By Jill Brooke
Outside of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, flowers are vibrantly blooming with over 70 stores and restaurants in Chelsea and Belgravia embracing this year’s theme of “Extraordinary Voyages.”
In its 15th year, this is considered the best free floral festival in the world and is one of those experiences you should put on your bucket list.
Because of the pandemic, this year’s flower show took place in September but next year will be back the week of May 24th. Even if you can’t get tickets to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, just being in these neighborhoods fill you with joy and gives you a sense of fun and festivity as this installation from Bloomhouse UK so effectively illustrates.
You can just stroll and take in the sites, have a drink, eat, smile. The floral installations are deliciously satisfying and not as caloric as an ice cream cone.
We will share who we think are the winners but want you, our beloved readers, to share what your favorites are on our Instagram to give the final tally.
First, let’s applaud the efforts of the talented Simon Lycett for his installation at Belmond Cadogan. Adding suitcases with flowers was ingenious, wasn’t it? As Lycett joked, “are you a light packer?” Fortunately, he is not and packed this with calla lilies, proteas, alliums and spirited props that really told the story of the theme.
Another winner for interpreting the theme was this hot air balloon? Clever indeed.
Some artists thought of bringing Paris, New York, India, the Amazon to the streets of London.
Others chose to create fairytale fantasies.
How charming was this installation at The Ivy Chelsea Garden. You feel like you are in a fairytale.
Aside from the theme of “Extraordinary Voyages,” many of these floral artists used sustainability philosophies for these installations.
As Larry Walshe said, his installation “used only dried and preserved ingredients.”
And animals came in all shapes and sizes.
Don’t know if I care about dragons but if this creature can combat bag juju, all for it. As much as 6,800 stems of flowers and foliage were used including carnations, solidago, aspidistra, crocus and ruscus in this installation photographed by @purpurpurpur.
However, McQueens Flowers never disappoints. This swan is magnificent.
As was this charming carousel of horses.
And this canine waitress.
Enjoy the following images of all these storefronts as well as installations all around Chelsea and Belgravia.
This is truly my favorite trip every year and next year we will be taking a group to visit. And like the symbol of an elephant, a memory you never forget.