Latest update: 27 January 2021
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) postpones 2021 RHS Chelsea Flower Show to September for first time in History
For the first time in its 108 year history, the RHS is postponing RHS Chelsea Flower Show to take place in the autumn instead of spring, due to the worldwide pandemic.
The 2021 Show, which would have taken place between 18 May and 23 May, has been moved to run from 21 September to 26 September. The RHS, the Show organisers, will still hold the world famous event at The Royal Hospital, Chelsea.
The RHS had done its utmost to ensure the Show could happen safely in May with numerous additional health and safety measures, such as reducing visitor numbers and spreading the Show over an extra day.
However, with the coronavirus infection rate currently so high across the UK and no guarantee on what tier London may be in over spring, we have a responsibility to our exhibitors and everyone involved in the Show, our visitors, partners, volunteers and staff, to delay the 2021 RHS Chelsea Flower Show to later in the year, when millions more people will have been vaccinated and it is more likely that the levels of infection will have reduced substantially.
This continues to be an unprecedented and difficult time for so many people worldwide and the health and safety of our members, visitors, exhibitors and staff remains our number one priority.
The RHS will be in touch with everyone who has purchased a ticket for the event to date. We are asking that ticket holders please refrain from contacting us immediately so that we can handle this situation as efficiently as possible.
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. 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. Exhibitors who were to take part in the cancelled May event will all be given the opportunity to be at the autumn RHS Chelsea Flower Show. We will also be opening up applications for new gardens, nurseries and content.
In addition to the autumn event, the RHS will once again hold its hugely successful RHS Virtual Chelsea Flower Show online, during the May show week, which millions of people across the UK and around the world tuned in to enjoy last year.
Sue Biggs, RHS Director General, says: “In these challenging times we have always followed Government advice and made difficult, responsible decisions with the health and safety of people our key concern.
“Whilst we are sad to have had to delay RHS Chelsea and are sorry for the disruption this will cause, we are excited that we are still planning to bring the world’s best loved gardening event to the nation at a time when more people are gardening more than ever.
“We know that the autumn dates may not be suitable for everyone, but with our fantastic industry partners we will do everything we can to support them and create a show that will be a moment in history. It will be exciting to see different horticulture and showcase the key autumn gardening season at the world’s most famous flower show. We believe many designers and nurseries will look forward to working with different plants that would not be available or at their best in May.
“Never have so many people gardened in recent times, nor needed the benefits of gardening more, so we will do our utmost to deliver a beautiful, uplifting and different RHS Chelsea safely in September 2021.”
As was planned for the event in May, RHS Chelsea Flower Show in September will be spread over six days instead of five, with the same reduced number of visitors, another first in its history. There are many further coronavirus safety precautions being put in place for exhibitors, everyone involved in the show, visitors and RHS staff and volunteers.
RHS Gardens - update: 5 January 2021
Following the upgrade of the UK’s coronavirus risk to the highest level and the latest Government guidelines announced on 4 January 2021, the RHS is pleased to confirm that the four RHS Gardens, RHS Garden Wisley, RHS Garden Hyde Hall, RHS Garden Rosemoor and RHS Garden Harlow Carr, can remain open for exercise.
Given the significant rise in cases of coronavirus across the UK, we ask that everyone considering visiting the gardens does not travel outside of their local area, defined in the latest Government guidelines as the village, town, or part of the city where they live.
Our foremost priority is always the health and safety of our members, visitors, staff and volunteers and to support the Government’s efforts to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and protect the NHS.
As large outside spaces, the RHS Gardens can be enjoyed safely by visitors with the safety measures that have been in place since reopening in June, including social distancing and enhanced cleaning.
Mandatory pre-booking remains in place, and those wishing to visit the gardens must book a time slot online . During the new national lockdown, capacity for each garden will be further reduced by 30–40% to limit the numbers of visitors in the gardens at any one time. Anyone with a pre-booked ticket who now cannot visit as planned due to the new restrictions should visit the website for information on how to cancel their booking and request a refund.
Visiting and cancellation information:
RHS Garden Wisley
RHS Garden Hyde Hall
RHS Garden Harlow Carr
RHS Garden Rosemoor
Play areas will remain open, but enclosed areas of the gardens, including Glasshouses, Alpine Houses and Bird Hides, will close from Tuesday 5 January in line with the new regulations. Catering venues will also close, but takeaway options will be available at all gardens.
Garden centres at the four RHS Gardens will also remain open during this period with limits on the number of people allowed inside at any one time. Our online plant shop continues to offer a wide selection of edible and ornamental plants.
All four RHS Gardens have been awarded Visit England’s ‘We’re Good to Go’ certification, an industry-standard mark of reassurance that they are carefully following all the latest Government guidance on Covid-19.
The RHS is hugely grateful for the continued support and patience of our members and visitors throughout this difficult period. Please stay safe and check our website for the latest information.
RHS Shows 2021
We are planning to run RHS Flower Shows in 2021, following Government guidance. The health and safety of our visitors and staff remains our top priority.
More information on additional health and safety measures.
World Health Organisation
UK public health authorities