The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), has announced it will host the prestigious RHS Chelsea Garden Product of the Year Competition and a special People’s Choice vote for RHS Chelsea Plant of the Decade during its first ever virtual show, taking place from 18-23 May.
The news comes as the RHS revealed that for the first time in its history, the world-famous flower show will take place online after it was cancelled due to Covid-19.
RHS Chelsea Garden Product of the Year
The RHS has unveiled a shortlist of 11 finalists for the 2020 competition, featuring designs awash with sustainable solutions as gardeners increasingly demand products with greener credentials.
Products making use of agricultural by-products and reusing natural materials are among the finalists as well as tech innovations for city living, with designs allowing gardeners to grow food effectively in smaller outdoor spaces and a smartphone-controlled lawnmower.
RHS Chelsea Garden Product of the Year 2020 shortlist:
- The City Growhouse, by Access Garden Products, RRP £479 in plain aluminium £599 in Anthracite, www.garden-products.co.uk/ - A dedicated growing area in even the smallest garden. Ideal for city living.
- Meander 3, by Gaze Burvill, RRP £6,960, www.gazeburvill.com/ - Combining elegant sculptural curves with practicality and comfort, the ‘Meander 3’ is a delightful and novel three person conversation seat.
- Infinity Sheet by Green4Air, RRP £215, www.green4air.co.uk/ - CAD designed sheets designed to integrate and work with Green4Air’s 150mm pod spacing system both horizontally and vertically 128 x 55deg slots are cut into the black 10mm thick sheets using a highly specialised 5axis CNC router machine.
- Small Pot Set of 3, by Husk, RRP £9.99, www.madewithhusk.com - Pots made using agricultural waste which fertilize the soil when they biodegrade.
- Ooni Karu, by Ooni, RRP £249, www.ooni.com - a powerful, portable wood & charcoal-fired pizza oven offering portability with all the power of a larger wood-fired oven.
- Husqvarna 305, by Platts Horticulture, RRP £1099, www.plattshorticulture.co.uk/ - A robotic lawnmower which offers a low price point without compromising on performance. Can be controlled by an app on a smartphone.
- Steel Container/Pottery Knife, by Sneeboer Trading BV, RRP £69.95, www.sneeboer.com/en/ - An all sides sharpened, long, flat, flexible stainless steel container/pottery knife that comes with a red beech grip. Designed to help with re-potting plants in difficult containers.
- Stone King, by The Patio Black Spot Removal Company, RRP £29.99, www.patioblackspotremoval.com/ - Gently, restores the original beauty to natural stone sculpture, artificial stone figurines, bird baths, sundials and terracotta pots and urns in less than 90 minutes without pressure washing.
- Naked Garden Twine, by Twool, RRP £2.95, www.twool.co.uk/ - Garden twine made from locally sourced underused wool with a high tensile strength.
- Vegebag, by Vegepod UK, RRP £29.99, www.vegepod.co.uk/ - Made from a tough polyester base, the Vegebag helps gardeners of all abilities to produce fantastic crops in small spaces with protection from garden nasties, all year round.
- Potting Table, by Wilstone, RRP £245, www.wilstone.com - Made from Galvanised Steel and Recycled Teak for practical durability, this lightweight Potting Table has carry handles, two drawers, shelf and a uniquely designed extend-able worktop revealing a compost store.
The shortlisted products will be judged virtually by a panel of experts including well-known entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den investor Deborah Meaden, gardening writer Peter Seabrook and Chair Chris Harrop with the winner being announced as part of Virtual Chelsea on Monday 18 May 2020.
A People’s Choice vote for the Garden Product of the Year will also follow, where virtual visitors will be able to vote for their top product from the shortlist. Open from Monday 18 until Friday 22 May, the People’s Choice winner will be revealed on the final day of the show, Saturday 23 May.
RHS Chelsea Plant of the Decade
Each year the show also awards the RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year selected by an audience of over 100 plant experts, including members of trials forums and the seven RHS Plant Committees.
In celebration of its tenth anniversary this year, the virtual flower show will instead host a People’s Choice vote for the RHS Chelsea Plant of the Decade, allowing everyone to vote for their overall favourite from the previous winners.
The Chelsea Plant of the Year was launched in 2010 to promote the continuing work of breeders and nurseries in producing improved and exciting new plants and welcomes entries from exhibitors in the Great Pavilion.
Previous RHS Chelsea Plants of the Year:
- 2010: Streptocarpus ‘Harlequin Blue’ - Dibleys Nurseries (bred by Lynne Dibley, UK)
- 2011: Anemone Wild Swan (‘Macane001’) - Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants (bred by Elizabeth MacGregor, UK)
- 2012: Digitalis Illumination Pink ('Tmdgfp001') - Bee Up Front Garden (bred by Charles Valin, Thompson & Morgan, UK)
- 2013: Mahonia eurybracteata subsp. ganpinensis ‘Soft Caress’ - SeeAbility Garden (bred by Ozzie Johnson of ItSaul Plants, USA)
- 2014: Hydrangea macrophylla Miss Saori (‘H20–2’) - Hillier Nurseries & Garden Centres (bred by Ryoji Irie, Japan)
- 2015: Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum Kilimanjaro Sunrise ('Jww5') - Burncoose Nurseries (bred by Jan Willem Wezelenburg, Holland)
- 2016: Clematis koreana Amber (‘Wit141205’) - Taylors Clematis (bred by Marco de Wit, Holland)
- 2017: Morus ‘Waisei-kirishima-shikinari’ (entered as Mulberry ‘Matsunaga’) - Horticultural Trades Association (bred by Hajime Matsunaga, Japan)
- 2018: Hydrangea Runaway Bride Snow White ('USHYD0405') The Sun (bred by Ushio Sakazaki, Japan)
- 2019: Sedum takesimense Atlantis (‘Nonsitnal’) - National Dahlia Collection (bred by Walters Gardens)
Voting for the RHS Chelsea Plant of the Decade will open on Monday 18 and run until Friday 22 May with the winner set to be announced on Saturday 23 May.
Katherine Potsides, RHS Head of Shows Development, says: “Plans for the first virtual Chelsea are well underway and we are delighted to still be able to share the best in our horticultural world despite it being a hugely challenging time for everyone.
“These competitions shine a light on some of the best in product design and innovations in plant breeding, and have become a highlight for our visitors and gardeners everywhere so we are thrilled we are able to share and celebrate them once again in 2020.”
The RHS website www.rhs.org.uk will become host to the Virtual RHS Chelsea Flower Show (18 – 23 May 2020) sharing an abundance of free, inspiring content, with Monday 18 May being Members Day.