Monday, March 5, 2012

A Chelsea Question

I'm hoping some of the readers of this blog can help with some advice.  I'm seriously considering an England trip next year (2013) to coincide with the Chelsea Flower Show.  I've nver been.  Are there certain days of the Show that are better if I'm only going to be there one day?

Any advice would be most appreciated!



  1. Hi Tim,
    You will love the Chelsea Flower Show. I think going earlier during the week is probably better because the plants will be fresher. I suspect the first day is a bit more of a madhouse. I would say go as soon as it opens in the morning. I generally like to see the show gardens outdoors first, go into the tent area and then revisit the show gardens that I liked best for a second look. Hope that helps. I'm sure more recommendations will be forthcoming. Good luck!

  2. My husband and I were at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2000 and it was certainly worth it. I would advise going during the week if you can and not on the weekends. Also order your tickets in advance here in the States and pick them up at will call at the show. In 2000 they would not mail tickets to the States in advance and I am assuming that that probably has not changed. They were very organized and I have such great memories of being there. Take lots of pictures.

  3. Hi Tim.

    Chelsea gets really busy and there can be quite a crush of people making it difficult to see the display gardens sometimes. Doors open at 8am and it is really worthwhile getting there at that time and making straight for the most popular gardens before checking out the rest of the exhibits and stands. Closing time is 8pm (except last day which is earlier) and it is easy to spend all day there and still not see all you want to. It is tiring too but there are plenty of places on site for food and drink.

    The first day is when the Royal Family visit - sounds good but entry is restricted because of security so best to avoid. Likewise, avoid the last day - the show shuts early and they sell off all the plants at 4pm. This is a great spectacle with everyone rushing about to grab their treasures but limits the amount of time to see the plants at their best.

    Finally, tickets always sell out early so purchase as soon as they become available. 2013 is the centenary year so likely to sell out even quicker.

    Good luck - it is a memory that will stay with you for ever. I was lucky enough to work at Chelsea for two years running some time ago. A 24 hour pass with access to all areas meant that I was able to explore it when everyone had gone home. Fantastic but it now means that i don't like sharing it with the crowds!


  4. Hi Tim, it'll be best if you buy an all day ticket so you can savour the experience, the crowd peaks and troughs through the day but there are less people in the afternoon. Probably best to buy a ticket on one of the latter days. On the very last day there is a display plant sell off so it can get very crowded. Hope this helps!

  5. Thanks so much! I knew I'd get great information from all of you!

  6. I'd go with Johnson's advice.. The madness settles down about the third day and plants are still fresh and the displays still awesome.

    Agreed, get your tickets early!!

    There is also a marketplace, selling lots of lovely things like garden boots, and tools and other things like Chelsea bags etc. I enjoyed that.

    Take high pixel photos!

    As Johnson says.."it will be a memory that will stay with you always".

  7. Hi Tim,

    Join the RHS for a year then you can get tickets for Tuesday - its not quite so crowded. Also watch the TV coverage if you are over here - it is very good. It is so well worth - I now have loads of ideas for my garden designs.

    Good luck