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The Kingsbridge Way

The Chelsea Flower Show

Kingsbridge & Chelsea Flower Show

The Chelsea flower show, which runs from May 22nd to May 26th in 2018, is a favourite event at Kingsbridge. We love the horticultural splendour of all the floral displays. The focus of this year’s show is the healing power of plants and the positive benefit flowers and green spaces have on our well-being. So as well as getting you there in comfort and style, we have come up with some interesting facts you might not know about blooming marvellous Chelsea.

Here are our top 10 facts about Chelsea

  1. The first Chelsea Flower Show was first held in 1862 and originally called the ‘Royal Horticultural Society’s Great Spring Show’. Held at the RHS garden in Kensington, the show grew and moved to the grounds of the Chelsea hospital in 1913 where it has remained since.
  2. Exhibitors speak of ‘Chelsea flu’. Garden designers complain that tree and flower pollen plus the dust from stone cutting causes allergic reactions. Everyone hopes for a good overnight wind to blow the dust away, so the public don’t have to listen to 500 garden designers sneezing all day!
  3. The show was cancelled during the second world war. Anti-aircraft guns were stationed at the site. It started again in 1947 but there were fewer exhibitors due to the war and so flower arrangements were introduced for the first time.
  4. The Show Gardens are built from scratch in just 19 days but are dismantled in only five days. It takes 15 months of planning and 800 people to create the massive event.
  5. Gnomes were allowed in 2013, but only for that year, 150 were lined up to greet the Queen. Although rebellious designers do try to sneak them in, gnomes are banned. Take a photo if you spot any.
  6. During the show, over 20,000 glasses of champagne will be quaffed. 43,000 cakes scoffed and over 10,000 portions of Fish and Chips munched.
  7. The show is considered cutting edge with avant-garde garden design that pushes boundaries. New plants are often first shown at Chelsea. In 2009 James May created a garden made entirely of plasticine for his Toy Story Television series. He received a plasticine medal. Have a look at the garden here https://goo.gl/xg4Xw7
  8.  The Royal Family are big fans and attend every year. The Queen is the patron of the Royal Horticultural Society and has only missed 12 shows during her reign.
  9. Before the year 2000, the show took place in a marquee. This was in the Guinness book of records as the world’s largest tent. The Old Chelsea Marquee company turned the tent into over 7,000 handbags, jackets and aprons, when it was replaced by the pavilion.
  10. The Chelsea Flower Show is covered every year by the BBC. They will film 11 hours of showtime, but you have to be there to sniff how good it smells.Kingsbridge can take you and friends to the show. Enjoy an extra glass of Champagne or Pimms without worrying about it. We’ll pick you up afterwards in a car big enough for all your horticultural finds as well.