If you’re seriously into gardening, the odds are that you might visited the annual RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London, but what you may not know is that between April and September, they organise 7 more wonder-filled gardening events in the UK. Four of them take place in April and May with four more spread across June, July and September. Five of them are in the London area with another on the edge of the Cotswolds and another in Cardiff. The Chatsworth and Tatton Park events are both in the northwest of England and, while it’s very easy to include them in a circular tour that starts and finishes in London, you can do your customers a big favour by booking them onto one of the growing number of non-stop flights into the northern gateway of Manchester where airside/curbside in around 45 minutes gets their UK tour off to a much better start. Wisley, near the cathedral city of Guildford, is the Royal Horticultural Society’s stunning flagship garden and their early September celebration is the perfect choice for clients who couldn’t get away at all in the spring or summer.
|RHS Spring Launch and Orchid Show
Taking place between 7th-8th April and the first RHS show of the year, it’s the perfect opportunity to get spring off to a great start. Based in the historic RHS Horticultural Halls in the heart of London, growers from across the country exhibit their finest plants with an impressive variety from air plants and agapanthus, to orchids and bonsai trees. Get hands-on with an array of talks, workshops and demos. Also enjoy inspiring floristry and design displays, with plenty of inspiration for brightening up your home.
|RHS Flower Show Cardiff
The first major outdoor show of the season runs between 17th-19th April and it will be celebrating its 15th anniversary next year. Brimming with the colours and scents of spring, it’s the perfect place to kick-start the gardening year. Set in Bute Park in the heart of the Welsh Capital, with the backdrop of the magnificent Cardiff Castle, the show celebrates a love of the outdoors, creativity and the wonders of spring with plenty of seasonal ideas. In addition to show gardens, there are stunning floral displays, spring flowers, garden sundries and tools to help you get back in the garden after the winter months.
|RHS Malvern Spring Festival
Set against the magnificent Malvern Hills and staged in the Three Counties Showground between 7th-10th May, the RHS Malvern Spring Festival is packed with regional food, flowers and crafts alongside a line-up of expert speakers. Creativity runs wild as designers are given free rein to choose their garden’s theme, providing plenty of take-home inspiration. The show offers the perfect opportunity to prepare for the upcoming gardening season, gather inspiration from over 70 hand-picked nurseries in the Floral Marquee and pick up helpful tips through a series of talks and demonstrations as well as celebrity chefs.
|RHS Chelsea Flower Show
World-renowned, glamorous and quintessentially British, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is the RHS’s most prestigious show and an established part of the social season. Between 19th-23rd May, it brings together the best garden designers and plants people from across the world to create truly innovative gardens and floral displays. Showcasing an amazing array of flora through cutting-edge garden design and floral artistry, it is an endless source of inspiration and a must-see show for gardening enthusiasts as well as anyone simply wanting a truly unique and unforgettable day out.
|RHS Chatsworth Flower Show: 11–14
Running between 11th-14th July and set in one of ‘Capability’ Brown’s unforgettable landscapes, this is the RHS’ newest show; and, it combines tradition with exciting and innovative design, resulting in spectacular summer displays in an outstanding setting. RHS Chatsworth offers a delightful mix of gardening inspiration, spectacular summer colour, have-a-go workshops and unique shopping. Make sure that you allow enough time to visit Chatsworth House itself, one of England’s greatest treasure houses.
|RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival
As the largest flower show in the world, between 7th-12th July, this dazzling celebration brings a colourful festival of summer and flowers to the grounds of the historic palace on the banks of the River Thames – showcasing a selection of thought-provoking gardens, abundance of plants, culinary experiences, workshops and much more. With three garden categories in 2020, there will be ideas aplenty from a whole host of gardens full of inspirational ideas to revitalise green spaces. Look forward to a host of exciting talks and workshops from plants people, celebrities and foodies, along with a whole host of artisan shops and small businesses.
|RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, Cheshire
Taking place between 22nd-26th July, championing youth in horticulture, new talent and design is at the heart of RHS Tatton Park. Along with vibrant floral displays and the popular Back to Back gardens, there are have-a-go workshops and an impressive schedule of plant experts, foodies and gardeners giving talks. The extensive Floral Marquee and Plant Village are an essential pit stops for any gardener, as well as stands where visitors can pick up anything from beautiful planters to a hand-crafted wind chime for the garden.
|RHS Wisley Garden Flower Show
And with a final flourish in the historic flagship home of the Royal Horticultural Society, this 8th-13th September, six-day floral extravaganza features a variety of specialist nurseries and trade stands, with top quality plants and garden goodies. Visitors can gain access to expert advice and buy from RHS Chelsea and Hampton Court Place Garden Festival medal winners. Enjoy wonderful floral displays at the show itself, as well as enjoying Wisley’s extensive rose garden, colourful Mixed Borders and Exotic Garden – a delight to behold in late summer.
Paull Tickner, owner of U.K.-based Custom GB, is known for his expertise in creating and operating imaginative, value-added tours of Great Britain and Ireland. Visit his website at www.customgb.co.uk or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org