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2009 Chelsea Garden Show in London this past May

Did anyone on this forum attend this or any other garden show in the UK this year? I know the Chelsea show is famous and I wonder if it's worthwhile scheduling a trip to London around it. We're used to pretty fabulous gardens in the South, especially in the spring, so the Chelsea show would have to be pretty spectacular to compete. I checked out some pictures on the website and was frankly a little disappointed. Therefore I'd appreciate an eyewitness report, if possible.

Posted by
101 posts

I know Denny from Ohio [I believe] went this year because I talked to him about it. My brothers company had a display there and he also assisted in the judging.
It is well worth going as it really is the premier event in the British Gardening calender. Tickets are expensive and you should book in advance. But you will see the best of UK designers/designs. Check the Royal Horticultural Society website.. I think..or just google.


Posted by
693 posts

Pete, thank you for your reply. I did check the website and looked at several of the displays. Perhaps I'll finally get to attend this huge event. Anna

Posted by
2779 posts

Hi Anna, The Chelsea show is open to the public of Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The dates of the 2010 show are 25th-29th. ON Thursday and Friday tickets are8:00am-8:00pm £45 pp, 3:30pm-8:00pm £25 and 5:30pm-8:00pm £19. On Saturday there is only one price which is £45.

Posted by
445 posts

The Chelsea Flower show is fabulous and probably the best in the world. I is also huge. Butyou cannot compare it to visiting a is a garden SHOW.
There are gardens in England that wll knock your socks off....Sissinghurst, Hidcote, etc. People plan whole trips just to visit the gardens as well as to attend the Chelsea Show.

At the Show, there are "show" gardens as well as
fabulous displays by different exhibitors who specialize in certain plants like David Austin Roses, etc. There are fabulous displays by people selling all sorts of garden-related mdse. There is lots of food to enjoy .

The Chelsea Flower Show is considered the opening of the English summer season and is very, very crowded.
I have never known anyone who didn't love it.

Posted by
693 posts

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful replies! Visiting the Chelsea and Hampton Shows and especially some of the famous gardens has long been a dream of mine. Maybe I can still realize it, despite advancing age. Anna

Posted by
15 posts

Oh, yes, by all means book your vacation around the show. You will not be disappointed. Actually, we did this very thing on our last trip, booked it around the show as we had gone before and enjoyed it so much.

It's an all day deal, or as long as you last, LOL, it's huge. Not only are there fantastic displays all around but pavilions filled with roses, cactus, geraniums an every other type of flower there is.

We especially liked the "shopping" lanes where we picked up different and unusual gardening tools and cute decorative items. Don't forget to pick up a DVD of the show. The way they do this is that they film opening day with the Queen and Royals then duplicate it like mad for the remaining days. Not only does it show the "Show", but it shows how everything is build, brought in and put up, it will crack you up.

We purchased our tickets through Prowse & Prowse in New York and I'm sure there are other outlets as well. You won't be sorry you went, just remember to wear very comfy shoes!