The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is the highlight of the gardening calendar and showcases the very best in horticultural talent.

Think of it as the Glastonbury of gardening with tickets selling fast.

Tickets are already on sale for this year’s event so here’s what you need to know about attending the 2020 show.

When is the Chelsea Flower Show 2020?

The RHS Chelsea Flower show runs from Tuesday 19 May 2020 until Saturday 23 May 2020.

On Tuesday and Wednesday the show is open to RHS members only and open to members and non-members on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

DANIEL LEAL-OLIVASGetty Images

Opening times

The show is open from 8am until 8pm Tuesday to Friday and is open from 8am until 5.30pm on Saturday.

On Friday 22 May Chelsea Late takes place. This allows visitors who have purchased a Chelsea Flower Show Late ticket access to the show from 5.30pm. They will then be able to stay after the show has closed at 8pm where there will be music, workshops and demonstrations.

Where is it?

The Chelsea Flower Show takes place in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Nearest tube stops are Sloane Square which is approximately 10 minutes walk from the showground.

How much does it cost?

Tickets prices range from £31.75 to £92.75 and vary depending on membership.

How can I get tickets?

Tickets are on sale now and are available to buy via the RHS website.

What can I see there?

The show is divided up into sections including the Show Gardens, the Artisan Gardens which showcase modest-sized gardens using special materials and the Urban Gardens, a category which focuses on smaller spaces.

Garden designer James Basson won Best in Show at the 2017 Chelsea Flower Show Jack TaylorGetty Images

The Show Gardens

Last year’s winner of the best show garden was The M&G garden, designed by Andy Sturgeon.

The 2020 garden for M&G will be designed by Hugo Bugg and Charlotte Harris and will be a communal residential garden focussing on the challenges of creating green spaces in the middle of growing cities.

With sustainability a key issue at next year’s flower show, The M&G garden will feature repurposed materials and plants that can survive climate difficulties.

The M&G garden designed by Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg Christian Tate

Joining the M&G garden on Main Parade for the first time are designers Peter Chmiel and Chin Yung Chen who will create the Guangzhou China: Guangzhou Garden.

The pair will plant a ‘city garden of the future’ featuring a woodland dell, pond and bamboo structures for humans and wildlife.

The Guangzhou China: Guangzhou Garden Peter Chmiel and Chin-Jung Chen

Facebook, who won a gold medal in 2019 in the Space To Grow category, will be joining the Show Garden category in 2020.

Designed by Joe Perkins (who also designed Facebook’s 2019 garden), and called Growing The Future, the garden will be inspired by the British countryside and feature a meadow and highlight the way trees can combat climate change and increase biodiversity.

The Facebook Garden: Growing the Future designed by Joe Perkins I-echo visualisation

Welcome to Yorkshire, who have been part of the show for a decade, has confirmed they will not be taking part in 2020.

Jack TaylorGetty Images

The Artisan Gardens

The Artisan Gardens are smaller than the Main Avenue show gardens.

Last year, the Green Switch Garden by Kazuyuki Ishihara, a Japanese-style structure, won the Gold medal.

The Green Switch Garden deigned by Kazuyuki Ishihara Tim Sandall

Kazuyuki Ishihara will be back again in 2020 with the Zen Garden, set in the foothills of Japan and focusing on helping gardeners connect with a simpler way of life and live mindfully.

The Zen Garden designed by Kazuyuki Ishihara Kazuyuki Ishihara

The Body Shop will join the 2020 RHS Chelsea Flower Show with beauty botanist Jennifer Hirsch designing the The Lady Garden which will celebrate the female form. All plants for the garden have been locally sourced to reduce carbon footprint.

The Body Shop’s Lady Garden designed by Jennifer Hirsch The Body Shop

Also joining the Artisan Gardens category will be garden designer Yoshihiro Tamura with the Circle of Life garden. The centrepiece is a Japanese wooden water wheel. The garden is undulating, depicting the highs and lows of life itself, and the planting will feature grasses, herbs and vegetables.

Bichester Shopping Village have also sponsored a garden in the Artisan category in 20202. It will be designed by Nikki Tibbles and is described as traditional with a contemporary twist. The centrepiece will be a colourful pagoda surrounded by old fruit trees.

Urban Gardens

There is a new category for Chelsea 2020, called Urban Gardens. According to the RHS the Urban Garden category will: “demonstrate how a modest space can be transformed into a captivating garden.”

The Urban Garden category will replace the Space to Grow Gardens category.

Joining the Urban Gardens is the Finnish Soul Garden designed by Taina Suonio. Once again, the garden is geared to offer relief to stressed out city dwellers featuring a sauna and a cooling off area.

The planting will feature birch, rowan, pine trees and vegetation found on the Baltic seaside.

