What to see at the Chelsea Flower Show

Our top tips on which plant-tastic sights to spot...

The Chelsea Flower Show is in full bloom, so here are the flower-inspired installations and sculptures you should look out for…


After poppies…tulips!

Ceramic artist Paul Cummins captured the nation’s attention after filling the moat of the Tower of London with 888,246 handmade poppies – each representing a British and colonial soldier who died in the First World War (below). Now he’s swapping poppies for tulips, creating thousands of ceramic flowers that will adorn an eight-metre-high installation.

Harry’s favourite!

But poppies will still be centre-stage. A garden designed by Sentebale, the charity founded by Prince Harry to help vulnerable children in Lesotho, will be filled with Papaver aculeatum, an orange poppy native to South Africa. The garden, entitled “Hope in Vulnerability” will also hold a rocky water feature, echoing Lesotho’s mountainous regions.

Work of art!

There’s more to Chelsea than just flowers. Visitors will be able to watch Edward Waites, an internationally renowned sculptor who has worked for the Queen, as he creates a life-sized statue of Kingman, a retired racehorse thoroughbred. Waites will sculpt a clay mould of the former horse of the year, before it is cast in bronze.

Something old!

Chelsea has had a long association with the military, given that the Royal Hospital serves as the home of the Chelsea Pensioners. With 2015 marking the 200th anniversary of Waterloo, Wellington College in Berkshire
has commissioned a show garden that’s been inspired by the Belgian terrain on which the battle was fought, including floral arrangements echoing the regimental colours of the British and Allied troops.

Coverage of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is on BBC1 until Friday 22nd May


Read more: Meet the young Chelsea Flower Show garden designers