What's Happening at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show
While the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is all about the beautiful flowers and gardens, there's no denying that the show has a certain je ne sais quoi which continues to attract a glamourous following. Every year, on press day, you'll find yourself rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous. This year we managed to clock up just a few famous faces including Jerry Hall, Stephen Fry and Lily Cole. Press Day is also the day of the Royal family's private visit to the show and what a beautifully sunny day it was too!
Brewin Dolphin Garden.
World War 1 Memorial Garden.
Trends from the
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014
The highlight of the gardening year, the annual Chelsea Flower Show sets the trends for the horticultural world and just like a fashion show, every year some directional trends emerge. From fashion to community projects and history to nurturing new talent, here are just some of the trends emerging from the world's most prestigious flower show this year.
Long regarded as the 'catwalk of the gardening world', Chelsea Flower Show is once again bringing flowers and fashion together. This year fashion house Gucci have exhibited for the first time, with a Fresh garden designed by Sarah Eberle and inspired by the print of the scarf designed by Vittorio Accornero in homage to Princes Grace of Monaco. The garden was awarded with a Silver-Gilt Flora medal.
House of Fraser also brought glamour to Chelsea. Their sponsored garden 'Fabric' takes inspiration from interiors and aims to bring home comforts outside, into the open space. The garden includes contemporary furniture and wall hangings while the planting brings strong, rich tones together. On Press Day, the department store invited model Lily Cole to officially launch their garden to the world's media.
Community gardening is very much of the moment, with 2014 being the 50th anniversary of Europe's biggest community gardening campaign- Britain in Bloom, run by the RHS. This year bloom and the power of volunteers uniting to transform our neighbourhoods is being championed across the show, with Alan Titchmarsh taking the lead with a garden co-designed by Kate Gould. From the Moors to the Sea- a celebration of Britain in Bloom features plants and elements inspired by the Yorkshire Dales, where there are more than 50 Bloom groups.
Championing New Talent
One of the trends at this year's show is the number of young, up-and-coming designers exhibiting for the first time, bringing a fresh, creative perspective to the industry. Not only did our exhibit for 2014 showcase the talent of young florists within the Interflora network, but bright young stars were also prevalent on the gardening scene too. Brothers Harry and David Rich, aged just 26 and 23 respectively, together designed their first-ever Chelsea Show Garden Vital Earth: The Night Sky Garden while there were new, young faces behind The Brewin Dolphin Garden and the RBC Waterscape Garden too. Indeed, 26 year old Hugo Bugg- the designer behind the Telegraph Garden, was, this morning, announced as the youngest ever Gold medal winner for a show garden.
First World War
With 2014 being the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, it's not surprising that remembrance of our armed forces was one of the emerging themes from this year's show. Many gardens and displays highlighted the effects the war had not only on families, but on landscapes as well. Designed by Charlotte Rowe, No Man's Land: ABF Soldiers' Charity Garden to mark the centenary of World War One is inspired by the haunting images of the war and reflects on how the landscape of the Western Front, though changed forever, has regenerated and healed. The name 'No Man's Land' not only refkects the historic experience but also the present-day 'No Man's Land' that can be felt by soldiers, veterans or their families when they return home from war.
Floristry Competitions at RHS Chelsea Flower Show
Every year at the Chelsea Flower Show competitions, the RHS together with the BFA hold floristry competitions to showcase the best talent within the industry. Florists from all over the country compete for the coveted title of RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year and RHS Chelsea Young Florist of the Year.
RHS Chelsea Young Florist of the Year
This year's schedule, to design and create a floral dress, produced some incredible and quite breath-taking work.
In both categories the judges were on the lookout for a high standard of technical skill and design and announced the competition results earlier this week.
RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year
Seeing professional floristry at Chelsea is always a thrill and to have Interflora florists winning medals is just the icing on the cake - a huge 'well done' to everyone that took part in both Florist of the Year, and Young Florist of the Year competitions.
What Happens When the Crowds Go Home?
Between 19th and 24th May, thousands of people flock to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show to see some of the most beautiful flowers and garden designs in the world.
But what happens to all the flowers and displays once the final visitors have gone home? We take a look at some of the ways the exhibits live on after Chelsea.
Floral bargains up for grabs
At 4pm on the final day of Chelsea, it transforms from a flower show to a giant flower market, with some amazing floral bargains to be found. Almost everything is up for grabs, from the flowers themselves to the props used in the displays. To make sure you get your hands on some show-quality flowers make enquiries with exhibitors throughout the day, checking roughly how much your desired items will cost. But make sure you are positioned near them as the clock strikes four as it's every man for themselves once the sale starts!
Even if you don't want to buy anything yourself, watching people try to negotiate public transport while carrying a small tree or armful of shrubbery is certainly one of the most entertaining parts of the whole event.
And, if you aren't attending on the final day of the show, never fear, some plants are returned to the nurseries which supplied them and they then hold their own Chelsea sales in the following weeks.
Gardens going under the hammer
Some of the more elaborate displays and gardens are auctioned at the end of the show rather than sold off, normally because they are simply too big for someone to carry home.
The cash from these auctions is often used to cover the cost of displaying at Chelsea or donated to charity. Last year, for example, Stoke-on-Trent's garden was auctioned off with the money raised paying for the garden itself and the profits going to the city's ceramics fund.
The show must go on
While for many people, Chelsea is the horticultural highlight of the summer, there are a number of other exciting garden shows taking place in the coming months and exhibitors will be keeping elements of their gardens to showcase at these events.
Hampton Court Palace Flower Show takes place between 8th and 13th July. A number of exhibitors will also be packing up to go to the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park which takes place between July 23rd and 27th.
Finding a new home
Many of the gardens displayed at Chelsea are simply re-housed after the show, either at the offices of their corporate sponsors or in public places where they can be enjoyed local communities.
Last year, the East Village Garden was re-homed in London's East Village after the show as part of the Olympic and Paralympic Games legacy Re-housing a garden can prove to be an expensive option though, with the cost of deconstructing a garden and putting it back together in another location adding up to around £50,000.
Recycle, recycle, recycle
As you can see, the vast majority of the flowers and gardens displayed at Chelsea go on to have a second lease of life when the show's gates close. And even those that don't are put to good use, with an impressive 95% of the waste from Chelsea being recycled last year. Waste wood is sent to a heating and power plant, soil is used in land restoration projects and concrete is crushed and sent to building projects.
Exhibitors are required to submit details of where plants and building materials come from and how they plan to dispose of them following the show, with everyone encouraged to come up with a plan for life after Chelsea.
Crowds at RHS Chelsea.
RHS Chelsea is also a place to shop, and maybe bag a bargain.
Some gardens will be re-used, or re-purposed.
Other exhibits will be sold off, and recycled.