What is the Chelsea Flower Show and what happens to the gardens after the event ends?

THE annual RHS Chelsea Flower Show is a significant event for garden lovers and for English culture.

It is so important, that even some royals attended the Chelsea Flower Show throughout the years, and continue to do so in 2022 as the Queen hopes to feel fit enough to make an appearance at the prestigious event.

What is the Chelsea Flower Show and why do we have it?

The first ever Chelsea Flower Show dates back to 1913, which was known back then as the Great Spring Show.

Since then, it was always held in the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

The King and Queen did not attend the event, as it was yet to become a tradition for members of the royal family to attend.

Instead the King's Mother, Queen Alexandra, attended with two of her children.

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The Flower Show is organised by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and it gives an opportunity for visitors to view cutting-edge designed gardens, new plants and equipment to be used and take other ideas from the top experts in the industry.

In a time of war and crisis for the country, it took some time for the Government to realise the event as a cultural one.

In 1919, after the war, the Government forced the RHS to pay Entertainment Tax for the show.

Resources and finances were limited and it threatened the continuation of what was becoming an annual show.

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But the RHS convinced the Government that it had education benefit and it started to engrave its mark on British culture.

By the 1980s, the show rose in popularity and was even selling 40,000 tickets per day.

It is now one of the most iconic garden shows in the world and attracts a lot of global attention and visitors.

It gave way for foreign brands such as Japanese and American ones, to share their creations with British culture too and some top-tier brands even partner with the RHS to create new lines and products.

What happens to the gardens after the event ends?

A Chelsea Show garden is estimated to cost over £200,000.

When the event is finished, some of the plants are sold immediately to those visiting.

Some of the other plants are borrowed and so they need to be returned to their growers for seed collection later in the season.

Before, some of the tools used to create such gardens and even the plants used to be thrown away.

But with sustainability in mind now, the RHS will not allow this massive waste now.

Instead, most of it is donated to charitable gardens or communal spaces.

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Some of it is auctioned off, with the proceeds going to charity.

Some features cannot always be donated or auctioned, so they're returned to the place where they got them from or sit in storage until they can be reused or resold.

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