We assume that you’re reading this because you are lucky enough to be off to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in less than a week! It’s arguably the world’s most famous flower show with a lot to see in a relatively small space.
A little bit of planning and preparation can go a long way to making sure you get the most out of your visit so we thought we would share a few tips for you to consider ahead of your trip.
Pick the right shoes.
This isn’t the day for fancy shoes, think practical, waterproof, and comfortable. You’re going to be doing a lot of walking so you need footwear that won’t let you down. What to wear is also important, layers are probably best. It can get very hot but it can also be a little wet and windy so a lightweight rain jacket is handy or an umbrella,
You’ll need a decent bag.
Again think practically. There are many lovely garden-related items to buy but carrying them all day can be hard work. Consider a good rucksack to keep your hands free to take photos and reference your show guide so you can plan what to see and where to go. You are also likely to pick up flyers and information sheets and you’ll need somewhere to put them!
Keep hydrated and don’t go hungry.
There are places to eat but the queues can be long so it’s worth taking a few snacks and a water bottle is a must so you keep hydrated. Sandwiches, a picnic blanket, and fizz are also a great idea especially if you want to save a little money but still have a good time.
Prep for the pollen and the Chelsea Cough!
If you are prone to hayfever then don’t forget to take your tablet before you go! There is often a lot of pollen about and the London Planetree, a permanent fixture at Chelsea, is believed to cause the infamous ‘Chelsea Cough’ which can be really irritating. It’s a good idea to have tissues ready and sweets to suck can help. Make sure you do enjoy the bee-friendly flowers though, when you get home you can take a look at what we have online, as many hold the RHS Plants For Pollinators Award and are perfect for your garden!’
How long should you plan to be at the show?
There’s a lot to see, it will be busy and some areas may have long queues. Plan for around 5-7 hours so you get to see all the main show gardens, floral marquees, and displays. Accept that you will be walking quite slowly all day and go with the flow. Keep an eye on your feet though, Chelsea has a number of terrain changes so it’s easy to lose your step occasionally, especially when moving between show areas.
Leave your trolley at home!
You can’t buy plants at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show so a trolley is not required. The floral marquees don’t offer plants for sale with the exception of the last hour of show week when a bell rings and an hour of plant buying chaos begins! A decent rucksack or cloth bag should be all you need and if you take a notepad and pen you can always make a list of plants that catch your eye and buy when you get home. As an online plant retailer, we have plenty of plants for you to browse when you get home.
Organise where to meet up at the end.
This might seem unnecessary as most of us have mobile phones but reception can be poor at Chelsea. Over 30,000 visitors a day and a lot of Instagramming can mean it’s not easy to call or text each other so make sure you have a backup plan of where to meet if you get separated for some reason.
Remember to enjoy your surroundings and don’t get disheartened.
Chelsea is glorious with some stunning show gardens to enjoy but remember that’s what they are! They are not real gardens so don’t get disheartened and think you are not achieving in your garden. They are designed to give inspiration and enjoyment so make sure you take both those things from your day. Use your notepad to make a list of colours and themes you like and then when you’re home you can start putting these ideas together for your own interpretation, in your garden.
Hopefully, our tips are useful and you enjoy a truly memorable visit to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. When you are home, full of ideas and keen to make plans, rest your weary feet and perhaps take a look at our website, we have some great offers, you can shop by colour and type and they are delivered straight to your front door in recyclable packaging.
P.S – if you missed out on making a purchase at Chelsea, our speed planters have just arrived and we are currently selling them with a free hanging basket – a perfect end to a perfect day!
You may also enjoy reading our Plant of the Month – Lupins. Always popular at Chelsea the West Country Series is a stunning hybrid.