Things to do in London

Chelsea Flower Show preview: Diarmuid Gavin’s ‘magical garden’, topiary F1 car and more

17:03 18 May 2012

Diarmuid Gavins Irish Sky Garden at Chelsea Flower Show in 2011

Diarmuid Gavins Irish Sky Garden at Chelsea Flower Show in 2011


Does your garden badly need a horticultural makeover? Perhaps burying years of neglect under acres of decking is no longer enough. If this is you, the annual Chelsea Flower Show at the Royal Hospital Chelsea is the place to go.

The show is a Mecca for those searching for a slice of earthly paradise just beyond the back door step, with row upon row of avant-garde gardening on show - even the Queen enjoys a visit to Chelsea.

Garden in the sky

Last year, a garden suspended in the air wowed visitors.

TV horticulturalist Diarmuid Gavins Irish Sky Garden separated flora from its usual place rooted in earth by dangling a cabin above the ground from a cable.

"Fun, trickery, shock, awe, amazement and entertainment are all ancient features of gardens," he said of his eye-catching creation.

This year Gavin has created a pyramid-like creation called the 'Westland Magical Garden', a multi-storey structrue promising "formal, elegant planting including ferns, hostas and clipped Buxus sempervirens in terracotta urn."

Down to Earth

Vision is one element not in short supply at the Royal Horticultural Society event. For instance, a topiary Formula 1 car will be on display this year.

But turning a dishevelled patch of scrub into something like the Hanging Gardens of Babylon needs more time than many people have to give.

So is the Chelsea Flower Show only about the highly impractical and implausible?

Not entirely, as high street hardware giant Homebase is sponsoring a garden designed for city living.

Expert advice on dealing with common garden pests will also be available.

Getting there

Chelsea Flower Show runs from May 22 to 26.

Sloane Square Tube station is a 10-minute walk away.

See for more information on visiting.

LONDON IN AN APP! Whether you're planning to visit the Chelsea Flower Show or anywhere else in London, the fantastic FREE MyCityWayLondon24 app for iPhone can help you during a day out.

The app contains more than 30 really useful mini-apps which can help with everything from finding somewhere to grab a coffee or lunch to checking the latest travel information and locating free places to visit.

The app is the ultimate mobile city guide, the essential tool to have in your pocket whenever you're out and about in London.

For more information and to download MyCityWayLondon24, search the Apple iTunes App Store for 'London24' or go to

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
2 3 4 5 6

Things to do in London

Monday, October 12, 2015
Take a trip through the century that got us where we are today

If you love cocktails, art and history, you can immerse yourselves in all three in an event that showcases the tastes, sounds, sights and even smells of the twentieth century at The Apartment in The Hoxton Hotel.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Just how spooky can a night out in London for Halloween 2015 get? (Picture: Royal Parks)

It’s spooky and there is often alcohol involved (for adults only of course) - what’s not to love about Halloween? If you don’t know where to go out in London on Saturday October 31, look no further. Here is our guide to the capital’s haunted hollows...

Friday, October 2, 2015
(Photo: John O'Reilly for ZSL)

There’s plenty to do with your kids in London this Halloween, and this year’s events suggest it will be even scarier than the last.

Thursday, October 1, 2015
The Game of Thrones Halloween party will be held at The Three Compasses in Dalston  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Whether you’re a White Walker, Night’s Watchman, Wildling, Dragon, Stark or Lannister, leave your differences at the door and party like Winter’s never coming this Halloween.

Friday, September 18, 2015
The secret courtyard is very rarely open to the public (Picture: The House of St Barnabas)

Festivals are not just a summer thing. Bring in autumn in style with a silent disco in a secret Soho courtyard at the world’s first not-for-profit membership club, The House of St Barnabas.

Monday, September 7, 2015
40a Dawlish Avenue is a 'green exemplar' (Picture: Will Pryce)

Open House London 2015 will give everyone the chance to visit buildings in the capital they would never otherwise be able to access, including 10 Downing Street, a fantasy Victorian flat and The Gherkin.

Don't Miss...

What is this?

Near You Now

Line-Up Events


Amazon: Everything you want to buy all in one place!

With £1,500 to spend online at Amazon, there’s really nothing you can’t buy.

Read more
You'll be stocked up on toiletries  for a while!

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more.

Read more

Latest Tech News