England’s Finest Gardens & Chelsea Flower Show 2010
May 25th – June 2nd, 2010

 

May 24th, Pre tour and Press Day at Chelsea The 2010 RHS Chelsea Flower Show will be the 88th show to be held on the grounds of the Royal Hospital and the ‘RHS Chelsea Flower Show’ is the lasting title of an exhibition with a history of over 140 years. The first RHS Flower Show to be held in Chelsea was in 1913. Demand for tickets continues to grow and since visitor numbers have been capped since 1988 (at 157,000) it is necessary to book early. The show was originally called the Royal Horticultural Society's Great Spring Show, first held in 1862, at the RHS garden in Kensington. In 1888 when that garden was closed the RHS found itself without a site in central London at which to hold the show. It was then moved to Temple Gardens near the Embankment, where it was held under canvas until 1911.

In 1912, the Temple Show was cancelled to make way for the Royal International Horticultural Exhibition. Sir Harry Veitch, the great nurseryman, secured the grounds of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, for this one-off event. It proved such a good site for an exhibition that the Great Spring Show was moved there in 1913, where it has taken place almost every year since.

Over almost a century, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show has witnessed numerous changes in horticultural fashion. Show gardens, over the years, have mirrored the changing enthusiasms of garden designers - from the Japanese and topiary gardens of the early days (Japanese dwarf trees, now known as bonsai, were seen at the first Show in 1913), through the rock garden craze during the war years, the paved back yards and cottage gardens of the 1980s, to the contemporary sculptural gardens of the present day.

At the heart of Chelsea is the exhibition of plants staged in the Great Pavilion by nurserymen and women, professionals and amateurs - although the number of amateurs represented today is proportionately much smaller than in the early years. Scientific exhibits, model glasshouses and displays of tools and equipment have remained constant features from the outset.
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is still viewed as the most important event in the horticultural calendar and is as popular as ever. With enormous media attention and exhibitor waiting lists longer than ever, there seems no sign of this appetite abating. The new trends constantly appearing at the show illustrate the changing face of garden design and mark this country’s ever-changing horticultural history. A new professional floristry competition was launched at the show in association with the British Florist Association in 2009.

As a side note, as you can appreciate, I have taken thousands of pictures over the years of the gardens that we are see while on the Chelsea tour or others. I invite you to visit our Pix area on www.icangarden.com and go through the years and the progression of the gardens since 1998 when I first starting doing the Chelsea Flower Show… On www.gardeningtours.com you can also see the comments we have received on our tours. I was again very privileged to be able to attend Press Day at Chelsea. What I love about this day is that crowds are minimal, affording you the opportunity to wander and really see the gardens and displays.

 

  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row