Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Plant Based Podcast

May 17, 2020

*Virtual Chelsea Special episode*

This extra-special episode of the Plant Based Podcast delves behind the scenes of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and features Sue Biggs, Director General of the RHS, and Jill Otway, who is the Plant Committee Manager.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic means that, along with so many other events, all RHS shows this summer have sadly been cancelled. Most notably the Chelsea Flower Show, which had to be cancelled for the first time since the Second World War.

Sue discusses the weight of the responsibility of having to make the decision of cancelling the show, despite know the impact it will have on the horticultural world. She reveals that it’s the hardest thing she’s had to do in her time at the RHS, but that the interests of public safety had, of course, to come first.

Excitingly, the show must go on! Soon after the cancellation, the RHS announced that Virtual Chelsea would take place instead. In the subsequent eight weeks, teams across the RHS have united and worked around the clock to arrange a fantastic line up. We’ll be able to nosey around gardens of big horticultural names and celebrities, as well as watching Q&As and how-to videos from growers, designers and nurseries.

It all starts on Monday 18th May 2020 where the online content will be available exclusively to RHS members - just like the first day of the real show is.

In the second half of the episode, Michael chats with Jill Otway, who is responsible for organising the incredible Plant of the Year awards at Chelsea. Winning Plant of the Year can have a huge impact on a plant’s sales, so it is a highly coveted title. Jill explains the rigorous process for how all the new plants at the show are whittled down to just one deemed worthy of the title, as well as revealing exactly what the judges are looking for.

They look back at previous winners and how this year, for the first time, the RHS will be celebrating the Plant of the Decade! You can cast your vote and pick your favourite winner from the past ten shows at the RHS website. Jill had always planned for Plant of the Decade to take place this year, and for it be voted for by the public so it lent itself perfectly to the new online format.

Read Michael's article, 'Chelsea best bits' here. 
Read Ellen's article, '5 Chelsea memories' here. 

Visit the RHS Virtual Chelsea Flower Show here. 


The Plant Based Podcast:





This episode of The Plant Based Podcast is brought to you by our friends at Natural Grower. Launched in 2019, their award-winning liquid fertiliser and soil conditioner is made entirely from maize. Naturally rich in nitrogen, potash, phosphate and other trace elements that plants and vegetables love, it is approved by the Soil Association, Vegan Society and Organic Farmers and Growers.

Visit to nurture your soil and boost your plants and veg. Enter PBP15 for a 15% discount as a Plant Based Podcast subscriber.

Instagram: @natural_grower