37 surprising, unusual and useful things to look out for at the Chelsea Flower Show

Whether you're heading to RHS Chelsea or not, don't miss our look at the sights and sounds that you might otherwise miss at the iconic flower show.

  • Pimms on tap – with a queue by 11am
  • A tea stall where you can enjoy a cuppa from genuine Wedgewood china
  • A Solar System made from chrysanthemums – complete with a rotating Planet Earth

  • Inspirational quotes from Vita Sackville-West and Gertude Jekyll emblazoned across the site as if they’re mantras from the Dalai Lama
  • Dorian from Birds of a Feather, Christopher Biggins and Peggy from Hi-de-Hi – it’s a C-list party dream.

  • An actress sitting all day on a bench, musing gently about art, nature and man
  • Hand-made wooden rocking chairs – for the garden
  • Daffodils in summer

Daffodils at 2018 Chelsea Flower Show

  • A garden designed in the form of a miniature London square

The New West End Garden at the 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London. (Pic: Toby Keel/Country Life)

The New West End Garden at the 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London. (Pic: Toby Keel/Country Life)

  • A security guard saying into his walkie talkie ‘Okay Dave, the champagne lorry’s coming through now’
  • People dressed for a night at the opera at half-past nine in the morning
World-Champion Free-diver Tanya Streeter poses at The Pearlfisher Garden while wearing a dress designed by BA Fashion and Textiles students from The University of Brighton during the Chelsea Flower Show 2018 (Picture: Getty)

World-Champion Free-diver Tanya Streeter poses at The Pearlfisher Garden while wearing a dress designed by BA Fashion and Textiles students from The University of Brighton during the Chelsea Flower Show 2018 (Picture: Getty)

  • Gold leaf gardening gloves
  • Rhythmic gymnasts in gold spandex outfits jumping up and down between flowers, shrubs and garden sculptures

  • “Is this Yorkshire? No, it can’t be. It must be South Africa.”
  • A pair of 20ft-high horses made from driftwood

Driftwood horses at the 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show

  • Flesh-eating plants presented as lovingly as the most beautiful, fragrant bloom
  • A Windrush garden co-sponsored by Baroness Floella Benjamin of Playschool fame

  • A genuine stone-built Pennine cottage in a the middle of a city (at SW3 prices, it’d probably cost a couple of million)
The Welcome to Yorkshire garden at the 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London. (Pic: Toby Keel)

The Welcome to Yorkshire garden at the 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London. (Pic: Toby Keel)

  • Rob Brydon, Esther Rantzen, Nick Frost…
  • A dinner party setting outdoors, complete with kitchen
The Urban Flow Garden at the 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London. (Pic: Toby Keel/Country Life)

The Urban Flow Garden at the 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London. (Pic: Toby Keel/Country Life)

  • Gourmet cheese toasties
  • An enormous blue head made from glass

Blue glass head - - 2018 Chelsea Flower Show

  • A truly beautiful painting of the Khayelitsha shanty town near Cape Town
  • The biggest set of cricket stumps we’ve ever seen
Giant cricket stumps at the British Council Garden – India: A Billion Dreams at the RHS 2018 Chelsea Flower Show (Pic: Toby Keel/Country Life)

Giant cricket stumps at the British Council Garden – India: A Billion Dreams at the RHS 2018 Chelsea Flower Show (Pic: Toby Keel/Country Life)

  • More Panama hats than you’d see in the members’ enclosure at Lord’s… and the shop where they must sell them. It’s Panama hat ground zero
  • A metal bench in the shape of a rabbit and a Chesterfield sofa made from metal
  • Ainsley Harriott, that girl from the One Show, the bloke from DIY SOS…
  • The best treehouse we’ve ever seen – complete with slide! (And yes, we did try it out…)

Cool treehouse at 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show

  • A garden sponsored by a group of PPI-chasers called The Claim Guys
  • A rainbow of lupins

Lupins at the 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show

  • Countless things so enormously heavy that you wonder how on earth they made it here in the first place

Giant marble heads - 2018 Chelsea Flower Show

  • A garden pod representing an NHS clinic
  • A dozen thrones made from flowers

Flower thrones at the 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show

  • The very best bits of the National Dahlia Collection
  • A wickerwork dolphin leaping out of the ‘sea’ next to a transatlantic ship
Chelsea Flower Show 2018 - The Windrush Garden, marks the 70th anniversary of the HMT Empire Windrush bringing immigrants from the Caribbean to Britain, created with Birmingham City Council's gardens team

Chelsea Flower Show 2018 – The Windrush Garden, marks the 70th anniversary of the HMT Empire Windrush bringing immigrants from the Caribbean to Britain, created with Birmingham City Council’s gardens team

  • James Martin, Bill Turnbull, Kirstie Allsopp…
  • Salt and pepper grinders made in the shape of chess pieces

Salt and pepper chess pieces

All the 2018 Chelsea Flower Show medal winners

The RHS has announced the gold medallists for the 2018 Chelsea Flower Show.

The best garden designers and landscapers in Britain

A beautiful country house is as much about its surroundings as its bricks and mortar, something that the best garden