The RHS Chelsea Flower Show was cancelled

This is the first time the RHS Chelsea Flower Show has been cancelled since the Second World War

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2020
(Image credit: RHS / Luke MacGregor)

Following the Government update on 16 March 2020 and ongoing situation with COVID-19, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and all other RHS Shows, Garden events and school visits will be cancelled with immediate effect until 30 June 2020.

'This is a worldwide unprecedented and challenging time for so many people and of course the health and safety of our members, visitors, exhibitors and staff remains our number one priority,' say the Royal Horticultural Society in a recent statement.

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RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2020 cancelled

(Image credit: RHS / Tim Sandall)

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Which RHS Shows and Events are cancelled?

With the Government no longer supporting mass gathering events due to the impact on emergency services and heightened actions to encourage social distancing, the following RHS Shows will regrettably no longer take place in 2020:

RHS London Spring Launch & Orchid Show, 7-8 April RHS Botanical Art and Photography Show, 17-18 April RHS Flower Show Cardiff, 17-19 April RHS Malvern Spring Festival, 7–10 May RHS Chelsea Flower Show, 19–23 May RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, 11–14 June RHS Garden Harlow Carr Flower Show, 26-28 June

Chelsea Flower Show 2019

(Image credit: Jennifer Ebert)

'We will be in touch with everyone who has purchased a ticket to any of the cancelled RHS Shows offering them a full refund. We are therefore asking that ticket holders please refrain from contacting us immediately, except in an emergency, so that we can continue to handle this situation as swiftly as possible,' explain the show organisers, as they deal with ticket enquires.

The four RHS Gardens – RHS Garden Wisley, RHS Garden Hyde Hall, RHS Garden Harlow Carr and RHS Garden Rosemoor will remain open. However, all Garden events and school visits will be cancelled with immediate effect until 30 June.

RHS Libraries at Vincent Square, RHS Garden Wisley and RHS Garden Harlow Carr will all close from tomorrow, 18 March.

Chelsea Flower Show 2019

(Image credit: Jennifer Ebert)

Sue Biggs, RHS Director General, says: 'In these unprecedented challenging times we have carefully followed Government advice and made difficult, responsible decisions with the health and safety of people at the foremost of our minds.

'Our RHS Shows are vitally important platforms for the horticultural industry, and we are especially aware of the impact of cancelling these events on everyone involved. We will be doing all we can to help growers and nurseries to sell the plants they will have grown for the cancelled Shows.

'As with everyone, we have no crystal ball, but for the time being we are planning our Summer Flower Shows and our Gardens remain open, as they are large outside spaces where people can escape in open space and benefit from some tranquillity and beauty, surrounded by nature – all things that are much needed during these unsettling times.

'Things of course may change, but whatever decisions we make, safety will be utmost in our mind and we will, like the rest of the world, be monitoring the situation closely.'

Chelsea Flower Show Welcome to Yorkshire garden

(Image credit: Rachel Warne)

How many years has Chelsea been cancelled in its history?

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show was cancelled for two years during the First World War (1917-1918) and seven years during the Second World War (1940 - 1946). To date, since the first show in 1913 there have been 98 RHS Chelsea Flower Shows.

Will gardens, nurseries, trade stands and displays set for this Chelsea get priority to feature at Chelsea next year?

Everyone due to be a part of Chelsea 2020 will be accepted for Chelsea 2021.

Will people who have purchased tickets for any of the cancelled shows be refunded?

Yes, anyone who purchased a ticket to any of the cancelled RHS Shows will have the option to get a full refund within 21 days.

Jennifer Ebert
Deputy Editor (Digital)

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.