The Finnish Soul Garden designed by Taina Suonio Taina Suonio

The MiaoFu Garden will centre around a tearoom and features plants from a traditional Chinese landscape including ferns, lotus flowers and pine trees.

MiaoFu’s Garden Sun MiaoFu and Chen Guangming

The Great Pavilion

One of the highlights of the Chelsea Flower Show, the Great Pavilion will feature a new section called The RHS Potting Shed, where visitors can sit and listen to talks and demonstrations.

The Great Pavilion at The Chelsea Flower Show 2019 Barcroft MediaGetty Images

Floristry will also take centre stage at the Flower Show in 2020 with a competition featuring four categories including British Blooms, a category for dried plants, one for plants that attract pollinators and the Beauty of Nature category for larger installations.

Plant of the Year competition

The Plant of the Year competition will celebrate 10 years in 2020 and to mark the occasion, all past winners will be displayed in the Great Pavilion including the 2019 winner Sedum ‘Atlantis’ and 2018’s winner, Hydrangea Runaway Bride ‘Snow White’.

Visitors will be able to choose their favourites from past shows and the overall winner will be crowned RHS Chelsea Plant of the Decade.

Sedum ’Atlantis’ – the Chelsea Flower Show 2019 plant of the year Sarah Cuttle

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All the winners of the Chelsea Flower Show plant of the year

Plant of the year 2019 – Sedum takesimense ‘Atlantis’

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Plant of the year 2018 – Hydrangea Runaway Bride ‘Snow White”

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Plant of the year 2017 – Dwarf mulberry ‘Mojo Berry’

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Plant of the year 2017 – Clematis koreana ‘Amber’

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Plant of the year 2015 – Viburnum ‘Kilimanjaro Sunrise’

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Plant of the year 2014 – Hydrangea ‘Miss Saori’

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Plant of the year 2013 – Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’

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Plant of the year 2012 – Digitalis valinii ‘Illumination Pink’

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Plant of the year 2011 – Anemone ‘Wild Swan’

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Plant of the year 2010 – Streptocarpus ‘Harlequin Blue’

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How to become an RHS member

If you would like to become an RHS member ahead of the Chelsea Flower Show 2020, simply visit the RHS website to sign up now.

You can enjoy unlimited days out in the RHS’ four four gardens, exclusive access to shows and expert advice, while helping support its charitable work.

Individual membership currently costs from £47.25 per year if you pay by Direct Debit or £63 if not.

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Joint membership costs from £69 per year if you pay by Direct Debit, or £92 if not.

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1 The future’s bright

Chelsea’s purple patch – dominated by alliums, irises and salvias – seems to be in a slow decline, with this year’s emergent colour scheme one of deep wine reds, burgundies and magentas, with patches of bronze. The Silk Road garden by Laurie Chetwood and Patrick Collins was the most dramatic example of the trend, but it threaded more subtly through many of this year’s designs. Key plants for this trend are the plume thistle (Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’), Lysimachia ‘Beaujolais’, bronze fennel (Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’) and red lupins. There were surprising splashes of orange, yellow and pink, too, from the bright orange giant Anglepoise lamp in Kate Gould’s urban garden to the orange and pink walls in Manoj Malde’s garden, inspired by the Mexican modernist architect Luis Barragán.

The Silk Road garden by Laurie Chetwood and Patrick Collins. Photograph: MMGI / Bennet Smith

2 Say hello to the strokable plot

It’s not always the brash plants that grab the attention at Chelsea: the tiniest details can draw you into a garden. This year, I have a major crush on mosses. The walls of gently mounded moss in Kazuyuki Ishihara’s exquisite artisan garden and on the back wall of Matthew Keightley’s Radio 2 texture garden were so tactile, it was a shame you couldn’t go and give them a stroke. If you fancy recreating the look at home, The Magical World Of Moss Gardening by Annie Martin will tell you everything you need to know.

Mounds of moss on Ishihara Kazuyuki’s artisan garden. Photograph: Jim Powell/The Guardian

3 Lupins are back, back, back

Chris Beardshaw’s garden. Photograph: Neil Hepworth/RHS

After many years in the wilderness of plant fashion, lupins were everywhere: the rather restrained purple and blue varieties have been creeping into Chelsea gardens for a few years, but now even the bicolour varieties are welcome, such as the raspberry and yellow ‘Tequila Flame’ on Chris Beardshaw’s garden for Morgan Stanley; and brick red ‘Terracotta’ and strong red ‘Beefeater’ on Sarah Raven’s Radio 2 colour garden.

4 Pines got fresh

A gnarly jack pine underplanted with Aquilegia canadensis and Zizea aurea in Charlotte Harris’s garden. Photograph: Jim Powell/The Guardian

Forget box balls, silver birch and yew hedges, this year it’s all about the pines, from the gnarly jack pines (Pinus banksiana) of Charlotte Harris’s RBC garden, the several tonnes worth of Scots pine (P. sylvestris) in Chris Beardshaw’s garden, or the mounds of dwarf mountain pine (P. mugo) in Matthew Keightley’s texture garden.

