It’s the last day of the RHS’ first Virtual Chelsea. This time last year, thousands of sunburned visitors were pondering how they could make their own gardens somewhat resemble the magnificent show gardens they’d wandered around on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
No-one stepped foot on those grounds this week and there was not a show garden in sight. But that doesn’t mean those who were planning to attend (and many who weren’t) didn’t get to experience Chelsea at its finest. Those who had set aside this week in their calendar to exhibit at the show have come together to bring Chelsea to life online.
There have been videos from garden designers showing us around their own gardens, where they’re spending the most time in lockdown, as well as the open spaces which are keeping them sane. Growers have given us tours of their nurseries and industry experts have answered an influx of gardening queries.
With The M&G Garden delayed until next year’s show, the team put together a video of what they have been doing instead of winning a Gold medal (because with a team which includes Crocus and Harris Bugg Studio, there was never any doubt).
So, will the RHS come together at the end of the day and say that its first digital flower show has been a success? With appreciation for gardens surging during lockdown and the RHS opening itself up to a wider audience online, we’d find it hard to argue that it wasn’t.
There has been a plethora of content which the public wouldn’t normally have access to, and there’s more to look forward to today. Andy Sturgeon welcome us to his garden, Mark Gregory of Landform Consultants talks about the development of RHS Garden Wisley, and the winners of the Chelsea Plant of the Decade and RHS Garden Product of the Year will be announced.
COVID-19 might have scuppered the RHS’ original plans, but it hasn’t stopped the organisation from hosting a show which has been memorable, and for all the right reasons.