Darling buds of… September! Chelsea Flower Show visitors delight in displays of pumpkins, dahlias and ripe fruit as the first ever autumn event opens after spring date was delayed due to Covid

  • Chelsea Flower Show opened to the public today and postponed event features stunning autumnal displays
  • The famed show traditionally takes place in May but was delayed this year due to the coronavirus pandemic 
  • Queen will miss the event for the first time since skipping while carrying out engagements in Canada in 2005 

The first ever September edition of the Chelsea Flower Show has seen visitors delight in stunning autumnal displays of pumpkins, dahlias and daisies as it opens to the public today. 

For the first time in its 109-year history, the prestigious event was delayed until the autumn rather than May, and will run from today to Sunday 26 September in a special one-off event.

Guests including TV presenter Nicki Chapman were seen taking in the beautiful seasonal displays at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London, which included a cactus stand and ripe pumpkins carved into various shapes.  

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 has missed the Flower Show.  

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

The first ever September edition of the Chelsea Flower Show has seen visitors delight in stunning autumnal displays of pumpkins, dahlias (pictured)and daisies

For the first time in its 109-year history, the prestigious event was delayed until the autumn rather than May and guests delighted in seeing the unusual autumnal displays including daisies and gypsophila

One guest was seen taking a picture of a pumpkin carved to look like a gorilla at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show held this morning at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London

One visitor donned a light pink dress adorned with red flowers, featuring a red and white polkadot hem and cuffs, as she viewed the RHS Garden of Hope garden

Celebrities including Nick, 54, were among the first to view the show this morning and the star donned a stylish white and grey floral dress with casual white trainers while she pinned her blonde tresses back in a sleek low ponytail. 

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. 

Celebrities including Nick Chapman, 54, were among the first to view the show this morning and the star donned a stylish white and grey floral dress with casual white trainers while she pinned her blonde tresses back in a sleek low ponytail

Guests of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show were seen taking in the beautiful seasonal displays at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London, which included a cactus stand 

Guests donning floral themed face coverings perused the floral displays as they visited the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this morning 

The BBC One Show and RHS Garden of Hope garden (pictured) displays low growing ferns and purple Ajuga, taller medlars and copper nut bushes, with pops of yellow flowers

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.  

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 to September.

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 has ensured planned safety measures, including spreading the show over an extra day and reducing visitor numbers.  

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

In recognition of the UK hosting the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Glasgow in October and November, The RHS COP26 Garden (pictured) demonstrates how gardens, plants and green spaces can play an integral part in protecting our planet 

Visitors were pictured milling around the beautiful displays as they attended the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this morning 

The RHS said the September show will ‘celebrate the best of autumn horticulture’ and at this year’s event, the Royal Family contingent, who attended the show yesterday, 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. 

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.

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.

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