5 Everyone upped their game

A Hartley Botanic Opus glasshouse filled with orchids. Photograph: Hartley Botanic

The companies selling high-end glasshouses, sculptures, fire bowls and the like have upped their game, to the extent that some Chelsea trade stands could easily be mistaken for show gardens. The shortage of high-profile show gardens this year (down to eight from the usual dozen or more) allows trade stands to step into the gap. And from visitors’ perspective, it’s a chance to see top-quality planting schemes up close: trade stands actively encourage people to come inside their boundaries, unlike the cordoned-off show gardens. See how it’s done in the plant-packed glasshouses of Hartley Botanic.

6 Crazy paving went large

Charlotte Harris’s Royal Bank of Canada Garden features oversized, irregular pavers. Photograph: Jim Powell/The Guardian

You know that patio you (or your parents) pulled up 20 years ago? It may be time to consider bringing it back, only this time think big. Irregular-shaped supersized slabs in a random pattern featured in Charlotte Harris’s garden and the Breaking Ground garden by Andrew Wilson and Gavin McWilliam.

7 Attack of the portable plants

Agave americana in the Beneath A Mexican Sky garden. Photograph: Jonathan Buckley

Indoor/outdoor potted plants – things that live outside all summer, but need the frost-free protection of a porch, conservatory or cool room in winter – are growing in popularity. For those with small outside spaces and renters, such plants can form a portable garden that can move with you, or be shifted with the sun or your mood. For inspiration, check out the succulents such as the spiky agave and felted leaves of Kalanchoe beharensis in Manoj Malde’s garden.

8 Reach for the sky

James Basson’s M&G garden. Photograph: MMGI / Bennet Smith

Chelsea watchers looked up as well as around this year, with so many gardens incorporating features with serious height: James Basson’s M&G show garden inspired by a Maltese quarry featured two limestone stacks, one of which was so tall it almost touched the branches of the vast London plane trees that overhang the site. Then there’s the 4m-tall steel structures in Wilson and McWilliam’s Breaking Ground garden, and the 3m-tall hornbeam hedges that enclose Darren Hawkes’ garden for Linklaters. You had to head up on to a raised walkway to view that one (or watch it on TV).

9 Designers saddled up

Chelsea canter: driftwood sculptures of horses and other animals by sculptor James Doran-Webb. Photograph: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

I couldn’t help noticing an equine theme running through the show. There was a copper wire sculpture by Rupert Till of a horse’s head on Manoj Malde’s garden, Adam Woolcott and Jonathan Smith’s artisan garden had a horse by Tom Hill Sculpture made entirely of horseshoes, and a series of horse sculptures by James Doran-Webb appeared on main avenue.

10 Hurrah for a new hibiscus

Hibiscus ‘Petit Orange’. Photograph: Graff Breeding AS LIB

This plant, which Thompson & Morgan have put up for the Chelsea plant of the year award, is bang on trend: its showy orange flowers with a red centre are smaller but more numerous than those of a regular hibiscus, and it’s compact enough to be treated as an indoor/outdoor plant. ‘Petit Orange’ also has dark, glossy foliage that will look good all winter while it enjoys a rest in a bright spot indoors. I can see this one flying off the shelves..

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The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is the highlight of the gardening calendar and showcases the very best in horticultural talent.

Think of it as the Glastonbury of gardening with tickets selling fast.

Tickets are already on sale for this year’s event so here’s what you need to know about attending the 2020 show.

The RHS Chelsea Flower show runs from Tuesday 19 May 2020 until Saturday 23 May 2020.

On Tuesday and Wednesday the show is open to RHS members only and open to members and non-members on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

DANIEL LEAL-OLIVASGetty Images

Tickets prices range from £31.75 to £92.75 and vary depending on membership.

Tickets are on sale now and are available to buy via the RHS website.

Plant of the year 2019 – Sedum takesimense ‘Atlantis’

BUY NOW from £8.99, Crocus

Plant of the year 2018 – Hydrangea Runaway Bride ‘Snow White”

BUY NOW from £24.99, Crocus

Plant of the year 2017 – Dwarf mulberry ‘Mojo Berry’

BUY NOW from £11.99, Crocus

Plant of the year 2017 – Clematis koreana ‘Amber’

BUY NOW from £19.99, Crocus

Plant of the year 2015 – Viburnum ‘Kilimanjaro Sunrise’

BUY NOW from £24.99, Crocus

Plant of the year 2014 – Hydrangea ‘Miss Saori’

BUY NOW from £17.99, Crocus

Plant of the year 2013 – Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’

BUY NOW from £14.99, Crocus

Plant of the year 2012 – Digitalis valinii ‘Illumination Pink’

BUY NOW from £9.99, Crocus

Plant of the year 2011 – Anemone ‘Wild Swan’

BUY NOW from £9.99, Crocus

Plant of the year 2010 – Streptocarpus ‘Harlequin Blue’

BUY NOW from £19.99, Crocus

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Returning once again to RHS Chelsea, this time with a thought provoking Fresh Garden with a strong environmental message ‘City Living’ Winning both a gold medal and the coveted ‘Best In Category’ award, 2017 marks a triumphant return to The Chelsea Flower Show for Kate Gould Gardens.

