Oh how we've revelled looking at the blooms at this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Their online presence isn't bad too - with a cracking website full of handy hints on getting the most out of this year's event. In honour of a floral tour de force, we've teamed up with the organisers to bring you some surprising, informative and handy facts about the show, that will certainly brighten your rhetoric. Perfect dinner party fodder...!
• RHS Chelsea Flower Show was originally called the RHS Great Spring Show, and that name has never officially been changed.
• Despite the First World War, the show was held in 1914 – 1916, but cancelled in 1917.
• In 1926 the show was held a week late due to the General Strike.
• Japanese dwarf trees, now known as bonsai, were first seen at the first show in 1913.
• The show was cancelled during the Second World War, when the land was requisitioned by the War Office for an anti-aircraft site.
• In 1937, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth celebrated their Coronation year, and an ‘Empire Exhibition’ was staged. It featured wattles from Australia, pines from Canada, gladioli from East Africa and even a prickly pear from Palestine.
22nd May 2012.