The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) announces some of the daily highlights planned for the first ever RHS Virtual Chelsea Flower Show, 18 – 23 May, supported by M&G.
Throughout the week the RHS website will host a packed schedule of fresh and inspirational content from some of the nation’s favourite gardening experts. Each day will follow a different theme with new content offering design tips, planting ideas, garden tours, ‘how to’ demonstrations, meet the growers, Q&As and more. Here is a taste of what to expect next week.
Monday 18 May – RHS Members Day
Like any normal RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the online show will be officially opened by a welcome from RHS President Sir Nicholas Bacon, followed by RHS Vice President Alan Titchmarsh.
RHS members will be able to join Monty Don on his morning routine, giving visitors a glimpse into unseen parts of his famous garden at Longmeadow as he heads out before breakfast to feed his chickens.
Using an assortment of seasonal foliage and flowers, a top celebrity floral designer will demonstrate how to create a contemporary floral arrangement helping bring the joy of beautiful blooms into the home.
Clematis specialist Raymond Evison will take visitors behind the scenes of his award winning Guernsey nursery, whilst perennial plant specialist Rosy Hardy of Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants will host a potting bench demonstration.
Tuesday 19 May – Perfect Plants
Sarah Eberle, the most decorated female designer in Chelsea history will welcome visitors into her naturalistic, woodland garden and share top summer gardening tips.
Co-designer of this year’s M&G Garden, Charlotte Harris will take viewers on a lockdown tour of some of London’s public parks, highlighting the value of inner city green spaces and shining a light on some of the best performing plants for urban gardens.
Leading indoor garden specialist Ian Drummond and expert gladioli grower Rob Evans from Pheasant Acre Plants will be leading Tuesday’s Potting Bench Tutorials.
Visitors will also be able to meet the team at David Austin Roses who have been bringing their award- winning roses to the Chelsea Flower Show for the last 37 years.
Wednesday 20 May – Health & Wellbeing
Wednesday’s virtual content will celebrate the health and wellbeing benefits of plants whilst looking at the importance of plant health.
BBC Presenter and multi gold medal winning designer Adam Frost will explain how he gardens with plant health in mind as he shows visitors around his Lincolnshire garden.
Japanese designer and Chelsea favourite Ishihara Kazuyuki will provide an insight into his own exquisite garden at home in Japan.
For those looking to get creative, Nikki Tibbles, one of the most celebrated British florists and Founder of Wild at Heart will be showing visitors how to create a seasonal bouquet and Todd’s Botanics will be sharing everything you need to know to grow your own show-worthy irises.
Thursday 21 May – Grow Your Own
Plantswoman and cut flower expert Sarah Raven will take visitors on a tour of her garden at Perch Hill in East Sussex to showcase what’s ready for cutting in the garden now.
A quieter week than previous years for the Chelsea Pensioners who will be showing how they have been busy on their allotment during lockdown tending to plants and vegetables generously supplied by South West in Bloom.
Celebrity florist Larry Walshe will demonstrate how to use flowers and foliage from the garden to create a chic table setting whilst vegetable grower Medwyn Williams shares his top tips and tricks on how to grow amazing veg at home.
Friday 22 May – Wildlife & Environment
Tom Massey, inspired by his design for The Yeo Valley Garden intended for this year’s show will be demonstrating how to create an organic, wildlife haven on a smaller scale, whilst award winning designer Ann-Marie Powell will welcome viewers into her Hampshire garden as she shares her top design tips.
Sienna Hosta will be Friday’s expert grower, giving a tour of the show stopping plants grown for this year’s show.
Newlands Nursery will lead the Potting Bench demonstrations showing how to get the best from chilli pepper plants to ensure a constant supply for culinary uses
Saturday 23 May – Small Space Gardening
Rounding off the week is content for indoor gardening and growing in small spaces.
Last year’s Chelsea Best in Show gold medal winning designer Andy Sturgeon will be giving a tour of his own courtyard garden, sharing design and growing tips for smaller outside spaces.
As orchids are the UK’s most popular houseplant, visitors will meet the UK’s oldest orchid nursery, McBeans Orchids who have amassed over 70 Chelsea gold medals.
Andy’s Air Plants and London-based interior planting duo RoCo will show how to propagate weird and wonderful plants to help transform your indoor space.
Throughout the week
The School Gardening Club will provide parents and children with fun hands on activities as experts including Lee Connelly and Jonathan Moseley provide a range of fun activities including how to create miniature allotments and floral front door displays.
Every day the RHS Advisory team will be joined by special guests including Chelsea favourites Chris Beardshaw. Jo Thompson, Paul Hervey-Brookes and Matthew Wilson who will be on hand each lunchtime to answer visitors’ gardening questions. In addition to the video content there will be a whole host of articles written by experts from across the industry providing planting, gardening and design tips and information on specialist plant species.
Other highlights include special digital exhibitions on the history of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show curated by the RHS Lindley Library team.
Sue Biggs said: ‘In the absence of the world’s greatest flower show, at a time when gardening, growing plants and access to nature has never been so important, we are delighted to still be able to bring you some of the very best in horticulture.
The gardening world has come together to bring garden design and plant inspiration, breath-taking displays and horticultural knowledge to millions of homes so we can continue to inspire everyone to grow.’
The RHS ‘Virtual’ Chelsea Flower Show will run from 18-23 May, and the content, once added each day will remain all week for people to enjoy at their leisure. On Monday 18 May the online show will be open for RHS Members only. For more information and an up-to-date timetable of events visit rhs.org.uk/Chelsea and follow #RHSChelsea on social media.
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