The Handbook
The Handbook

While some are disappointed at the cancellation of Glastonbury, others distraught at the fact that the Euros won’t happen until 2021, in March, London’s flower aficionados were downtrodden by the news that the biggest event in the horticultural calendar, the Chelsea Flower Show, had been cancelled due to lockdown.

Well, it hasn’t. Not fully anyway. The most colourful event of the summer, that draws such diverse fans as The Queen, Mary Berry, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rod Stewart and just about every It-girl du jour, will go online for the first time since it began way back in 1913.

Organisers of the show, that will take place between 18th and 23rd May, hope that the virtual tours and online events will “inspire more people to get growing,” and will include school gardening clubs, virtual floristry sessions and potting bench demonstrations so whether you’ve not a clue what the

difference between a dahlia and a delphinium is or you’re a fully-fledged green-fingered gardener, there’s something for everyone.

There will also be virtual tours of famous gardeners, designers and florists’ gardens to inspire your own, whether you’ve a sprawling country pile or a modest city windowsill. As well as a daily lunchtime Q&A with an RHS expert.

Unlike the usual event, the virtual Chelsea Flower Show will be completely free and give those outside of London the chance to ‘attend’.

Sue Biggs, RHS director general, said: “We’re lucky to live in a digital age where we’re able to bring aspects of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show online so we can continue to share the world’s best in horticulture and bring garden design inspiration, breath-taking displays and horticultural knowledge for the nation to enjoy during this difficult time.”

Whether you've no idea what the difference between a dahlia and a delphinium is or are a fully-fledged green-fingered gardener, there’s something for everyone.

Don’t worry if you bought tickets for the show back before the world was turned on its head, ticketholders will be able to vote for awards including RHS Chelsea plant of the decade and RHS Chelsea product of the year.

The only thing we’ll be missing is seeing the usual A-list guest list and what floral looks they’ve chosen to wear to the Chelsea event.

The Chelsea Flower Show will run virtually from Tuesday 19th May to Saturday 23rd May.