Opulent British horticulture is back for another year with the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023. Nestled in the peaceful grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, this annual display of botanical brilliance draws flower fans from across the world to admire impeccable gardens designed by the industry’s best and brightest. Planning on attending in 2023? Here’s everything to keep your eyes – and nose – peeled for.
Guide To The Chelsea Flower Show 2023
What Is The RHS Chelsea Flower Show?
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is an annual garden show held at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in west London. Beginning in 1912 and previously known as the ‘Great Spring Show’, the event is popular with professional horticulturalists and at-home gardeners alike, as well as British high society, including the Royal Family.
But it’s not all pomp and show: representing the latest and greatest in gardening techniques and designers, the Chelsea Flower Show has evolved into a frontrunning eco-conscious event, where environmentally friendly innovations are showcased alongside exotic flora, and modern issues – like urban greening, water conservation and biodiversity preservation – are tackled head on. This year is an especially exciting installment, with all RHS Chelsea gardens required to have a plan for life after the show for the first time; some displays will be moved in their entirety and relocated permanently, while others are expected to be rehomed in parts. Likewise, expect to see plenty of Royal tributes across the 36 gardens, this being the first Chelsea Flower Show since the late Queen died and her son, King Charles III, succeeded her.
As well as the usually beautiful show gardens, sanctuary gardens and house plant studios, we’re excited to see:
- The Royal Entomological Society Garden designed by Tom Massey, which will feature a functioning laboratory to study insect numbers visiting the garden during the show
- The Savills Garden featuring a working kitchen, feeding the Chelsea Pensioners in a true plot-to-plate experience
- Horatio’s Garden, the first garden on Main Avenue to be specifically designed to be wheelchair accessible
- Caley Bros, RHS Chelsea Flower Show’s first ever mushroom exhibitors
When Is The Chelsea Flower Show 2023?
The 2023 edition of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show will take place from Tuesday 23–Saturday 27 May. The first two days of the show (Tuesday and Wednesday) are reserved for RHS members only, and then the show is open to the public from Thursday onwards. Note, however, that your ticket must be purchased in advance of the show at rhs.org.uk
Where To Watch The Chelsea Flower Show On TV
The BBC will be featuring the RHS Chelsea Flower Show on BBC One and Two throughout the duration of the show, with presenters including Sophie Raworth, Angellica Bell and Monty Don commentating alongside special expert guests such as Adam Frost, Frances Tophill, Arit Anderson and Nick Bailey. The Chelsea Flower Show is on TV on:
- Sunday 21 May at 6pm on BBC One
- Monday 22–Friday 26 May at 3.45pm on BBC One
- Monday 22 May at 7.30pm on BBC Two
- Tuesday 23–Saturday 27 May at 8pm on BBC Two
- Wednesday 24 May at 7pm on BBC One and Two
- Friday 26 May at 7.30pm on BBC One and Two
- Monday 29 May at 8pm on BBC One
Where To Eat & Drink
There are four restaurants onsite at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, as well as a selection of cafes and picnic areas for smaller and lighter bites.
The Ranelagh Restaurant
This is the flower show’s luxury fine dining restaurant, offering breakfast and lunch with all ingredients sourced within 30 miles of the Chelsea Showground.
The Drawing Room
Created in collaboration with The Dorchester, The Drawing Room offers floral-inspired Champagne afternoon tea, bar bites and chilled drinks.
Champagne & Seafood Restaurant
With a luxury seafood angle, this restaurant offers lunch and brunch in beautiful surrounds, accompanied by a glass of Pommery Brut Royal.
Spring Garden at Chelsea
Designed for private clients and intimate and exclusive groups, Spring Garden at Chelsea is a stylish space where guests can embrace the simplicity and seasonality of renowned chef Skye Gyngell’s food.
What To Wear
While visitors typically dress up on members’ days, it is technically a smart-casual dress code at the RHS Chelsea Flower show. Taking place outdoors and with our current fickle weather, you might want to pick an outfit that can be layered up or down. One thing’s for certain: wear some comfortable shoes.
Can You Still Get Tickets?
Yes, tickets are still available, and you can get them here. Tuesday 23 May and Wednesday 24 May tickets are only available for RHS members, but Thursday 25 May, Friday 26 May, and Saturday 27 May are available to the public. Prices start from £37.85 for RHS members and £48.85 for non-members.
London Gate, Royal Hospital Road, Royal Hospital Chelsea, London SW3 4SR
Featured image: RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 (via Getty).