Lovin' You

100 Years Of The RHS Chelsea Flower Show

The first Great Spring Show, as it was originally called, took place in 1862. This event was originally staged at the Temple Garden until it moved to its current venue in 1913.

Chelsea Flower Show 1976: Prince Philip inspecting an exhibit in the marquee.

Among the many regular visitors to the show are The Royal family.

Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth II's Grandmother, was pictured with her group at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show when it first opened in 1913 and then again in 1934.


Retrospective: The RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Charles McLaren, 3rd Lord Aberconway and Queen Elizabeth II
  • The Horticultural Society (RHS) was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgewood. The Society received its royal status in 1861, when it was renamed after Prince Albert, the President at the time.
  • In 1821 the Society started collecting plants from all over the world for their experimental garden in Chiswick.
  • Floral fêtes took place in the RHS garden in Chiswick during the 1850s.
  • In 1861 they acquired a new garden in Kensington. This was to become their new headquarters until 1888.

Visitors to the Chelsea Flower Show 1976
  • There was no flower show during the two World Wars.
  • Two of this years exhibitors for the plant of the centenary – McBean's Orchids and Blackmore & Langdon first appeared at the 1913 show.
  • Alan Titchmarsh has presented the BBC's coverage since 1983.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show: A Centenary Celebration

Available to buy through the RHS gift shop, this book reflects on the history of the flower show since its beginning in 1913.


Through illustrations from the RHS archive photographs, plans and posters, you'll learn the history of the early shows through the decades.


RHS Chelsea Flower Show Through The Years