- Prestigious competitions to be incorporated into virtual show (18-23 May)
- RHS Chelsea Garden Product of the Year finalists announced with sustainability and small-space growing among this year’s key themes
- People’s Choice vote to find RHS Chelsea’s Plant of the Decade
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the UK’s leading gardening charity, has announced it will host the prestigious RHS Chelsea Garden Product of the Year Competition and a special People’s Choice vote for RHS Chelsea Plant of the Decade during its first ever virtual show, taking place from 18-23 May.
The news comes as the RHS revealed that for the first time in its history, the world-famous flower show will take place online after it was cancelled due to Covid-19.
Garden Product of the Year
The RHS has unveiled a shortlist of 11 finalists* for the 2020 competition, featuring designs awash with sustainable solutions as gardeners increasingly demand products with greener credentials.
Products making use of agricultural by-products and reusing natural materials are among the finalists as well as tech innovations for city living, with designs allowing gardeners to grow food effectively in smaller outdoor spaces and a smartphone-controlled lawnmower.
The shortlisted products will be judged virtually by a panel of experts including well-known entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den investor Deborah Meaden, gardening writer Peter Seabrook and Chair Chris Harrop with the winner being announced as part of Virtual Chelsea on Monday 18 May 2020.
A People’s Choice vote for the Garden Product of the Year will also follow, where virtual visitors will be able to vote for their top product from the shortlist. Open from Monday 18 until Friday 22 May, the People’s Choice winner will be revealed on the final day of the show, Saturday 23 May.
Plant of the Decade
Each year the show also awards the RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year selected by an audience of over 100 plant experts, including members of trials forums and the seven RHS Plant Committees.
In celebration of its tenth anniversary this year, the virtual flower show will instead host a People’s Choice vote for the RHS Chelsea Plant of the Decade, allowing everyone to vote for their overall favourite from the previous winners.**
The Chelsea Plant of the Year was launched in 2010 to promote the continuing work of breeders and nurseries in producing improved and exciting new plants and welcomes entries from exhibitors in the Great Pavilion.
Voting for the RHS Chelsea Plant of the Decade will open on Monday 18 and run until Friday 22 May with the winner set to be announced on Saturday 23 May.
Katherine Potsides, RHS Head of Shows Development, says: “Plans for the first virtual Chelsea are well underway and we are delighted to still be able to share the best in our horticultural world despite it being a hugely challenging time for everyone.
“These competitions shine a light on some of the best in product design and innovations in plant breeding, and have become a highlight for our visitors and gardeners everywhere so we are thrilled we are able to share and celebrate them once again in 2020.”
The RHS website will become host to the Virtual RHS Chelsea Flower Show (18 – 23 May 2020) sharing an abundance of free, inspiring content, with Monday 18 May being Members Day.