The Virtual RHS Chelsea Flower Show: The world’s most prestigious gardening event heads online

May 16, 2020 3 min read

The Virtual RHS Chelsea Flower Show: The world’s most prestigious gardening event heads online

The RHS has cancelled all events through the end of June, but you can still get a taste of Chelsea magic via the web…

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is the biggest event on any British gardening enthusiast’s calendar, but with the event sadly cancelled the RHS is entering into all new territory by taking its show online.


The RHS Chelsea flowershow virtual tour
The ‘Virtual RHS Chelsea Flower Show’ will take place from May 18 to 23, and even though it won’t have all the sights, smells and tastes of the original event, it will bring together gardening professionals and hobbyists to unite them over their shared passion: the perfect outdoor space.
For some, the show is coming just in time.


Garden centres have been hit hard by the Covid-19 lockdown and need the support of the UK’s some 23 million gardeners. The centres are opening back up again – much to the relief of the roughly 650 UK businesses which produce ornamental plants, contributing £1.4 billion to the economy and employing 15,000 people directly, according to the Horticultural Trades Association.

Quick facts about Britain’s gardeners:

• 83% of homes in England have some private outdoor space

• 36% of regular gardeners say they grow vegetables in their garden

• Garden gnomes are banned at RHS Chelsea, but made an appearance when the ban was temporarily lifted in 2013 as part of a charity fundraiser


What to expect from the Virtual RHS Chelsea Flower Show

News reader Sophie Raworth and Gardeners' World host Joe Swift will be presenting segments from their respective London homes. Each day, world-leading garden designers, florists and gardening personalities will take us through their own private gardens. Plus, there will be “interactive” lunchtime Q&A sessions with RHS experts and special guests. Viewers will also be able to cast their vote online for the RHS People’s choice garden of the decade, plant of the decade and product of the year.

And since gardening is great for body and soul whether you’re nine or 99, there will be a School Gardening Club offered daily, with family-friendly activities to boost our understanding of plants and help us to connect with nature. You can learn more about the festival here.

Our history with the RHS

The Light Yard at RHS Chelsea flower show 2019
We’ve been proud to have been welcomed as an artisan collaborator with Raymond Blanc’s pop-up restaurant Jardin Blanc. Of course, this is currently on “pause”, with plans to recommence in 2021.

Chelsea 2021 will be our third RHS show, as we participated in both RHS Tatton Park in 2018 and RHS Chelsea in 2019, where we were felt embraced by the RHS community and were delighted to be awarded four stars out of five for our contemporary shell-scheme stand which featured oxidised metal sheet wall and home-cultivated long grasses and bamboo. (You can read the full story here.)

Gwyn Carless at The Light Yard director Jeff Fuller said: “So many people work year round to prepare for Chelsea, I think there was a fair bit of shock when the cancellation was first announced. But what’s truly amazing is how the RHS has completely switched gears and pulled together an online version of the Show. We’re a nation of gardeners – we need our gardens, and our garden centres, now more than ever. I’ll definitely be logging on for some of the online offerings – and I’m absolutely confident the Show will be back next year, better than ever.”

For more information, contact The Light Yard on +44 (0)330 2233 940 or email info@thelightyard.com. To keep up with the latest lighting design tips and trends, follow us on our social channels: FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn