Chelsea Flower Show 2021, London, UK
September 21 - September 26
The environment and sustainability was supposed to be the focus for the 2020 Chelsea Flower Show as this famous Royal Horticultural Society event shows that it moves with the times. It is yet to be announced whether this will be the theme for the delayed 2021 show in September.
As the climate crisis bites it affects gardeners in numerous ways. This year’s show recognises this and it also acknowledges the role of gardens in fighting climate change and in protecting species diversity.
As closeness to nature is linked to human well-being, there is also a focus on urban gardens. This includes greening unused spaces in the city and recycling old materials to make them part of a modern garden.
There is an emphasis on using locally available plants, lessening the use of chemicals, capturing rain water and switching to organic gardening. In addition, model gardens will show ways to move away from ‘single-use’ cement and concrete.
The best times to go to the show are from the opening at 8am until 10am, or after 6pm, Tuesday to Friday, otherwise expect large crowds. The Queen is the patron of the RHS. Members of the royal family usually go on the day before it officially opens.
The History of the Show
Originally called the Great Spring Show, the first event was a small affair held in Kensington in 1862. It moved to the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in 1913 and, apart from breaks during the world wars, it has been held here ever since.
Garden gnomes are banned from the event for the unpardonable crime of being “brightly coloured mythical creatures”, but were allowed for the centenary year in 2013 when specially commissioned Duke and Duchess of Cambridge gnomes were auctioned in support of the campaign to create more gardens in schools.
As the Flower Show is in the grounds of the Royal Hospital you may also meet the Chelsea Pensioners at the festival. They are retired army veterans famous for their scarlet uniforms.
Chelsea Flower Show Winners
There are four awards – gold, silver-guilt, silver and bronze, in five categories: Flora (gardens and floral); Hogg (trees); Knightian (vegetables); Lindley (special educational or scientific interest); and Grenfell (pictures, photographs, floral arrangements). There are also several special awards, such as for the best show garden and best courtyard garden.
Other Things to Do in London
Hmm, it is a bit of a tall order to do justice to London in a short article, but here goes:
- Historical buildings such as the Tower of London fortress.
- The theatres of the west end and Shakespeare’s Globe
- Dining from around the world
- A huge choice of museums and galleries for every taste
- Visit London South Bank : Tate Modern to Borough Market
- Parks and walks along the River Thames
- Watch a sport of your choice live – the better football teams are in the north of England; however, there are some teams of quality in the London area itself, such as Leyton Orient FC.
Chelsea Flower Show 2021 Dates?
21 to 26 September 2021.
Chelsea Flower Show Opening Times
The show is open from 8am to 8pm on the Tuesday to Friday, and 8am to 5:30pm on Saturday.
How Much Are Chelsea Flower Show Tickets?
Information on tickets for the Chelsea Flower Show and prices can be found here.
Where is the Chelsea Flower Show Held?
The show is held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London.
Alternatively, why not try The Chelsea Fringe.
Images of 2019 Show
Flights to London and Getting to the Chelsea Flower Show
To find the best accommodation and worldwide flights, please search via our comparison engine, which scans all the major booking sites.
There are direct international flights to the London airports from much of the world.
The nearest station to the Show on the London Underground is Sloane Square. From here you just walk south for less than five minutes towards the River Thames. For London buses, the numbers 19, 22, 319 and C1 go to Sloane Square, whilst numbers 11, 137, 211, 360 and 452 will get you even closer to the festival.
Hotels Near the Chelsea Flower Show
From any hotel in London you can take public transport to the Chelsea Flower Show.
To find the best accommodation in the area and worldwide flights, please search via our comparison engine, which scans all the major booking sites.
For more on the Chelsea Flower Show
For more on things to do in London:
Cover image: © RHS / Luke MacGregor