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Chelsea Flower Show

The Chelsea Flower Show made its debut as the Great Spring Show in 1862 and was held in Kensington, London. In 1888 the event was shifted to Temple Gardens, which lies between the Embankment and Fleet Street. The flower show was briefly renamed as Royal International Horticultural Exhibition in 1912, and it was for the first and last time held on the grounds of London's Royal Hospital in Chelsea by that name. In 1913 it was rechristened as the Chelsea Flower Show, and the inaugural show by that name for the first time showcased exotic dwarf bonsai trees from Japan. The show has since been held at the same premises for five days each May.

The exhibits at each event have succeeded in creating the 'awe factor'. Displays have ranged from the aesthetically flirtatious like Paul Cooper's 1994 creation, 'Cool and Sexy' garden, complete with jets that blew air up the skirts of unsuspecting females, or close-ups of naked, kissing couples, to the downright bizarre like Diarmuid Gavin's 2008 entry, a spectacle full of giant metal balls surrounded with an abundance of mesh daisies.

Besides featuring an unparalleled array of exotic plants, the event also showcases gardens designed by celebrities and other luminaries. In 2002 Prince Charles showcased his medicinal-themed Healing Garden. He added to it a touch of spirituality by basing the layout on 'sacred geometry'. The garden achieved its goal of bringing together the fractured social and religious groups within the UK.

The show attracts over 157,000 visitors each year in a limited space of the 11-acre (45,000 m2) ground. In order to avoid disappointment, it is best to purchase tickets in advance.

DateTuesday 24th May 2016 to Saturday 28th May 2016
LocationRoyal Hospital Chelsea (Museum and Buildings), The
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Venue details

Royal Hospital Chelsea (Museum and Buildings), The
Royal Hospital Road
Telephone No.020 7881 5244
Administration: 020 7881 5246
Curator: 020 7881 5203
General Enquiries: 020 7881 5204
Opening timesOpen
Museum, Chapel & Great Hall, Courts and grounds: Mon-Sat: 10:00-12:00, 14:00-16:00, Sun 14:00-16:00.
Guided tours, led by an In-Pensioner, must be booked in advance.

The Museum is closed on Sunday in winter and may be closed on Bank Holidays.
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