Chelsea Flower Show will be held virtually for the first time after it was cancelled due to coronavirus. The famous event has taken place at London’s Royal Hospital Chelsea every year since 1913, apart from gaps during World War One and World War Two.
It was called off in March due to lockdown but the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) will host free content including garden tours on its website. The charity said it hoped it would “inspire more people to get growing”.
Every morning of the virtual event between 18 and 23 May, a leading designer, florist or gardening personality will provide a tour of their own private gardens. Daily “school gardening clubs” will take place to provide activities for families to garden together, while “potting bench” demonstrations will show techniques for growing and maintaining plants.
Lunchtimes will see RHS advisers being joined by a special guest for an interactive Q&A session, while a special series of programmes celebrating the show will be broadcast on BBC One and Two throughout the week. UK growers who would have been at the event will also provide behind-the-scenes tours of their nurseries and some will replicate the displays they would have had in the Great Pavilion.
The charity’s director general, Sue Biggs, said: “We really hope the virtual show will help fill the gap caused by the sad but necessary cancellation of this year’s show.”