If Chelsea Flower Show is one of the highlights of your year, whether visiting or just watching the coverage on telly, you’ll likely already have heard that it’s been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
And this is sad news not just for would-be visitors hoping to bag themselves armfuls of glorious plants and flowers, but equally for the specialist nurseries who would have been showcasing and selling their foliage.
While gardening has seen a sharp rise in popularity since lockdown started, meaning many bigger nurseries have seen a boom in online sales, smaller specialist companies have not been so lucky.
As for the thousands of plants that they’ll already have grown to fill the 12,000 square metre great pavilion at Chelsea Flower Show – they’ll all go to waste if they can’t be sold, which will eventually mean many of these small nurseries could go out of business.
It’s more important than ever to support small businesses right now, and luckily the RHS have recognised that too, with the launch of their online platform that allows green-fingered shoppers to browse and buy the plants of that would have been at Chelsea Flower Show.
Head to the RHS website where you’ll find a full guide to all the nurseries who would have been selling and exhibiting at the show this year – from here you can find each grower’s website and email address through which you can place orders and help keep them in business, as well as bringing some greenery and colour to your home and garden.
You can even search by plant type or alphabetically, making it very easy to get hold of exactly what you’re looking for, or for discovering new varieties.
RHS director general, Sue Biggs, spoke about the initiative, saying: ‘The specialist nurseries and growers are the lifeblood of the horticultural industry and their beautiful displays at RHS flower shows are one of the most popular attractions, drawing thousands of visitors every year who leave our shows laden with plants of all varieties.
‘We want to continue to support our nurseries during this unimaginably challenging time and make it as easy as possible for our members and show visitors to buy directly from them.’