A bumper week, largely blessed by good weather, is drawing to a close at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the most prestigious flower show in the world.
Held each May in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea – home to the famous Chelsea Pensioners – the five-day show attracts leading garden designers from around the world, as well as showcasing the work of up and coming new designers. Awards are made in several categories, the four grades of award being gold, silver-gilt, silver and bronze.
A sell-out event every year, the Chelsea show hosts 157,000 visitors over its five days, the number limited by the size of the 11-acre site. Among them are celebrities and members of the Royal Family, including Her Majesty the Queen, who is patron of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).
This year's show celebrated the Queen's 90th birthday, with a special display of photographic exhibits and a floral arch. Other show highlight included:
· a 80-foot Pullman railway carriage as part of a 6,000 sq.ft planted up station in the Great Pavilion
· the RHS garden for 'Health, Happiness and Horticulture', celebrating this year's theme of Gardens and Health
· a breath-taking and memorable poppies tribute at the entrance to the show
· an entertaining 'British Eccentrics Garden' by Diarmuid Gavin, inspired by W. Heath Robinson and featuring bizarre garden gadgets which come to life
· an acoustic garden which plays musical notes to visitors, inspired by percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie
Showcasing the campaigning role of the RHS, a 'Greening Grey Britain' summit held during the week called on the nation to transform cold, hard, grey areas into beautiful planted up spaces, improving the environment and people's lives.
As well as the show gardens, the Great Pavilion – big enough to house 500 London buses – is home to stunning floral exhibits created by more than 100 specialist plant nurseries, breeders and horticultural societies. Pioneering work by plant scientists and horticultural colleges is also included in the displays.
For those who can't get to the show in person, it is extensively covered by the BBC, with TV programmes broadcast from the show throughout the week.
Pictured is a view of The Telegraph Garden, a Gold Medal winner and voted Best Show Garden at the 2016 RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Designed by Andy Sturgeon, it is inspired by the magnitude of geological events which have moulded and shaped our dramatic landscape over millions of years.
• If reduced mobility has made parts of your garden inaccessible due to steps or steep inclines, you could enjoy them again by installing an Acorn Outdoor Stairlift. With all the same great features as our indoor straight stairlifts, it has the added benefit of being fully weatherproofed to ake it suitable for outdoor use all year round.