Chelsea Flower Show

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The Chelsea Flower Show is a garden show held each year on five days in May by the Royal Horticultural Society in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in Chelsea, London, England.

Popular parts of the Chelsea Flower Show include the flower arranging and the show gardens.



There are four grades of award presented, gold, silver-gilt, silver and bronze, in each of the categories listed below. Bronze grade exhibits do not actually receive a medal.

Awards categories

  • Flora Gardens and floral exhibits
  • Hogg Exhibits of trees
  • Knightian Exhibits of vegetables, including herbs
  • Lindley Exhibits of special educational or scientific interest
  • Grenfell Exhibits of pictures, photographs, floral arrangements and floristry

Special awards

  • Best Show Garden Award
  • Best Courtyard Garden Award
  • Best Chic Garden Award
  • Best City Garden Award
  • RHS Sundries Bowl
  • RHS Junior Display Trophy
  • RHS Floral Arrangement Trophies
  • RHS Floristry Trophies
  • Show Certificates of merit
  • Certificates for Junior displays
  • RHS President's Award


Originally called The Royal Horticultural Society's Great Spring Show, the history of the Chelsea Flower Show goes back to 1852 when the show was held in the RHS's gardens in Kensington, London.

The show moved to Chelsea and was renamed in 1913 when a popular one off event, The Royal International Horticultural Exhibition, was held in the Royal Hospital, organised by Sir Harry Veitch. The Chelsea Flower Show has taken place at the Royal Hospital almost every year since.

The Chelsea Flower Show today

The Chelsea Flower Show receives a lot of publicity. It is attended by 157,000 visitors each year (a number limited by the capacity of the ground). From 2005 the show was increased from four days to five, with the first two days only open to RHS members. The show is extensively covered on television by the BBC. An official DVD of the show is produced on behalf of the RHS by Twofour. Several members of the British Royal Family attend a preview of the show, as part of the royal patronage of the RHS. The area of land devoted to show gardens increased steadily between 1970 and 2000 and the show has become an important venue for watching trends. New plants are often launched at the show and the popularity of older varieties revived under the focus of the horticultural world. It is the garden design equivalent of a catwalk at a fashion show.

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