10 things you need to know about the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017
- Credit: Rose Tinted PR
Plant lovers just can't wait to get their green fingers on this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show. So what can visitors expect from next week's floral spectacle?
1. When and where - It is open to the public from Tuesday, May 23 to Saturday, May 27 at the Royal Hospital gardens in Chelsea and features eight Show Gardens, five Fresh Gardens, nine Artisan Gardens, and more than 100 floral displays.
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2. Be inspired - Professor Nigel Dunnett's RHS Greening Grey Britain Garden aims to highlight, demonstrate and celebrate the multiple benefits of plants and gardens in even the smallest of areas. It provides a vision for the future development and use of private, communal and social spaces in the places where we live.
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3. One to watch - James Basson is aiming for his third consecutive RHS Gold medal with The M&G Garden 2017 for the show's headline sponsor. Inspired by the majestic quarries of Malta, Basson will demonstrate the rich diversity of Maltese flora and the beauty of this harsh environment.
4. Local interest - Our region is always well represented at the show. Among the Artisan Gardens you will find a replica of 900-year-old beautifully crafted oak boat which was found on the Norfolk Broads. Following last year's Best in Show, Gary Breeze is presenting The International Boatbuilding Training College Lowestoft Broadland Boatbuilder's Garden. The garden, a marshland environment, will also feature peas, garlic, kale and chives.
5. Good causes - Another Artisan Garden is dedicated to a charity founded by a Norfolk nurse. Designed by Adam Woolcott and Jonathan Smith The World Horse Welfare Garden is inspired by the work of the charity founded by Ada Cole and which started life as the ILPH (International League for the Protection of Horses) in 1927. This year it celebrates a 90-year legacy of helping horses and highlighting the plight of abandoned and neglected 'invisible horses' around the world.
6. A feast for the senses - The Great Pavilion, a 12,000sq metre marquee big enough to park 500 London buses, will feature more than 100 exhibits from the world's best nurseries, growers and florists. Among them will once again be Peter Beales Roses from Attleborough and Thorncroft Clematis from Reymerston, near Dereham, vying for the coveted Gold medal.
7. Shop till you drop - Make a wish list for your own garden, take advantage of special show offers and pick up some bargain plants and accessories on the final day. Local exhibitors include Crane Garden Buildings from Narford, near King's Lynn, and The Carrier Company from Wighton, near Wells.
8. Enjoy the ample refreshments - during the 2016 show they served 24,000 cups of Pimms, 17,500 cups of tea, 4,500 portions of fish and chips, 17,250 sandwiches and 10,858 glasses of champagne.
9. Celebrity watching - dozens of famous faces from stage and screen are avid gardeners in their spare time and love nothing more than getting top tips from the experts.
10. Royal seal of approval - the Queen and other members of the Royal Family love a VIP tour of the gardens. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are becoming regular visitors.