The Chelsea Flower Show is a five day event held each May and is staged by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). It’s held on the grounds of Chelsea Hospital, which has been the venue for almost 100 years. This promotion of horticulture is the RHS’ largest annual event.
All you have to do is scan the directory of exhibitors and you can see how big this event is. It’s not all about looking at flowers. In addition to the obvious (plants and flowers), here’s a short list of what else you are treated to:
-Gardens, featuring 16 amazing artisan gardens
-Patio and garden furniture
-Sculptures, fountains, ponds
The show officially starts today, but yesterday was “press day” (with a visit from the Queen). Talking about all this isn’t as powerful as seeing it for yourself, so I’ve posted some photos that I found, courtesy of the show’s website as well as the UK’s The Telegraph newspaper.
I understand that recently there have been uproars over the judging (considered too opaque) and they are starting to phase in more “transparency”. Names of judges will be listed in the program, and artisans will have to set forth "objective criteria" for their work and be judged against that rather than a have judges make decisions based on what they feel is “original” or “has impact”. Hmmm . . . I think they made changes like this in competitive ice skating a few years back. Anyway, a good controversy always spices up a show.
I wish I could be there to walk around the gardens with Gwyneth Paltrow, Helen Mirren, Ringo Starr and Twiggy but that will just have to wait until another year .