Keeping it Green

The city of London, the capital city of the United Kingdom is steeped in history. Most people obviously associate it with the rich traditions of the royal family and Buckingham Palace as well as the Houses of Parliament and the Tower of London. There is however a number of places of interest that have more of an outdoor feeling to them and for any enthusiast of all things green and flowery there are a number of options open to the budding horticulturist (no pun intended).

One of the most famous exhibitions is of course the Chelsea flower show. This attracts not just the best landscape gardeners Chelsea has to offer but competitors from all around the world looking to show off their fantastic designs hoping to win the coveted best in show title.

The competition has been running since 1913 and was until recently the largest flower show in the UK until another London venue, Hampton Court took it over. It has always been held in the grounds of the Chelsea Hospital and a memorable sight is the Chelsea pensioners in their bright red uniforms adorned with medals that can be seen wandering around the show giving out information to visitors.

The show itself is ran under the supervision of the 200 year old Royal Horticultural Society and the only times it has never run was during the first and second world war periods. It is a truly international show with exhibits coming from all over the world but there was however a brief period where certain members of the public petitioned to ban foreign entries. This was rejected however on the grounds that ‘horticulture knows nothing of nationality’.

The Royal Horticultural Society itself is a UK based charity whose aim is to promote the involvement of people in all things green and although the Chelsea show is probably the most well known the organization has a number of shows up and down the country running from April through to September. Although this period of time in England is generally considered to be the Spring and Summer months make sure you check the weather forecast before you go as the weather in England can be somewhat unpredictable and an umbrella should always be kept close at hand just in case.