If you are not in the UK, you probably wonder ‘what is the fuss all about’. Well, let me tell you – Chelsea Flower show is huge, huger than huge, it is an absolute ‘stop everything you are doing’ it is Chelsea Flower show time. Let’s talk about it and why is it so important, and why it should be on your must visit list every year if you are in town when it is happening.
First, it is all about them flowers. Pretty, colourful and the best of British. Flowers are a big thing in London (and I assume the rest of the country but I will talk about London only here). They make a sometimes gloomy city, an absolute stunner. Mayfair, Belgravia and Chelsea go absolutely flower power crazy from March onwards, decorating each and every facade they can get their hands on. It is like walking in a beautiful garden in Central London. The Chelsea Flower Show has a theme every year, there was Alice in Wonderland, Jungle and Environment and Mental health this year, a much deeper theme compared to the past. All shop fronts tend to align their decoration to the theme, so it is not only a beautiful garden feel, but a curated to perfection beautiful garden.
It was my first year being invited as press to the event, and I could not withhold my excitement to be honest. Being invited to mingle around flowers for hours (it rhymes 😉 ) was a dream come true.
There are a lot of people visiting the show from all around the world. The exhibits vary from flowers to full on house creations, which you can buy on the spot. There was a kids’ slide and tree house combo for £250k. There were kids enjoying it, I really wanted to play with it too but I felt it might be frowned upon. Not a child but mom, dad can I please have it?
There are multiple parts of the event – the outdoors exhibits and curated gardens, the indoors flower exhibits of anything that has ever bloomed, the food and drinks and then the experiences. As I had a press pass, I got to stay after hours and wonder around the grounds until 10pm at night. I visited the British Flower Bus, got to make my own bouquet and learn about why buying local is important. Side note rehearsing, do try to buy local flowers as much as possible.
This supports small, independent farms and growers, and also the flowers are much better quality. There isn’t much independent produce left, so any time you want a bunch think local, you are supporting a small business and the bees (we all know, if the bees go extinct we are doomed, so help them have flowers to play with).
I am obsessed with roses and the indoors exhibit showcased 10s if not 100s of different rose breeds. It was like heaven – rose tunnels and walls of roses to smell and touch.
There were ice cream vans around too, so you could always have a cone. Just at the backside of the Chelsea Flower Show is the Veterans’ museum and you can observe the most beautiful sunset on top of it from the grounds of the show.
It is really worth considering buying an after hours ticket, I rarely advise people to go for the expensive options but sitting in the show after it closed its doors for the public was a priceless experience. The garden which hosted all the eating and drinking pop ups was decorated with fairy lights and flower signs, lovely ladies were giving away flower crowns and pitchers of Pimms were flowing. I felt so much peace and love this evening, with so much beauty surrounding me.
So, have I gotten you excited about Chelsea Flower Show 2019, or you still think it is kind of not your jazz?