The beauty of gardens and gardening is that there’s always the possibility of getting it right next time. But this doesn’t apply to show gardens – for the exhibitors at Chelsea they get just one chance. Success or failure is balanced on a knife edge – or possibly a spade.

Either way, a day spent ambling around this internationally renowned flower show in the (hopefully) warm sun is a real delight, and if the heavens do decide to open, there’s always the good old ‘brolly’ to fend of the showers – after all the show must go on.

chelseaRHS Chelsea Flower Show – 24th – 28th May

Royal Hospital Chelsea, London, SW3 4SR.

While some tickets are sold out, there’s still a good choice of dates. See here for details.

chelsea 3Highlights will include Cleve West’s woodland garden, with over 30 tonnes of stone woven into the design. Diarmuid Gavin also returns with his garden, ‘The British Eccentrics’, featuring a stunning classical design. There’s also hospitality dining from Raymond Blanc and in the queen’s 90th birthday year, they’ll be floral and photographic tributes to the monach. And of course there’s the great pavillion with its dazzling display of plants from all over the world.

Don’t forget there’s also the Chelsea Fringe, 21st May – 12th June, which champions local community gardening, art, performance, walks and talks. Many of the events of the Chelsea Fringe are happening arouond the country (see here for links to events local to you) and even abroad. like the Melbourne pop up garden event (www.chelseafringe.com/events). There’s a great range of events happening more locally in Henley and Brighton, and of course London.