Insider Secrets to the Chelsea Flower Show

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By Award-winning Gardening Expert Adam Woolcott  

Chelsea Flower Show 2023

Hello, I’m Adam Woolcott. Gardening has been my passion since the age of 5, when my dad built me a wooden box filled with soil, and my mum gifted me some freesia bulbs to plant. Seeing those bulbs bloom and thrive ignited my love for gardening, and I’ve been hooked ever since. With years of experience and a deep-rooted passion for all things green, I’ve honed my skills as a gardener and am excited to share my expertise with others. 

For more than 35 years, I’ve been running my own garden maintenance business, and together with my husband Jonathan, we have achieved remarkable success in the gardening industry. Our accomplishments include four gold medals at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show and three BBC/RHS People’s Choice Awards. Gardening and plants are not only my profession but also a beloved hobby. With a deep-seated passion for all things green, I live and breathe gardening, constantly striving to bring beauty and life to every corner of the garden. 

As a professional gardener, one of the greatest pleasures is partnering with exceptional gardening brands like Webb Garden Power. I currently offer monthly gardening advice via their website, which has been a wonderful opportunity to connect with other gardening enthusiasts and share my knowledge and expertise. 

How Far Do People Travel to Attend the Show?

Earlier I mentioned the Chelsea Flower Show which is a truly global destination event; attended by royalty, famous celebrities and members of the public from across the globe. I once had a group of ladies visit my garden every day throughout the show who’d all travelled from Australia, and I’ve met people from dozens of different countries for whom Chelsea is a must-go event. When you’re at the show it’s so amazing to hear people speaking so many different languages, to see people dressed in so many ways, it’s an amazing melting pot of humanity all passionate about plants and gardens.

With the challenges our planet faces today, Chelsea has become more important than ever; because not only does it exhibit plants – it explains the challenges that plants are facing across the globe, mainly due to our influence but some of the plants also exhibited at Chelsea have been so rare that they are microchipped and have bodyguards! Some plants exhibited there were once thought to be extinct but have now been saved and propagated many thousands of times to ensure their future existence. These are just some of the reasons that Chelsea is a world-cross, world-renowned and a world loved destination event.

Celebrating Diversity: A Look at the International Presence at the Flower Show

Another glorious feature of Chelsea is that the origin of plants and gardens are as diverse as the people who visit, I’ve seen gardens from Australia, Italy, South Africa, Korea, Japan, and Barbados to name just a few. These gardens are created using the natural flora as well as introduced plants from the respective countries and can highlight things such as plants that are rare, edible, and used for clothing, medicine, furniture production and even construction such as bamboo for example.

Plants are lovingly nurtured, lifted, grown, and transported across the planet to create genuine gardens with native species and habitats and although this may seem excessive, you must remember that the impact of one of these gardens winning a gold medal could possibly mean the difference between survival or extinction for certain plant species

Chelsea really strives to show us the different types of gardens, gardening techniques, garden designs and garden plants from around the planet and sometimes they can be the opposite of what some people may find desirable in a British garden. One example is many people in the UK spend a great deal of time and trouble trying to remove the smallest blade of grass from their moss, whereas in Japan some gardeners will painstakingly remove the smallest blade of grass from their moss… This is why Chelsea is a destination event because it strives to use different destinations to create the event – it’s a panoramic view of gardening styles, cultures, and ideas.

Insider Tips: 3 Essential Lessons Every Gardener Can Learn from the Chelsea Flower Show

If I was asked the 3 most important and useful points, I have learnt from the Chelsea Flower Show that gardeners from across the world can benefit from then they would be: 

  1. Never underestimate the importance of plants on our own health and existence 
  1. There aren’t plants and weeds there are only plants. 
  1. Never think about plants in a fashion sense, plants should never be fashionable they should all be equally revered at all times. 

If you’re attending, you won’t be disappointed – the Chelsea Flower Show is one of my favourite events of the year and can definitely help you find inspiration for your own garden!

All the best,

Adam

Adam Woolcott has over 35 years of experience as a professional gardener and has many accolades, but is probably best known for his four Gold Medals at The Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show and his three BBC/RHS People’s Choice Awards at the show.

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