RHS Chelsea Flower Show cancelled

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has announced that it is cancelling RHS Chelsea Flower Show and other upcoming RHS Shows and Garden Events following latest Government COVID- 19 Advice.

Following the Government update on 16 March 2020 and ongoing situation with COVID-19, all RHS Shows, Garden events and school visits will be cancelled with immediate effect until 30 June 2020.

RHS Gardens remain open, with a number of increased precautionary measures in place. This is a worldwide unprecedented and challenging time for so many people and of course the health and safety of our members, visitors, exhibitors and staff remains our number one priority.

With the Government no longer supporting mass gathering events due to the impact on emergency services and heightened actions to encourage social distancing, the following RHS Shows will regrettably no longer take place in 2020:

  • RHS London Spring Launch & Orchid Show, 7-8 April
  • RHS Botanical Art and Photography Show, 17-18 April
  • RHS Flower Show Cardiff, 17-19 April
  • RHS Malvern Spring Festival, 7–10 May
  • RHS Chelsea Flower Show, 19–23 May
  • RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, 11–14 June
  • RHS Garden Harlow Carr Flower Show, 26-28 June (we will investigate if RHS Harlow Carr Flower Show can be moved into July)

The RHS will be in touch with anyone who has purchased a ticket to any of the cancelled RHS Shows offering them a full refund.

They ask that ticket holders refrain from contacting them immediately, except in an emergency, so that they can continue to handle this situation as swiftly as possible.

In addition they will contact everyone involved in the Shows about the cancellation of these events.

This is the first time the RHS Chelsea Flower Show has been cancelled since the Second World War.

For the time being the four RHS Gardens – RHS Garden Wisley, RHS Garden Hyde Hall, RHS Garden Harlow Carr and RHS Garden Rosemoor – remain open. However, all Garden events and school visits will be cancelled with immediate effect until 30 June.

RHS Libraries at Vincent Square, RHS Garden Wisley and RHS Garden Harlow Carr will all close from tomorrow, 18 March.

The RHS is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and following advice and guidelines set by Government. They hope that later RHS Shows may continue, but will continue to follow Government advice and will update of any changes. The option of a full refund would once again apply should this happen.

The following Show are currently still on, but please keep an eye on future updates.

  • RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival, 6-12 July
  • RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, 22–26 July
  • RHS Garden Hyde Hall Flower Show, 5 – 9 August
  • RHS Garden Rosemoor Flower Show, 14 – 16 August
  • RHS Garden Wisley Flower Show, 8– 13 September

Sue Biggs, RHS Director General, says: “In these unprecedented challenging times we have carefully followed Government advice and made difficult, responsible decisions with the health and safety of people at the foremost of our minds.

“Our RHS Shows are vitally important platforms for the horticultural industry, and we are especially aware of the impact of cancelling these events on everyone involved. We will be doing all we can to help growers and nurseries to sell the plants they will have grown for the cancelled Shows.

“As with everyone, we have no crystal ball, but for the time being we are planning our Summer Flower Shows and our Gardens remain open, as they are large outside spaces where people can escape in open space and benefit from some tranquillity and beauty, surrounded by nature – all things that are much needed during these unsettling times.

“Things of course may change, but whatever decisions we make, safety will be utmost in our mind and we will, like the rest of the world, be monitoring the situation closely.”

Q & A on RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Q: How many years has Chelsea been cancelled in its history?

A. The RHS Chelsea Flower Show was cancelled for two years during the First World War (1917-1918) and seven years during the Second World War (1940 – 1946). To date, since the first show in 1913 there have been 98 RHS Chelsea Flower Shows.

Q. Will gardens, nurseries, tradestands and displays set for this Chelsea get priority to feature at Chelsea next year?

A. Everyone due to be a part of Chelsea 2020 will be accepted for Chelsea 2021.

Q. Will people who have purchased tickets for any of the cancelled shows be refunded?

A. Yes, anyone who purchased a ticket to any of the cancelled RHS Shows will have the option to get a full refund within 21 days. We will be getting in touch with everyone, so please bear with us as we will contact you about your refund.

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