City Living was set on a 12×6 plot and built across three levels, featuring a basement, mezzanine and top floor. Following in the footsteps of Kate’s 2013 garden ‘The Wasteland’, ‘City Living’ provided greenery to an imagined apartment block where there is very little scope for outdoor green space but where every opportunity, no matter how small, is used to provide useable outdoor spaces for residents whilst also providing much needed wildlife corridors in urban areas.

On the top level is an area shaded by a pergola, the mid levels have occasional seating and there are two secluded seating areas at basement level. The planting used throughout is a mix of hardy tropical shade lovers in the basement area whilst the planting on the upper floors responds to the light levels received in reality.

Medal: Gold

Category: Best Fresh Garden

Image copyright of Helen Fickling

The Duchess of Cambridge joined the Queen and Prince Philip on a preview tour of Chelsea Flower Show on Monday, a day before the world-famous event opens to the public.

The sun was shining for the royal visitors, which also included Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie and Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, who were led around a number of this year’s displays late in the afternoon.

Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip were invited for a private tour with Sir Nicholas Bacon, president of the Royal Horticultural Society.

Getty Images

Kate, who was dressed for the occasion in a floral print dress, spoke to a number of exhibitors, including Northern Irish designer Ian Price who created a garden called ‘Mind Trap’.

Getty Images

For the Queen, who has been a patron of the RHS since 1952, the chance to tour a selection of the 500 gardens, nurseries, floristry and educational exhibits is said to be a highlight in her busy diary.

Julian SimmondsGetty Images

It’s an honour and a privilege to welcome Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness Prince Philip to #RHSChelsea 2017 pic.twitter.com/7jGqBzxS33

— The RHS (@The_RHS) May 22, 2017

This year, Her Majesty got to meet baking royalty Mary Berry, along with presenter Chris Evans.

Julian SimmondsGetty Images

“The Queen missed Chelsea only twice, on both occasions for overseas state visits,” RHS shows director, Stephen Bennett told The Telegraph.”Like the Queen Mother who loved plants and gardens, the Queen is incredibly knowledgeable.”

Julian SimmondsGetty Images

Celebrity guests also enjoyed the opening day, with Mary Berry, Gemma Arterton, Alexa Chung and Dame Judi Dench in attendance.

Getty Images Getty Images

Established in 1913, the Chelsea Flower Show has become one of the most important events in the horticultural calendar, attracting visitors and exhibitors from around the world. This year will see the unveiling of 50 new plants that are either new hybrids, new to the UK market or being seen for the first time at Chelsea.

We were lucky enough to be there, too! Here’s what we got up to…

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The spectacular Chengdu Silk Road Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. We have been there all day! Watch our Instagram Story to see what else was going on… #chelseaflowershow #rhs #garden

A post shared by Country Living UK | (@countrylivinguk) on May 22, 2017 at 10:22am PDT

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We are spending the day at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Watch our Instagram Story for a full tour. This is The Morgan Stanley Garden which is inspired by fractal geometry and patterns found in nature, music, art and communities. #chelseaflowershow #garden #rhs

A post shared by Country Living UK | (@countrylivinguk) on May 22, 2017 at 3:40am PDT

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 is ready to open the gates to the public but if you can’t make it in person then here’s how to watch coverage online all week of the annual horticultural event held in London.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 dates and tickets

This year’s show starts on 23 May and ends on 27 May – a press day takes place in advance on 22 May.

You can get Chelsea Flower Show 2017 tickets here.

How to watch Chelsea Flower Show 2017 online

The BBC has coverage of this year’s show and you can already watch episode one on the iPlayer as the preview has already been broadcast.

Main highlights of each day will be shown on BBC One or Two at 8pm every day, followed by an additional look back at 7:30pm on 29 May.

Daytime episodes will be shown at 3:45pm between 22-26 May with additional episodes at 7:30pm on 22 and 26 May.

Check the BBC website for the full episode guide.There will be a total of 15 episodes all available via the BBC iPlayer.

Watching outside the UK

If you’re watching the Chelsea Flower Show from outside the UK, you might need to install a VPN. We’d recommend PureVPN, but you can find out more about VPNs in our Best VPN 2017 round-up.

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