It’s legendary. It’s the largest in the world. And this year the Chelsea Flower Show is virtual, so possibly accessible to all of us! I say possibly because I’m still not entirely sure how it’ll work for us North Americans.

The Royal Horticulture Society, which puts on the show, announced that from May 18-23, it’ll “share videos and articles from regular Chelsea exhibitors on its website.”

Monday 18th May will be Members’ day, showcasing exclusive RHS Chelsea content for RHS members only.

19th-23rd May: Each morning the show will kick off with a tour from one of the world’s leading garden designers, florists or gardening personalities of their own private gardens. Here they’ll be sharing their top design tips, favourite planting combinations and gardening trends with virtual visitors.

There will also be a daily School Gardening Club, providing a wealth of activities for families to get together, play, dig, grow plants and connect with nature.

Virtual visitors will get an insight into how some of the world’s best quality plants are grown, as a selection of UK growers will take visitors on exclusive behind-the-scenes tours of their award-winning nurseries.

Some of the spectacular plant displays that were due to fill the Great Pavilion, the jewel in RHS Chelsea’s crown, will be replicated virtually at home for the world to enjoy.

These leading growers will also host daily potting bench demonstrations, sharing specialist plant expertise, growing techniques and tips on how to keep plants happy and healthy.
Additionally, throughout the week, every lunchtime, RHS Advisors will be joined by a special guest for an interactive Q&A session.

I couldn’t find a schedule of events, but times may be challenging for people who live 5-8 time zones away. (10 a.m. in London is 5 a.m. in New York and 2 a.m. in LA.)

Scene from the 2019 Chelsea Flower Show. Credit: RHS/GEORGI MABEE

While interactive events may just be available May 18-23, I hope this feature that I’m most excited about will be online much longer: “Tours from well-known garden designers, florists and gardening personalities of their own private gardens as they share their top design tips, favourite planting combinations and gardening trends with virtual visitors.”

Fans will also be sharing photos of their own green spaces in various categories on social media with the hashtag #mychelseagarden – to win tickets to Chelsea 2021. Might be fun to peruse that hashtag on Instagram.

Another reason to buy stamps!

The dire straits of the USPS are a topic for another blog, but one smidgen of happy postal news is its announcement this week of 10 new stamps depicting American public gardens.

From the USPS website:

Each stamp features a photograph of a small but evocative area of one of ten gardens.  The gardens include: Biltmore Estate Gardens (NC); Brooklyn Botanic Garden (NY); Chicago Botanic Garden (IL); Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (ME); Dumbarton Oaks Garden (DC); the Huntington Botanical Gardens (CA); Alfred B. Maclay gardens State Park (FL); Norfolk Botanical Garden (VA); Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens (OH); and Winterthur Garden (DE).

Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamps with photos taken by Allen Rokach between 1996 and 2014.

The site says that “All the gardens featured on the 10 stamps are open to the public,” which presumably means they’re public gardens, not that they open right now. But we can definitely all buy the stamps and support the mission of the agency.