A visit to the world famous Chelsea Flower Show had always been on my horticultural ‘bucket’ list so when the opportunity came up to visit the show, I was not about to say no. Even better was being able to get tickets to one of the Royal Horticultural Societies members days which meant things were less crowded then going on one of the public days. Members day did not protect us however from what the English weather had to offer – a cool, cloudy day with several showers during the day.
So what did I learn from attending Chelsea? Firstly, the British know how to run a Flower Show and they also know how to promote it judging by the significant coverage in the media in the UK. There is still also interest in people attending flower shows judging by how people were there. From the trade side of things, a presence at Chelsea is worth it in terms of profile for your business, despite the time and cost of being there. The attention to detail is also incredible on all the stands, not matter what was being exhibited.
If you are ever in London when Chelsea is on, definitely make plans to attend. There are so many things to see and great ideas to pick up along the way from the 500+ exhibits.
Top tips for visiting Chelsea:
- Go early and spend the whole day there. Even better, become a member of the Royal Horticultural Society and go on one of the members days. It is still crowded but bearable most of the time.
- Take public transport. The nearest underground station is only a 10 minute walk from the show.
- Most of the nurseries have catalogues available and even though you cannot get plants sent to New Zealand, they are great resources. Most are one or two pounds to buy.
- Buy a copy of the show catalogue for £8 that has all the details on the exhibits and gardens you need.
- Be prepared for all eventualities of the English weather!
By Hayden Foulds. Read more here.