Chelsea Flower Show to go digital following coronavirus cancellation

World-famous flower show to bloom online through series of interactive, virtual presentations.

The world-famous Chelsea Flower Show will take place virtually for the first time in after the highlight of the gardening and floristry calendar was cancelled due to coronavirus.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), organisers of the London event, said the online event concept has been developed to support the horticultural trade and small businesses, such as florists, and to help the many who feel they need gardening in their life now more than ever for their mental and physical wellbeing during this national emergency.

Therefore, from May 18-23 – when the London event was scheduled to take place – the RHS website will host a range of exclusive free content, provided by experts in the gardening world.

These will include tours led by leading designers, florists and gardening personalities of their own private gardens. Additionally, top growers from around the UK who normally would be exhibiting at Chelsea will instead be hosting virtual behind-the-scenes tours of their nurseries and replicating plant displays which had been set to appear on the show's grand pavilion.

In an open letter about the creation of an online Virtual RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Sue Biggs, RHS Director General, said: “As you can imagine we’re at the early stages of planning this, so more details will be announced in coming weeks. We cannot create the actual show at The Royal Hospital Chelsea, but we are looking at what we can do on our RHS website and other platforms for people to enjoy and to share the joy of gardening.

“We will of course be asking for the ideas and involvement of growers, nurseries, designers, landscapers and trade stands too and look forward to sharing ideas very soon.”

Sue Biggs added: "We're lucky to live in a digital age where we're able to bring aspects of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show online so we can continue to share the world's best in horticulture and bring garden design inspiration; breathtaking displays and horticultural knowledge for the nation to enjoy during this difficult time.”

Further information regarding the virtual Chelsea Flower Show can be found on the event website.