Chelsea best bits

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Michael shares his ‘best bits’ from the RHS Chelsea Flower Shows of past years.

I’ve lost count of how many years I’ve been going to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show now, but it’s a must in the calendar for me every year. Whilst this year is going online with a virtual edition, I have spent a bit of time looking back on the last few years, and picked 5 of my favourite aspects of this world-class show!


Every year, the Lupin is the star of Chelsea Flower Show. Whether that’s in the floral marquee, or its use in many different garden designs. Naturally flowering at that time, plants are always looking absolutely sparkling. It really inspires me to grow some myself, if only I could keep those slugs at bay! Oh well, Chelsea is all about dreaming anyway..


I always say that I don’t get very starstruck, but there is a weird feeling you get when you do spot a celebrity.. It is an odd feeling of familiarity, when you can’t quite place who they are in the first split second. I’ve seen a few celebs, such as Joanna Lumley, Benedict Cumberbatch.. But, the best thing happened 3 years ago when a celebrity spotted ME and got excited! I probably owe Cherry Healey a fiver…


It’s nice to dress up for press day at the Chelsea Flower Show, and each year I buy a new suit. Don’t be super impressed though, it’s always quite inexpensive! I even did a live Instagram try-on of my purchases from ASOS last year. My final decision was a nice tweed number! Trying to get into those fashion pages aren’t I!?


I’ve been involved in some winners at the Chelsea flower show, thanks to my work on the Plant of the Year contest! When I was working at Thompson and Morgan, we actually won with a Foxglove named “Illumination”. It was a real labour of love to get it to the show, including sending a member of staff off to Barcelona to bring some back in the passenger seat of a Ryanair flight! Last year’s winner was Sedum “Atlantis”, which sold out instantly on our QVC show, and even have to text the vendors live on air in order to arrange more plants!

Dead Plants

Strangely, my favourite display last year in the floral marquee was one of dead plants. This fantastic garden was put together by the “Salutation Garden” team, headed up by Steve Edney. It included the seedheads and decaying displays of a number of garden plants. It was thought-provoking, and utterly fabulous!

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