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A tranquil garden filled with some of the royal family’s favourite plants and a life-size topiary display of Queen Elizabeth II’s pony Emma are among the royal tributes at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
King Charles III and Queen Camilla are expected to attend Monday’s Press Day (22nd May) along with the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent to see the gardens and floral exhibitions up close at the world’s greatest gardening event, which is held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
Avid gardener Charles has frequented the show over the years, at times alongside his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II. As patron, she rarely missed her annual visit to RHS Chelsea during her 70-year reign, with her last appearance being at the 2022 show where she viewed the Platinum Jubilee floral displays created in her honour.
‘Whilst there will be joyful celebration around the King’s Coronation at RHS Chelsea this year, the absence of our late Queen on the afternoon before we open will be profoundly felt by many,’ says Helena Pettit, RHS Director of Shows and Gardens. ‘Her annual visit would lift the whole showground, so I hope our royal tributes will help keep those happy memories alive.’
Here are the royal-themed displays you can expect to see at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023.
The RHS Garden of Royal Reflection and Celebration is a secluded space for contemplation, enclosed on three sides by hedging. Designed by Dave Green, it’s in celebration of King Charles III’s coronation.
Central to the garden is a circular lawn featuring a curved bench made from British-grown larch timber. In a nod to the royals, the seating area is set amongst light pink and white planting (such as rose ‘Olivia Austin’ and silver birch) to reflect the tastes of the late Queen Elizabeth II, and purple and blue planting (magnolia ‘Heaven Scent’, clematis ‘The Duchess of Cornwall’, lupins and geraniums) in accordance with King Charles’ preferences, according to Sandringham’s head gardener, Jack Lingfield.
But that’s not all, drifts of Camassia, reminiscent of the meadows in front of King Charles’ country home, Highgrove House, also features, along with a bronze statue of the King by sculptor Keziah Burt, and several trees bringing a woodland feel to the space.
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Over in the Great Pavilion, Agrumi Topiary Art have created a topiary display depicting Emma, the fell pony who stood to attention along the drive of Windsor Castle to pay her respects as the Queen’s cortege passed on the day of the funeral.
Meanwhile, Harkness Roses are unveiling a floral display inspired by the British flag to acknowledge the King’s Coronation, while Ottershaw Cacti are launching the new Aeonium ‘Coronation’, a fleshy-leafed succulent.
• The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023, sponsored by the Newt in Somerset, returns from 23rd – 27th May. Visit rhs.org.uk for ticket availability or sign up to become a RHS Member for reduced rate tickets to RHS flower shows.
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Executive Digital Editor, House Beautiful UK
Olivia Heath is the Executive Digital Editor at House Beautiful UK, covering tomorrow’s biggest interior design trends and revealing the best tips, tricks and hacks to help you decorate your home like a pro. Week by week Olivia shares the most stylish high street buys to help you get the look for less and showcases the best real homes, from House Beautiful’s One Room Renovation video series, to the hottest and most unique properties on the market.