With daffodils and crocuses starting their spring push through the thawing winter soil, thoughts are turning to the prestige event of British summer for gardeners nationwide – the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Running from May 22nd until May 26th, the horticultural show is strictly advance bookings only – so green-fingered travellers hoping to catch a glimpse of the very best in bushes, blooms and water features should get their luxury accommodation in London sorted in plenty of time for the Chelsea show.
This year the usual range of spectacular gardens and floral arrangements will be joined for the first time by a new zone dedicated to innovative garden technology.
With the first two days of the show being reserved for the Royal Horticultural Society’s members, it’s worth buying a membership along with your luxury accommodation in London – the plants are said to be best when they are at their freshest.
Those looking to leave London with a little more than a tube ticket stub and some Big Ben memorabilia should check out the sales on the final day – with the show closing early at 5.30pm, many stalls start to sell their plants and flowers to the public.
If you miss the four-day event, there are plenty of meticulously maintained parks and gardens in the capital to itch that green-fingered scratch.
Between May 1st and June 30th, Chiswick Gardens throw open their gates to the public with their annual English Flower Garden display.
Part of the 2012 London Festival, the Gardens will be taken over by an outdoor installation by ceramic fine artist Paul Cummins.
Rather than the wilting blooms over in Chelsea, Cummins’ display features hundreds of hand-thrown ceramic flowers mounted on metal rods and planted in the grounds, reminiscent of the quintessential English garden in summertime.