This time last year, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show would have been in full swing. The sun was shining, medals had been handed out, Andy Sturgeon and Crocus would had been awarded Best in Show for the M&G Garden and here at Pro Landscaper we were celebrating the release of our show guide and gushing over our visits to the show.
This year, though, we’ve all experienced Chelsea very differently. Due to the impacts of COVID-19, for the first time in history, the show has gone digital.
It is continuing to showcase world-leading designers, plant experts and offer practical gardening advice through new videos and articles every day.
But it’s not just the RHS which has been adapting to changing times this week.
Ground Control has hosted its very own flower show, with staff sending in snaps of their own gardens to be judged. Judges include grounds maintenance director Graham Bird, principal design and BALI landscape director Matt Nokes and Alex Beresford from Tudor Environmental, and prizes will be awarded to the best blooms.
With no RHS Chelsea this year, M&G has been asking some of the creators of the 2020 M&G garden what they’ve been up to this week instead of being at the show. Co-designer Charlotte Harris says it’s given her the time to plant vegetable seeds and work on her front garden, whilst also supporting virtual Chelsea. Co-owner of Crocus Peter Clay admits he “would normally be panicking”, but this week, Peter has been sat in his meadow at home, photographing some of the plants he doesn’t normally get the chance to see. Co-designer Hugo Bugg says he would normally be making final tweaks to the garden and getting ready for the judges, but that this current situation has allowed him to be in his own garden during April and May, which he’d never normally have the time for.
In celebration of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and its talented designers, the National Garden Scheme has been giving virtual tours of its gardens designed by Chelsea gold medal winners including Tom Stuart-Smith, Bunny Guinness and Marcus Barnett.
These have been joined by an abundance of throwbacks, competitions and images of people’s own gardens, showing there’s more to Chelsea than simply the show itself – it’s a celebration of a great industry. And this has certainly not been cancelled this year.