The pinnacle of the horticultural calendar, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 is about to inspire millions of people by showcasing the best in garden design.


This year’s show will take place from 23rd to 27th May at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea – its home since 2013. A multitude of show gardens, fresh gardens, Artisan gardens and more than 100 floral displays will grace the grounds, with the jewel in the crown being the 12,000-sq. metre marquee.


Large enough to park 500 double-decker buses, the marquee alone will host more than 100 exhibits, with nurseries and florists from around the world.


Garden design


With innovative and modern ideas mixed with classic designs, a massive part of the annual show is garden design. As well as the plants and flowers, all manner of garden furniture and accessories are included in the breathtaking displays. RHS director of shows, Nick Mattingley, says the industry’s leading lights – including designers and nurseries – are pulling out all the stops to create the world’s greatest gardening event… again!


Demonstrating how gardens and plants (even in the smallest areas) can benefit the community, this year’s show gardens include Professor Nigel Dunnett’s Greening Grey Britain Garden that is set in an urban context. He aims to provide a glimpse into the future, revealing how the use and development of communal, private and social spaces can enhance the place in which we live.


Other highlights include last year’s Best Fresh Garden winner, Gary Breeze, who hopes to replicate his success in 2017 with a garden inspired by an 800-year-old boat found in the Norfolk Broads. Ishihara Kazuyuki will be returning for his twelfth year and this time round he has designed a garden inspired by the Kyoto emperors of Japan.


Royal and celebrity visitors


The Chelsea Flower Show always attracts its fair share of royal and celebrity visitors – this year, the Queen will be celebrating her 52nd annual visit. Last year’s event welcomed a host of royal visitors including the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Harry, the Duke of Kent, the Countess of Wessex and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Royal correspondent, Gordon Rayner, is also a familiar face at the show, as he charts the royals’ visit in words and photographs.


Among the celebrities who attended the 2016 show were Gone Girl actress Rosamund Pike, cook Mary Berry, actress Demi Moore, television presenter and former model Twiggy, chef Raymond Blanc and actress Sue Holderness who famously played Marlene in TV’s Only Fools and Horses.


Famous exhibit


Some of the exhibits are famous in their own right – including Chelsea’s oldest plant, a 117-year-old Cymbidium Lowinanium orchid, which has been to more than 100 shows! East Sussex grower McBean was at Chelsea last year with the orchid and the public hope to see him back in 2017.


Viewers can watch detailed coverage of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show on BBC Television throughout the week, with gardener and Daily Mail columnist, Monty Don and newsreader, Sophie Raworth presenting the action.


As anyone involved in garden design (either for the Chelsea Flower Show or at any other level) will tell you, your garden is an important part of your living space. Slide or Fold specialises in bifolding doors that can help you enjoy your garden to the fullest – they can be a great space-saver, opening up the living area of your home, particularly if you are living in a more compact environment where space is limited.


Bifolding doors would perfectly complement one of this year’s Chelsea Flower Show themes. Dunnett’s Greening Grey Britain Garden celebrates the beauty of design, even in smaller gardens. Creating a seamless flow into outdoor spaces, you can fully enjoy your garden design, parties, BBQs and other outdoor activities with the help of bifold doors.