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Everybody loves a coffee table book, and this one is something special. Not only will it look lovely amongst the coasters but it’s also a history book, a photo album, a garden guide and a lasting souvenir for an event that has been touching people’s lives and hearts for 100 years.
The first sentence, “Every May, the horticultural world descends on a 12-hectare site in Chelsea” says it all about RHS Chelsea. It’s no lie that the show is often seen as the most important diary date for anyone who’s anyone in the horticultural world. During that one week in May, at the beginning and end of the day, Sloane Square station becomes a green fingered frenzy of people trying to get to the floral event of the year.
This book gives an enduring look at why they do it, and what makes the show so special. RHS insider and author Brent Elliott gives an in depth account of the way that the show has grown and changed and the way that that nation’s gardening tastes have been reflected and shaped by Chelsea over the years. Beefy it may be but it is laid out in an easy to flick-in-and-out sort of way as pieces are arranged along a timeline, depicting the first ever Royal Hospital flowering all the way to the style and pizazz of 2013.
It also features snippets from some of our greatest nurserymen, nurserywomen, garden designers, presenters and those behind the scenes, all explaining exactly what Chelsea means to them. With beautiful illustrations, archival photography, plans and posters, plus fascinating insights into the RHS world, it’s definitely a keeper.