Chelsea in Bloom

Though the cost and limited tickets mean the RHS Chelsea Flower Show isn’t always an option for most, the shops of the King’s Road and the streets surrounding Sloane Square in Chelsea have a wonderful tradition of putting on a floral show of its own…and it’s free!

From 22-27 May this year Chelsea in Bloom saw the shop fronts of Chelsea taken over by elaborate floral displays in line with this year’s theme – Floral Safari – which was inspired by plains, jungles, discovery and exotic animals.

From the website:

The world-class alternative floral art show is back, this year for its 12th Anniversary. Produced by Cadogan in association with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), it will transform the streets of Chelsea from the 22nd to 27th May with breathtaking floral displays. The annual competition has grown dramatically each year with Chelsea’s best retailers, restaurants and hotels adorning themselves with creative designs to compete for the coveted awards.

We cut it close by heading out to view the displays on the 27th and found ourselves having to pick up the pace as the displays started to be dismantled at just 3:30 in the afternoon!

We started in Sloane Square to pick up our guide and make some new acquaintances.

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From there we headed north on Sloane Street, stopping to admire one of my favourite displays this year, courtesy of Rag & Bone.

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After a great start we were excited to see what was next…but I’m sad to say that this year’s displays were a bit underwhelming! Though there is tons of beauty in a savannah, the abundance of sand and grasses just didn’t compare to last year’s bountiful and fragrant blooms. That isn’t to say there weren’t some great displays…I just wish there had been even more like this:

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We made our way north, then south, then west, then east but with displays being actively dismantled we eventually called it a day and made our way towards the tube. We had a date with Pirates to get to!

Chelsea in Bloom is put on every year during the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and though this year didn’t quite live up to the extremely high standard of the previous year it’s definitely something to check out. You get sun, you get some exercise, you see some beautiful displays and you can top it all off with some shopping!

Learn from my (bad) example though…. don’t leave it until the last day!

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