RHS Chelsea 2024 - Update No.2

RHS Chelsea 2024 - Update No.2

Spring 2024 is already becoming every bit as challenging as it was in 2023, albeit the polar opposite! February was apparently the warmest February ever recorded globally, and despite the horrendous and relentless rain, nature has decided to wake up.



The difficulties of 2023 were not just the cold temperatures, but also the very low light levels that did not give many plants the catalyst they needed to start growing. This year the light levels throughout the winter have been much higher and when combined with the warmer temperatures, they have triggered plants to grow early.  

For 2024 we are growing plants for 5 RHS Chelsea Flower Show Gardens. A very wide range of over 500 different genera from arid loving Middle Eastern plants through to North American woodland dwellers. With that span of climates, what is good weather for some plants is less good for others.

Phlomis love arid conditions
Gallium thrive in shady woodland

A warm and bright spring is fantastic news for those plants that relish the warmth and sunshine and would normally be ''cooked'' in order for them to flower for Chelsea. Plants like thymes, origanum, Indigofera, and Cynara all do well in an early spring. 


Conversely, cool woodland dwellers like epimedium, gallium, polygonatum and meconopsis, will grow and flower much earlier in an early spring and run the risk of being flowered out before Chelsea even starts. 


Thus the challenge of our nursery team is to anticipate this, monitor the weather on a daily basis and place every single plant in the best possible nursery environment to maximise the benefit to the heat and sun lovers, but minimise the risk to the early flowering woodlanders.

This might necessitate moving some plants several times over the next few weeks, as the weather could easily turn cold again. 

Stay tuned for our next update. 

Posted by Liam Murphy
13th March 2024

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