Chelsea Flower Show

1st June, 2016

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show has come and gone again for another year, but what do we really know about the world’s most prestigious flower show? Here are some facts and figures about one of the UK’s most famous events.

  • The Royal Horticultural Society organises the show every year.
  • They were founded in 1804 but the first Chelsea Flower Show was held in 1913.
  • The event has been held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea each year since 1913. (The only time it wasn’t was during both World Wars!)
  • Surprisingly it is not Britain’s largest flower show – the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is.
  • Despite a campaign to ban foreign exhibits from the show in 1927, the RHS refused because “horticulture knows nothing of nationality.”
  • The Great Pavilion is big enough to park 500 London buses; just think how many flowers you can fit!
  • Three firms that exhibited in the first ever show, back in 1913, still attend the show today: McBean’s Orchids, Blackmore & Langdon and Kelways Plants.

If you want to see a range of new plants, amazing garden design or just want some tips that you can take home, Chelsea Flower Show is the place to be.

In 2010, artificial grass was allowed to be part of the show, for the first time in 148 years! Previously, no synthetic materials, be it grass or flowers, were permitted. Artificial turf’s only previous appearance had been on the occasional trade stand. However, you can’t ignore the rise in popularity of the fake grass and the permittance of it in the show was a real sign of how garden design and landscaping is changing.

The designer had created a cave that was too dark for real plants to grow but wanted it to be green, so the head of show development allowed him to use artificial. It just goes to show that using artificial grass gives you so much more scope with your design; much more than you could achieve with natural grass.

As artificial grass in London continue to grow in popularity, we wouldn’t be surprised if you see more of the stuff popping up on the Chelsea Flower Show.

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