London is Blooming for The Chelsea Flower Show


From 21 to 25 May 2024, London will look even more fabulous as the city celebrates Chelsea Flower Show in the Royal Hospital London grounds, where it’s been hosted since 1913. If you haven’t secured your tickets yet, make sure you visit the RHS website to find yours. Read on to find out more about the breathtaking installations and the beautiful hotels to stay in.

What to See: The Boodles National Gallery Garden

Celebrating the 200th anniversary of the National Gallery, British fine jeweller Boodles has created a magnificent garden for the show, inspired by significant artworks in the gallery’s collection. Designer Catherine MacDonald draws on colours, textures and details she engaged with on visits to the gallery, reflecting the theme of ‘art in nature’ with fragrant thyme, vibrant dahlias and tactile grasses. Sculptural arches are inspired by Canaletto’s use of repetition and perspective, while textured metal water features echo the works of Renoir and Monet with shimmering reflections. We’ve also heard that subject to planning consent, the garden will be relocated in front of the National Gallery after the show, so keep a look out later in the year when you’re near Trafalgar Square.

The Boodles National Gallery Garden

The Great Pavilion: A Day on the Nursery

A spectacular installation will surround the monument in the Great Pavilion at the heart of the show this year, titled, ‘A Day on the Nursery: insights into life as a grower’. Celebrating the expertise of nursery growers, it will highlight four nurseries which specialise in edible flowers and wildflowers. The nurseries featured include two who are first-time exhibitors at the show: Kent Wildflower Seeds and She Grows Veg, presenting wildflowers and heirloom vegetables. They’ll sit in an artful arrangement of raised beds, a potting shed, polytunnel and shaded pergola, alongside mushrooms from The Caley Brothers, who won gold for their display last year, and Kitchen Garden Plant Centre, an award-winning family grower of herbs and edible plants. Don’t miss the talks throughout the week, which will offer tips on the nurseries’ growing processes.

Previous exhibit in The Great Pavilion

The Octavia Hill Garden by Blue Diamond with The National Trust

Designer Ann-Marie Powell has created a calming garden for The National Trust, inspired by pioneering social reformer and co-founder of the Trust, Octavia Hill. Hill believed that ‘the healthy gift of air and the joy of plants and flowers’ were crucial to everyone’s wellbeing, and she worked throughout her life to improve urban living and protect green spaces. Powell’s design is structured around open-air sitting rooms, with hand-carved seating offering a place to sit and observe the biodiversity of the space, which has pollinator-friendly planting, bird boxes, a wildlife pond and walkable stream. The steel-lattice canopy is reminiscent of a dragonfly wing and a focal point for the diverse habitat of joyful alliums, clematis and ancient ferns.

The Octavia Hill Garden

Where to Stay: The Kensington Hotel

The Kensington Hotel is a brilliant spot to relax and reflect on your garden inspiration. It’s only a half-hour stroll or ten-minute drive away from the Royal Hospital London grounds where the show is located. Ask for a fragrant cocktail at the K bar – perhaps an Apgar with lemon verbena or the Babylon with notes of jasmine – and enjoy the elegant space.

The Kensington Hotel

The Goring

A similar distance away in Belgravia, The Goring is offering a special Chelsea-inspired ‘Bloomin’ Lovely’ afternoon tea, a nod to George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion which was published just a few years after the hotel’s opening. As you sit in The Veranda looking out at The Goring Gardens, you’ll enjoy the hotel’s sandwiches, scones and cakes with a botanical twist, incorporating fresh herbs from the garden. We can’t wait to try the blackcurrant and hibiscus scones and how could we say no to a glass of Bollinger Special Cuvée!

Afternoon Tea at The Goring Hotel

Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London

After your busy day, amble for half an hour towards Hyde Park and find Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, where you can enjoy a Qi massage. You’ll experience applied pressure techniques with a blend of relaxing essential oils, tailored to you following a personal consultation with your therapist. Then, enjoy the Vitality Pool and Relaxation Room, emerging rejuvenated and ready for another inspiring day.

Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London

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