern hanging basket and a vibrant flower arrangement.

Nicki Chapman. Picture; BBC

Making the Most of Space

BBC One, Tuesday, May 19, 3.45pm, repeated BBC Two, Wednesday, May 20, 7.15am.

The team showcase some of the most beautiful big plants and reveal why big is beautiful in a small garden. There is advice on creating stunning floral displays with just a few plants, and pretty ideas for floral arrangements and small containers with big ideas.

Making the Most of Nature

BBC One, Wednesday, May 20, 3.45pm, repeated BBC Two, Thursday, May 21, 7.15am.

Highlighting the best ideas for supporting wildlife in your garden with the best flowers to attract pollinators. There are ideas for water features and beautiful plants to grow in them. Experts uncover the building blocks of the naturalistic planting look and they show how to create environmentally friendly floral displays.

Making the Most of Your Budget

BBC One, Thursday, May 21, 3.45pm, repeated BBC Two, Friday, May 22, 7.15am.

Looking back at medal-winning gardens to find inexpensive landscaping tips. The team shares ideas for packing borders and containers and arranging flowers without breaking the bank.

Making the Most of Your Time

BBC One, Friday, May 22, 3.45pm, repeated BBC Two, Monday, May 25, 6.45am.

Revealing beautiful flowers that are easy to grow and plants that need virtually no attention. There are ideas for low-maintenance lawns and border planting that takes very little effort.

For more information, visit www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007lyhs.

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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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