Chelsea Flower Show is on this week, and with it comes two fantastic (free!) flower festivals in west London. Chelsea in Bloom and Belgravia in Bloom both launched on 22 May and run all week. We had a wander around both to see what all the bloomin' fuss is about.
Chelsea in Bloom 2023
Spanning the length of Sloane Street down to Sloane Square, then right the way along King's Road, with an epicentre in Duke of York Square (and a few sculptures down side streets too), Chelsea in Bloom is a rather spread out affair. If you're short on time (or energy), head for Sloane Square and Duke of York Square, as this is where the main exhibits are.
A word of warning if you're heading down Sloane Street — there's currently a mass of roadworks down here, meaning it's lighter on traffic than usual (hurrah!) but you might find yourself fenced in behind temporary pavement barriers, able to see exhibits on the opposite side of the road but frustratingly unable to reach them.
The theme this year is Flowers on Film: look out for recreations of movie characters and scenes, as well as a giant BAFTA statue and Oscars mask... and plenty of oversized tubs of popcorn.
Chelsea in Bloom 2023 runs 22-27 May.
Belgravia in Bloom 2023
Belgravia in Bloom is more compact than Chelsea in Bloom, taking place across Eccleston Yards, Eccleston Street, Ebury Street, Elizabeth Street and — slightly more out of the way — West Halkin Street and Motcomb Street. Those last two are worth trekking to if you're got the time — Neill Strain florist is a highlight every year, and this year's sealife-themed installation doesn't disappoint. Short on time? Eccleston Yards is home to a few exhibits in one place. There's a wild animals theme for 2023.
Belgravia in Bloom 2023 runs 22-29 May.
Both festivals are free to visit.