Highlights from RHS Chelsea 2023

36 gardens and 90 exhibits brought inspiration, innovation and celebration to the showground

Jihae Hwang
The world's most prestigious flower show returned in 2023 packed with the best in botanical design, from breath-taking gardens and fabulous florals to the cutting-edge ideas setting trends and leading the way in horticulture.

Sensational show gardens

Many extraordinary designs and magnificent sights were on display in the RHS Chelsea Show Gardens. With each of the gardens incorporating an average of 3,125 plants, there was an abundance of inspirational planting schemes and sensory floral displays to enjoy. 

See all the gardens

Horatio’s GardenImage: Best in Show designer Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg’s garden embraces the mission of Horatio’s Garden charity to create accessible gardens in NHS spinal injuries centres.
There were plenty of RHS Chelsea firsts in 2023 – from the functioning laboratory of Tom Massey’s The Royal Entomological Society Garden, to the working kitchen set among edible planting for a true ‘from plot-to-plate’ experience enjoyed by the Chelsea Pensioners on The Savills Garden.

Ground-breaking designs were not the only firsts seen at this year’s show, as on press day RHS and Eastern Eye Garden of Unity Garden designer Manoj Malde and his partner held the first RHS Chelsea wedding.
Best Show Garden, Horatio’s Garden was the first garden on Main Avenue to be specifically designed to be wheelchair-accessible, demonstrating that having a functional and practical space doesn’t mean having to compromise on aesthetics.

Best Show Garden Award
Image: RHS Director General Clare  Matterson presented the Best Show Garden trophy to garden designers Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg for Horatio’s Garden.

Sanctuary Gardens & All About Plants

The Sanctuary Gardens explore the concept of gardens as havens for wellbeing, benefitting from a connection with nature and wider communities. 

 Hamptons Mediterranean Garden was a tranquil space where the warmth and texture of hard landscaping merged seemlessly with nature, while London Square Community Garden encouraged communities to meet, relax and share food.

Image: The National Brain Appeal’s Rare Space takes inspiration from people living with rare forms of dementia.  

All the six All About Plants gardens on display in the Great Pavilion, each consisting of over 75% plants, were supported by Project Giving Back and celebrated the work of a charity.

Fabulous flowers

The Great Pavilion was a riot of colour with tens of thousands of plants covering almost three acres, or the equivalent of 3,230 average-sized British gardens. The RHS Floral Gallery returned with expressive floral installations and windows, created by leading florists. With a ban on floral foam across the show, designers have adopted innovative sustainable practices to create their incredible work.

Hubbards Florist
Image: Florist of the year winners Hubbards Florist with The Beauty of Recycling 

RHS Florist of the Year entrants were given the task of converting a recycled steel drum or a 3m lamp post into a floral vision. Winners Hubbard’s Florist brought to life a rubbish bin and recycled glass bottles with The Beauty of Recycling,  encouraging us to look again at the things we throw away.

Small space inspiration 

Planet Studio Houseplant Studio
Image: Plant School – ‘Planting the Future’, with its strong focus on saving the planet and educating children about all things green. 

Compact outdoor areas were transformed into green spaces, positive for health, wellbeing and the environment in the Balcony and Container Gardens, and indoor gardens created in the House Plant Studios

Royal celebrations

100 children from 10 local primary schools came together to visit the show in the first RHS Chelsea Children’s Picnic, encouraging the importance of engaging young people and sparking a lifelong adventure with gardening.  HRH The Princess of Wales joined them as they looked around the gardens and went on a bug hunt before sitting down to enjoy a picnic at The Bandstand.

School picnic
Image: HRH The Princess of Wales joins local school children at the first  Childrens Picnic at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. 

For the first time as reigning monarch, His Majesty King Charles III and Queen Camilla explored the RHS Chelsea gardens, meeting the designers and awarding the first Elizabeth Medals at the RHS Garden of Royal Reflection and Celebration designed by Dave Green.

Royal visit
Image: King Charles III with RHS Ambassador Jamie Butterworth looking around the gardens. 


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