Held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London every year since 1913, (apart from gaps during the two World Wars), the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is still the most prestigious flower show in the world.
It features the absolute cream of British gardening alongside some incredible international exhibitors. Interestingly, in 1927 there was a campaign to get the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) to ban foreign exhibits to reduce competition with British firms. The RHS refused saying, ‘horticulture knows nothing of nationality.’
While the tickets for RHS Chelsea may all be sold out, a wander around Sloane Square, Sloane Street, Duke of York Square, Kings Road and a few of the surrounding streets is almost more fun thanks to the world class alternative floral art show “Chelsea In Bloom“.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary and produced by the Cadogan Estate in association with the RHS, the streets of Chelsea are transformed with breathtaking floral displays.
The annual competition has grown dramatically each year with Chelsea’s best retailers adorning their shop fronts with creative designs to compete for the coveted awards.
This year’s theme is ‘Fairy Tales’ and each participating retailers interprets the theme in their own unique style.
Fendi (181-182 Sloane Street) have really embraced the theme and have recreated Rapunzel in flower form, complete with an enchanted heroine and a magical tower.
Last year’s Gold winner, Kate Spade, set the benchmark high, along with other award winners L.K.Bennett, Liz Earle and Hamptons International. Above is this year’s entry by Kate Spade New York which has been designed by Nikki Tibble’s Wild at Heart team.
They have transformed the shop front into a floral fairytale complete with two large carnation flamingos, fluffy gypsophila clouds and miniature mushrooms. To see this amazing display being installed take a look at Nikki’s blog here.
There is a walking tour that starts at Sloane Square and takes in all the participating retailers marked on the tour map online. To join a tour, meet in the middle of Sloane Square at the time stated here.
For Chelsea in Bloom, Moyses Stevens have created a ‘Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall’ setting, with poison apples and apple trees. The display depicts the tale of ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarves’.
The display by T.ba at 261 Pavilion Road really captures what makes this event so special. Every retailer has their own brand, their own ethos and they create displays which reflect their company and their inspiration.
Even if you can’t make it over to Chelsea, you can see the full selection of displays here and don’t forgot to vote for your favourite. The winner will be announced on Friday 22 May. You can also follow the Duke of York Square (DOYS) instagram account to see great behind the scenes photos of what’s going on in and around the area.