The Chelsea Flower Show readies for its one-off Autumn edition

Back in full bloom! Judi Dench and pregnant Call The Midwife star Helen George lead VIP arrivals at the Chelsea Flower Show preview day ahead of its first ever autumn edition

  • Florists are putting the final touches to their displays as Chelsea Flower Show opens to the public tomorrow
  • The show usually takes place in May but was delayed this year due to the coronavirus pandemic 
  • Flower enthusiasts will get to see the beautiful and colurful displays around the show from Tuesday to Sunday 
  • It was announced the Queen, 95, will skip the show this year, the first time she’s missed it since 2005 

Florists are putting the final touches to their flower displays as the Chelsea Flower Show prepares to open its doors to the public this week. 

The show, which usually takes place in May, was postponed to this week for the first time in its 109-year history due to the coronavirus pandemic, and will run from Tuesday 21 to Sunday 26 September in a one-off autumn edition.  

The Queen, who attends the event every year, is set to skip it this year for the first time since 2005 as she remains in Balmoral, where she is expected to stay until October. it will be only the tenth time she’s missed it.

Instead, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Prince and of Kent, and Princess Alexandra will represent to Royal Family at the event.

Celebrities are flocking to the Chelsea Flower Show ahead of the opening of its first ever autumn edition today. Dame Judi Dench, 86, stole the show as she attended 

Pregnant Call The Midwife’s star Helen George showed off her baby bump in a floral dress as she toured The Chelsea Flower Show preview day on Monday. The event, which takes place in autumn for the first time, opens to the public tomorrow

Actress Sally Phillips couldn’t hide her excitement as she toured the Psalm 23 garden, which incudes a pond and a flountain, at the show today

The ITV presenter gave an enthusiastic smile as she prepared to wander aroun the beautiful displays at this years Chelsea Flower Show 

Celebrities including actresses Dame Judi Dench, 86, Sally Phillips and Helen George, as well as fashion designer Paul Smith were among the first stars to tour the show.

ITV presenter Charlotte Hawkins, wearing a floral day dress, was also among the people in attendance.

They got to admired the beautiful Parsley Box Garden, which was designed by Alan Williams and delighted visitors with a table set with Parsley inspired tableware and small pumpkins. 

Meanwhile, the Psalm 23 garden wowed with its pond and zen fountain, offering a autumn-inspired oasis within the show.

Established in 1913, the flower show has become one of the world’s biggest showcases for horticultural excellence, attracting visitors and exhibitors from across the globe. 

It has grown from 244 exhibitors in 1913 to more than 500 today, including gardens, nurseries, floristry, educational displays and trade stands. The show attracts 168,000 visitors.

Florists put the finishing touches to their displays, making sure each detail was sorted ahead of the show’s first day tomorrow, pictured

No wallflower! Dame Judi Dench seemed delighted to be attending the show and stopped to smell some of the flowers when she arrived, wearing a linen jacket

In excellent spirits, Dame Judi put on an animated display at the show as she posed with Chelsea pensioners in uniforms with whom she held a big flower garland 

The show is organised by the Royal Horticultural Society, of which the Queen is patron, and traditionally takes place mid-May.

However this year it was blighted by Covid, and The Royal Horticultural Society announced in January that the show, in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, would be moved from May 18-23 to September 21-26.

Last year the event had to be scrapped completely because of coronavirus, with a virtual show staged online.

As many as 140,000 are expected to attend the event, which will ensure planned safety measures, included spreading the show over an extra day and reducing visitor numbers.

Chelsea Pensioners in uniform wave from the top of a repurposed double-decker bus in the Bowdens garden hosting bamboo shoots and ferns 

Florists Tara and Valerie Pain, pictured, wore beautiful flower collars in the Parsley box garden during the show’s press day today 

The Chelsea Flower Show is readying to open its doors to the public as it returns following the coronavirus pandemic. The show, which traditionally takes place in May, was postponed to September for the first time in its 109-year long history, and will go on from tomorrow to Sunday 26 September. Visitors in matching hats, pictured, toured the show for a sneak preview today

Narture meets disco! During the show’s press day, a drag queen made sure the party started early, with models wearing futuristic gear danced next to a pink barbecue set 

Presenter Nicki Chapman looked beautiful in a pink dress as she walked among the grandiose flower displays around the event 

In 2019, the Duchess of Cambridge designed one of the gardens and gave the Queen a guided tour.

The RHS said the September show will ‘celebrate the best of autumn horticulture’ and at this year’s event, the Royal Family contingent will see displays including the RHS Queen’s Green Canopy Garden.

The garden runs alongside Her Majesty’s unique tree planting initiative created to mark the monarch’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022.

Sally Phillips put her balance to the test as she stood on a rock in the middle of the pond, wearing heels, while touring the show’s Psalm 23 garden

Model Valerie Pain showed off a beautiful autumn-inspired flower colour at the show this morning Due to the change in dates, this Year’s flower show with celebrate Autumn-trends rather than Spring

Alan Williams, left, who designed the Parsley Box Garden, proudly posed in front of his creation as celebrities like the designer Paul Smith, right, flocked to the show 

A pregnant Helen George showed her baby bump as she stood with nurses in the Florence Nightingale garden at the show, pictured

The effort got underway in secret in March – the end of the official planting season – when the monarch and the Prince of Wales, who is patron of the initiative, met at Windsor Castle to plant an inaugural ‘Verdun Oak’ .

Everyone from individuals to Scout and Girlguiding groups, villages, cities, counties, schools and companies, will be encouraged to plant trees from October 2021, when the tree planting season begins, through to the end of the Jubilee year in 2022.

From October, details of contributions can be uploaded onto an interactive map on the new QGC website, so people can see the canopy’s development.

A table laid with little pumpkins and autumn-inspired sets awaits visitors who venture in the Parsley Box garden, which was designed by Alan Williams, pictured

Models Valerie, left and Tara Pain were the belles of the ball with their amazing flower collars and white dresses at the show today

The Woodland Trust, the largest woodland conservation charity in the United Kingdom, has committed three million free saplings to schools and communities across the UK as part of the QGC initiative.

Trees can be planted either singularly or in copses by individuals, schools, community groups or businesses on private land, or even as a new Platinum Jubilee Avenue of medium-sized or large trees – ideal for cities, large estates, housing developments and parishes.

The project is not-for-profit and is being funded by private donors and supporters including Royal Mail, Coutts, The John Lewis Partnership, Coupa and Rentokil Initial plc.

While the QGC has not received government funding, it is also being supported by DEFRA.

Neon lights and hot pink accessories offered a stark contrast with the peaceful set-up of the Show’s display as a drag queen Djed at the show 

Everything coming up roses! Good Morning Britain’s presenter Charlotte Hawkins donned a floral day dress to the event today

A fitting guest! Actress Dixie Egerickx, who started in the recent remake of the Secret Garden, looked darling in a floral babydoll dress

Helen George, who is expecting her second child this year, put on an animated display as she talked to fellow visitors and members of the press at the show today

The Call the Midwife actress beamed as she cradled her baby bump with her hands during her visit of the show today, pictured

Helen chatted with some of the models working around the show and bringing the displays to life, who was wearing a pilgrim outfit 

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