London in bloom!
It’s that wonderful time of your year again where mother nature has cranked it up a couple of gears and everywhere you look is prettier than the last. Freshly cut grass fills the air and the smell of flowers stops you in your tracks. This can only mean one thing… Chelsea Flower Show is here!
Chelsea Flower Show aka Mecca to all flower lovers. And guess what? We’re going to be there this year!
So why is Chelsea Flower Show such a big deal to budding horticulturists?
For gardeners and garden designers, Chelsea has several attractions. First and foremost, it is an absolute spectacle! Here the finest, most inspirational designers flaunt their knowledge and verve. The most extravagant, the most beautiful gardens are on view at Chelsea rather than the Hampton Court or the RHS Cardiff shows. Green-fingered suburbanites can marvel, and return to their gardens filled with excitement and wonderment. As well as providing ideas, the show offers practical help. One hundred and six exhibitors sell everything from seeds to sit-on lawnmowers. It really is the show of all shows!
Fun facts about the Chelsea Flower Show:
The first ever Chelsea flower show was in 1862 and was originally called the Royal Horticultural Society’s Great Spring Show… Boy, what a mouthful!
It started out as a single tent and made a whopping profit of £88. It wasn’t until 1913 that it moved to its current turf in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
In 1932 the rain at the Show was so severe that a summer house display fell to pieces. Sounds more like the Chelsea Flower Flow!
In the 1950s, the Duke of Windsor – formerly King Edward VIII, was taken with a fashionable rockery and had the whole exhibit relocated to his private estate. He was so enthused that he even helped to move it himself.
The Great Pavilion is roughly 11,775 square metres or 2.90 acres, enough room to park 500 London buses.
Of the firms that exhibited at the first Show in 1913, three can still be seen at the Show today: McBean’s Orchids, Blackmore & Langdon and Kelways Plants.
Despite the First World War, the show still went ahead between 1914 and 1916. It was however cancelled during the Second World War because the War Office needed the land for an anti-aircraft site. Many people were unsure whether the show would be resumed, but it eventually returned in 1947.
One of the most controversial gardens in the show’s history was Paul Cooper’s ‘Cool and Sexy’ garden in 1994, which featured a grille which blew jets of air up the skirts of unsuspecting women. Good luck trying to do that in 2019, Paul!
Each year the show welcomes 157,000 visitors over the five days.
Have you got your ticket? What green-fingered questions have you got lined up to ask? I can’t wait to have a look at all the incredible creations. It’s the best inspiration for my boxes!
If you’d like to turn your home into the best flowery spot, why not sign up and have some Freddie’s Flowers delivered to your place? It’s only £24 a pop and I think you’ll be quite delighted.