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Chelsea Flower Show: Who pays for the gardens at Chelsea Flower Show? | Garden | Life & Style

Chelsea Flower Show: Who pays for the gardens at Chelsea Flower Show? | Garden | Life & Style


The RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which has been held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea every year since 1913, begins tomorrow, May 22, and lasts until Saturday, May 26.

The Great Pavilion, where the show is held, is roughly 11,775 square metres or 2.90 acres – enough room to park 500 London buses.

Organised by the Royal Horticultural Society, The Chelsea Flower Show was founded in 1804 and is known formally as The Great Spring Show. 

Today the show attracts 157,000 visitors each year – with tickets having to be purchased in advance due to limited capacity. 

Those without tickets can watch the show on BBC at 3.45 pm every day between May 22 and May 26. 

There will also be a nightly show at 8 pm, hosted by Monty Don, Sophie Ranworth, and Joe Swift, running through the best bits of each day.

The Show has come a long way since its first staging in a single tent, at the RHS garden in Kensington which made a profit of £88 in 1862.

Royal Family members also attend, as well as visitors from all continents. Those who hold RHS membership can receive discounted tickets.

Gardeners can apply to exhibit their creations at The Chelsea Flower Show, with several categories to chose from when entering. 

Entering can be a long process, as the RHS ask for detailed plans, drawings and information as to how the garden will look for every would-be exhibitor. 

How are the gardens funded?

If the RHS has selected your garden to be exhibited, you need to pay a refundable deposit of up to £1,800 to secure your garden space. 

The deposit for fresh and artisan gardens is £600, whilst should you enter into the show garden side of the show, that will cost you £1,800.

This is returned upon completion of the show but should you not attend it will not be refunded. 

Whilst space in the exhibit itself is free, gardeners must pay for their own build, promotion, hospitality and any other add-ons that they wish to implement in their show. 

The gardens featured in this years show include:

  •     Gardens to enhance wellbeing
  •     Great ideas to take home
  •     Space to grow gardens
  •     The Chelsea Late Event – an extension of opening times to give visitors the opportunity to view the exhibits at night
  •     Artisan gardens



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