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Photograph: Natalia Vestigio Services / Shutterstock

A postponed Chelsea Flower Show will celebrate autumn in bloom

Who needs blossom when all the leaves are lovely and brown?

Laura Richards

Last year, London’s floral spectacular the Chelsea Flower Show was cancelled for the first time since World War II. The annual extravaganza of blossoming gardens held by the Royal Horticultural Society instead took a virtual format last May – at a time when virtual formats were still (just about) a novelty. Now, though, we’re past that phase. We just want to smell some goddamn flowers, alright?

RHS obviously feel that way, too. So the good news is that the very popular show has plans to go ahead in 2021. The bad news – for lovers of springtime, at least – is that the organisers have announced a delayed September date for this year’s edition, hoping that by then the UK’s vaccination rollout will guarantee a safer event. But hey, who doesn’t love a garden in autumn?! Rich browns and crunchy leaves, asters and chrysanthemums – it’s all happening.        

‘Whilst the September Show will be very different to the usual spring event, the RHS believes it will celebrate the best of autumn horticulture, with many seasonal highlights including Salvias, Asters, Dahlias, grasses and fruit and vegetables,’ said organisers in an official statement. ‘As well as looking back at its historic Great Autumn Show for inspiration, the RHS is excited about the ideas exhibitors will have to create spectacular autumnal gardens and displays.’

Safety measures will include reduced ticket numbers, and the show will run for six days (September 21-26) instead of the usual five to ensure plenty of people can attend under social distancing. 

Can’t actually wait until autumn? They’re still doing the online thing in May. Last year’s virtual line-up included private-garden tours and planting tips from ‘the great and the good of the gardening world’. And while it’s not the same as an up-close sniff, we’ll take what we can get in lockdown.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021 is on Sep 21-26. Find out more here, and check back soon for ticket purchase options.   

In the meantime, promenade around London’s hidden gardens and green spaces.

Need flowers NOW?! These places do same-day delivery.

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