House plants will be judged at Chelsea Flower Show for the first time, after lockdown caused a surge in interest in indoor gardening.

The “house plant studios” category will feature rooms filled with interesting indoor plants and be an inspiration for those without any outdoor space of their own.

Visitors can expect to see rooms designed to look like bathrooms, bedrooms and living rooms. They will be judged on design, plant condition and overall impression. 

A Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) spokesperson explained: “The Houseplant Studios were introduced following the increased popularity of houseplants and to inspire visitors to the show who perhaps don’t have access to their own outside space.  Originally planned for 2020, next year will now be the first time an area in the Chelsea showground will be dedicated to promoting houseplants and the benefits of indoor plants, providing creative inspiration for visitors own indoor spaces.”

The RHS expects this to be even more timely next year, after they found 31 per cent of their website visitors were interested in looking for house plants during lockdown. The charity set up an online gardening advice hub featuring tips for small spaces during lockdown, which proved immensely popular.

The show, which is in planning stages for 2021, will feature many of the same gardens which were in motion for the cancelled event this year.

This includes a garden featuring the healing herbs used by Florence Nightingale, and the Yeo Valley Organic Garden.

However, there will be some new surprises at next year’s show; in recognition of the toll the pandemic has taken on the people of Britain, the RHS has announced a new category for Sanctuary Gardens.

These gardens, featuring inspiration from the Bible Society and the Ministry of Forestry in Finland, will be themed around the idea of finding spirituality and peace in nature.

In addition, new for 2021, Naomi Ferrett-Cohen has designed ‘Finding Our Way – An NHS Tribute Garden’, as a space to reflect on the incredible efforts of the thousands of people working in and around the NHS who have been fighting the pandemic.

Helena Pettit, RHS Director of Gardens and Shows said: “Helping and inspiring millions of people to garden and grow for their health and wellbeing is at the heart of what we do, and as so many people have turned to gardening and experienced the positive power of plants during this unsettling year it feels more significant than ever to see this theme highlighted across our shows next year. 

“We are excited to be planning our 2021 Shows and cannot wait to bring everyone together again safely next summer and celebrate all that is wonderful about gardening and growing.  Our shows promise to be blooming with a whole host of inspiration and advice for everyone, from those who have just recently discovered a passion for plants to seasoned gardeners whose love for gardens has been reaffirmed and who are keen to once again experience the unforgettable sights and smells on display at our RHS shows.”

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Royal Horticultural Society, Chelsea Flower Show, Houseplant

World news – GB – Houseplants to be judged at Chelsea for the first time after indoor gardening thrived during lockdown

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