Since 1913, the Chelsea Flower Show has taken place at the latter end of May on the present 11-acre site of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea. Today, over 157,000 visitors flock to the three day event to witness the work of country’s best horticultural creatives, spot botanical trends, and to talk to the people who make our gardens grow.
From exhibitors and show gardens, to nursery stands and horticultural vendors, the annual event fuses time-honoured tradition and cutting edge innovation, all in one gigantic green space. So whether you’re in the market for a lawnmower or you’ve just popped along for the floral themed afternoon tea - there’s a lot to see. That’s why we’ve compiled a hit list of highlights that the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 has to offer, accompanied by a handy Floom-illustrated interactive map...
The Best Breakfast Spot: Daylesford Farmshop & Café
Where better to enjoy pre-flower show breakfast than Daylesford Farmshop & Café? They’ve been serving fresh, seasonal – and sustainably farmed – produce from their Gloucestershire farm’s market garden for over fourty years. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, opt for the buttermilk Scotch pancakes with honey and stewed fruit.
An Exquisite Afternoon Tea: The Drawing room by The Dorchester
For a little afternoon luxury, head to The Drawing Room (located to the north of Ranelagh Gardens) where you can indulge in The Dorchester’s Floral Afternoon Tea, expertly created by head pastry chef David Girard and designer florist Philip Hammond. Together, they are serving a visually stimulating menu of delicate and elegant French pastries to tantalize the taste buds – accompanied by chilled champagne, no less.
3pm–6pm Tuesday to Friday
£65 per person
Somewhere to Relax: RHS Feel Good Garden
When the rich botanical aromas – and the afternoon bubbles – send you dizzy, head to the RHS Feel Good Garden. A collaborative project between the Royal Horticultural Society and the NHS, the therapeutic garden is in place to celebrate the positive impact that green spaces and gardening have on both our mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Gardening Heritage: The Western Garden
If you’re heading to the show in search of horticultural tradition, consider this your hang out spot. In place to celebrate 60 years of the Garfield Weston Foundation, The Western Garden is a romantic space inspired by intimate private gardens – their hidden spaces and secret enclaves divided by textures, topiary art, twists and turns.
Educate Yourself: Eco City-Garden
Designed by Hay-Joung Hwang, the Eco-City Garden is representative of the green space allocated to one housing unit in a ‘vertical forest’ of residential apartments. The space seeks to examine human dependence on technology, environmental mindfulness, the eco-dangers of contemporary lifestyles, and the rising pollution rates in highly populated areas. Everything in this garden has a purpose - while the plants and trees control oxygen generation, humidity, temperature and the reduction of carbon dioxide, the running water is in place to cleverly combat noise pollution.
Raise Awareness: The Pearlfisher Garden
The Pearlfisher Garden is taking us underwater - it’s a garden to celebrate the plants, coral and fish of our great oceans, all designed around a central three-dimensional pearl diver. Of course, coral doesn’t live out of water, so cacti and succulents imitate its intricacies, while suspended Tillandsia replaces algae. The garden has been created in partnership with Plastic Oceans in order to highlight the irrevocable impact of plastic waste on our ecosystems.
Unexpected Inspiration: Lemon Tree Trust Garden
The backstory to the Lemon Tree Trust Garden may not be apparent upon first glance. Inspired by the resilience, determination and ingenuity of refugees living in Domiz camp in Northern Iraq, this garden has been designed to reflect the unexpected beauty found in the camp, with input from those who have lived there. Built using a combination of concrete, steel, Islamic shade screens and everyday found objects, the drought-tolerant plants that feature in the garden include a fragrant mix of fig, lemon and pomegranate trees, and edible herbs.
Pick Up A Picnic: Whole Hog, Sizzling Squid or Alice May’s
In search of the the perfect picnic munch? Head to the food court where you’ll find mouth-watering meaty dishes from the Whole Hog, seasonal seafood by Sizzling Squid, and gourmet filling configurations from Toastie Rack, amongst other eateries - all just a short walk from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show’s many picnic areas.