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The Chelsea Flower Show 2013

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by Sandra Lawson (subscribe)
To paraphrase Dorothy: 'There is no place like London.' I hope I can convince you of that here. Also check out my blog at and my theatre reviews at
Event: -
Gardeners, not Pensioners, at the Royal Hospital Chelsea
Nothing heralds the approach of summer more than the Chelsea Flower Show, especially in its centenary year, and tickets are selling fast. Obviously the designs for the 2013 show are still mainly under wraps, but this year promises to look to the future as well has harking back over the last 100 years.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show
100 Years of the Chelsea Flower Show

For 2013 we are promised 15 show gardens, 11 fresh gardens and 8 small artisan gardens to whet our horticultural appetites, accompanied by 150 florists and nurseries and more than 200 trade stands. Amongst the other exhibits will be the Evolving Garden, dealing with on-going environmental issues and of course the Floral Pavilion, which will include blooms from the original 1913 show.

Experts will be on hand to offer advice for your gardens, the gardening century will be illustrated in photographs and Opera Holland Park will also be involved with a flower themed concert.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show
RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Reminding us of what an amazing year 2012 was, Delancey's East Village will be a garden modelled on last year's Olympic Park and laid out by landscape designer Marie-Louise Agius.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show
East Village Show Garden

This year the Royal Horticultural Society is asking the public to choose the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Centenary. A list of 10 plants launched by the RHS from each decade of the exhibition has been selected and votes can be cast online or at the show itself. Each entrant is proposed by an amateur gardener 'Plant Champion' to argue why their choice should win the accolade. Contenders for the award include Lupinus Russell Group from 1933-1942,

RHS Chelsea Flower Show
Lupinus Russell Group

Geranium Wallichianum 'Rozanne' from 1993-2002

RHS Chelsea Flower Show
Geranium Wallichanium 'Rozanne'

and, my own garden favourite, Erysimum 'Bowles's Mauve' from 1973-1982.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show
Erysimum 'Bowles's Mauve'

Whether you are able to snap up the final remaining tickets, or have to settle for watching the TV coverage, this year's show is bound to inspire amateur and professional gardeners alike. It's been such a long, cold winter and I'm sure our greenfingers are all itching to get to work.
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Why? To get inspiration for your garden
When: Between 21 and 25 May from 8am until 8pm, except the final day when it closes at 5pm
Where: Royal Hospital, Chelsea
Cost: Prices are on the website and vary for members of the RHS and members of the public
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