Free flower festival Chelsea In Bloom returns next week, with an Under The Sea theme.
Coinciding with the nearby Chelsea Flower Show, Chelsea In Bloom — and its neighbour, Belgravia In Bloom — sees huge floral installations put up around the area, all on a theme. Shops, bars and restaurants all get in on the action, erecting sculptures, arches and flower walls, and some of them host special events too.
What can you expect from this year's theme? Large-scale dolphins, whales, turtles and other marine mammals made from flowers, apparently. This includes a 4m orca whale made from tropical leaves, delphiniums, hydrangeas and frothy gypsophila. And while that all sounds lovely — and ideal Instagram fodder — it's for a good cause too.
This year, Chelsea In Bloom is working with Plastic Oceans UK, raising funds and awareness of the charity's mission to end plastic pollution. All of the main installations are created without any single-use plastic, and visitors can find out more about the charity's work at a pop-up hub in Sloane Square.
As always, free rickshaw rides are available (as are walking tours, if you're slumming it), and can be booked at the information point in Sloane Square. If you want to take things at your own pace, a map of this year's installations should be available from the website shortly.
Past Chelsea In Bloom themes have included animals, and summer of love — 2018's theme, which can be seen below, inspired by Harry and Meghan's royal wedding:
Chelsea In Bloom takes place 20-25 May 2019, and is free. Find out more about Belgravia In Bloom 2019 — which runs the same week as Chelsea In Bloom — here. Also nearby, Chelsea Barracks opens to the public for the first time in 150 years for the Chelsea Flower Show.