Reality TV show for gardeners taped in unlikely place

Contestants and judges for the Great Chelsea Garden Challenge. Photo: and judges for the Great Chelsea Garden Challenge. Photo:

The Chelsea Flower Show, one of Great Britain’s many time-honored traditions, is going down a modern path this year as the subject of a reality TV show, the “Great Chelsea Garden Challenge.” The prize? One amateur gardener will win the opportunity to build a garden on Chelsea’s prestigious Main Avenue.

The show, broadcast on the BBC this week, features six contestants, none of whom has ever designed a show garden; in fact, some have never built any kind of garden.

Contestants are given a plot of land, a budget and a theme and must then build their show gardens in a race against the clock. The winner will be revealed in the May 14 broadcast.

The Royal Horticultural Society has been playing host to the Chelsea Flower Show at the Royal Hospital since 1913. This year’s garden show is scheduled for May 19-23.

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