Chelsea Flower Show 2023: when is it, what gardens will be featured, presenters - how to watch it on TV

Artwork of The Samaritans’ Listening Garden (Image: Darren Hawkes/PA)Artwork of The Samaritans’ Listening Garden (Image: Darren Hawkes/PA)
Artwork of The Samaritans’ Listening Garden (Image: Darren Hawkes/PA) | Darren Hawkes/PA
Usually dominated by immaculately tended gardens, this year’s show promises to push a wilder format

A life-size topiary of the late Queen’s pony, Emma, a garden featuring some of the King’s favourite plants and a Union Jack made out of roses are just a few of the patriotic tributes that will be on display at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The largest horticultural event of the year may have once been dominated by immaculately tended gardens, but this year’s show promises to push a wilder format, with the public being urged to embrace weeds and use recycled litter on their plots. There will also be an emphasis on wellbeing and the value of community gardens.

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What is the Chelsea Flower Show?

The Chelsea Flower Show is an annual event that takes place in London. One of the most prestigious flower and landscape garden shows in the world, the show is organised by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and is held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

The Chelsea Flower Show has a rich history dating back to 1913. It attracts visitors from all over the globe, including gardening enthusiasts, horticultural experts, celebrities, and members of the royal family.

The show typically takes place over five days in May, showcasing the best in garden design, floral displays and innovative horticultural practices. It serves as a platform for professionals and enthusiasts to showcase their talent, exchange knowledge and inspire others in the world of gardening and horticulture.

The main highlight of the Chelsea Flower Show is the stunning show gardens created by leading landscape designers. These gardens are meticulously planned and executed, often incorporating unique themes, architectural elements and creative plantings.

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Apart from the show gardens, the Chelsea Flower Show features various exhibits, displays and interactive activities. These may include floral displays, plant pavilions, artisan gardens, educational exhibits, and demonstrations by horticultural experts.

The Chelsea Flower Show is known for its awards, with judges recognizing outstanding exhibits and designs. The most prestigious accolade is the RHS Gold Medal, which represents the highest level of achievement.

When is this year’s Chelsea Flower Show?

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show takes place on 23 - 27 May.

What will be on display in 2023?

The Great Pavilion will house a life-size topiary display of the late Queen’s pony, Emma, and Dave Green’s RHS A Garden Of Royal Reflection & Celebration will host displays honouring the coronation and featuring some of the Windsor family’s favourite plants.

However, this year’s show promises to push a wilder format, with the public being urged to embrace weeds and use recycled litter on their plots.

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At the Samaritans’ Listening Garden, gold-medal winning designer Darren Hawkes will create a garden using 85% recycled components from farmyards, scrapyards, and demolition sites to commemorate the organisation’s 70th birthday.

Hawkes will be honing, shaping and polishing salvaged materials found near his home in Cornwall to produce new forms, with the end result a garden made out of salvaged concrete and steel that has been turned into a beautiful area.

The RSPCA’s sanctuary garden, designed by Martyn Wilson, will make use of recycled waste from its rescue facilities, including a fishing hook removed from a swan’s foot and tin cans removed from hedgehogs. Jane Porter’s Choose Love Garden, inspired by refugee migration routes across Europe, includes a sculpture made out of abandoned tents.

How can I watch it on TV?

If you have not purchased tickets, you can rest easy knowing that Joe Swift and Sophie Raworth will be leading the BBC’s coverage of the event. On Sunday 21 May, coverage on BBC One begins with a Countdown to Chelsea at 6pm.

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