Blooming marvellous: why you must visit Chelsea Flower Show 2018

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There may not be a ‘garden bridge’ coming to London and spanning the River Thames any time soon (a controversial proposal for such an entity was recently nixed by the city’s present mayor on the grounds of cost), but as it does every year, a plethora of fabulous fauna will be filling the showgrounds of Chelsea’s Ranelagh Gardens in late May (Tuesday 22nd May-Saturday 26th May, to be precise).

In fact, the Chelsea Flower Show (described by one reviewer and satisfied punter as a “a mixture between a floristry exhibition and a trade show, with stores selling their wares … it’s a lovely London tradition and definitely worth booking a day off work to explore”) – has been a highlight of the London outdoor-event and social calendar for almost an entire century now – a perfect day out for those staying at one of the 5 stars hotels in Knightsbridge like the hotel San Domenico House or somewhere else entirely. And this year’s occasion looks just as likely to live up to its esteemed billing as all those that have preceded it, not least due to its thoughtful, eco-friendly and socially-conscious-themed highlights. A garden festival fit for the 21st Century – and no mistake.

A blend of the old and the new

No longer in the year 2018 an event just to check out thousands of colourful flowers blooming in the springtime and somewhere to be seen out and about in the capital, the festival will be offering up a thought-provoking ‘Space to Grow’ garden exhibit, as well as a sure-to-be-exotic and imaginative ‘Mediterranean Haven’ show garden.

Meanwhile, a traditional (albeit unique) London event it may be, but at this year’s festival you’ll have to check out ‘The Lemon Tree Trust Garden’, which was inspired by individuals throughout the world who’ve experienced displacement and forced migration in recent years, and an ‘Eco-City Garden’ that’s sure to engage the senses as it reminds us we need not look on the world’s future quite so cynically and with despair. And, maybe best of all for the revellers among all the visitors, the venue’s set to stay open late on Friday 22nd May for a night of live music and entertainment; you can’t say fairer than that, surely?

Chelsea Flower Show

Fantastic facts

And to finish, here are some more top floral facts to turn you on to the Chelsea Flower Show 2018:

• 800 people spend 33 days, working on a space of almost three acres, to get the show ready for the punters every year; the pavilions located on the site are actually big enough to house 500 buses. Yes, really!

• In addition to its ‘health and wellbeing’ theme, this year’s show will be specifically celebrating HM The Queen’s 90th birthday; among the tributes will be cladding on the Royal Chelsea Hospital’s Thameside Gate with British blooms

• Lovers of champers are most certainly welcome – 10,823 glasses of the fizzy stuff were quoffed by visitors in 2015. Again; yes, really.

• And, finally, if you’re a garden gnome, your name most certainly wasn’t on the list until relatively recently; the ban on the jolly pottery chaps from featuring in gardens was only overturned five years ago.

Address:

Royal Hospital Road
Chelsea
London SW3 4SR

Nearest Tube stations:

Sloan Square (Circle, District and Piccadilly lines) and South Kensington (Circle and District lines)

For more information:
https://www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/rhs-chelsea-flower-show

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