It is really difficult at the moment isn't it to know just how excited to be at the thought of lockdown being relaxed and with the hop, nay dream, of elements of normality returning. Whilst still in the middle of receiving postponement emails, I am now receiving event emails that I feel might be reasonably possible to go ahead if I keep my fingers crossed and my hands sanitised.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show has relocated to September which is hugely exciting. It will have a whole new vibe and I think it opens up opportunities for some exciting developments. I have my ticket rolled forward from last year it also feels like a free year for me which is a win win situation. Yet within this excitement there are some tinges of sadness for some usual Chelsea highlights that will not be present this year.
Hardys Cottage Garden Plants have announced their retirement from RHS Chelsea Flower Show bringing to a close their 30 years of attendance and tally of 24 gold medals; This is sad as I love seeing them at the show but I never begrudge anyone their retirement so I also wish them well. It is important to note that they are only retiring from Chelsea, they will still be at other shows which is fantastic news. I shall be queuing up as usual to buy gorgeous plants from them. Of course their nursery will also remain open and one of these fine days I will go and visit. It has been on the list to visit for too long.
You will also still be able to see Hardy's final Chelsea show display as they are going to build in at their Hampshire Nursery for customers to enjoy. Plus - you will be able to see videos and more as part of the Candide Festival of Flowers taking place online throughout May. The Festival of Flowers has so many different things happening including encouraging people to join in with their #showusyourblooms hashtag on social media. So keep an eye out on their website as they will be sharing more information from mid-April. I have signed up for their newsletter and make sure you do not miss out on this.
I was very excited to find out that BBC Gardeners World are going to hold a Spring Fair at Beaulieu, Hampshire from 28-30 May (Covid restrictions will obvs.) They are promising high quality nurseries to buy from and, similar to when they have Gardeners World Live at the NEC partnered with BBC Good Food Live, there will be lots of food related stalls as well. The show is being partnered by Hilliers, who sadly will not be present at RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year as it was hard for them to amend their planting schedule in order to facilitate their usual gold medal winning exhibition. So I am really looking forward to seeing what they do at this show as I am sure it will be spectacular. I am really looking forward to going to this show already.
and late news just is in that the Gardeners World Live has announced new dates for the NEC: 26-29 August 2021. This is very exciting and it is within an hour's drive of home for me (always good not to have to travel far).
We all have our own levels of risk and should only do what we feel comfortable doing. I think it is really good that there will be virtual and (hopefully) physical shows to attend. Until then though, let's all stay safe and hope for the best.
Stay safe and be kind