All bright and beautiful as Chelsea reaches full bloom

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Eleven acres of land, 600 exhibitors and almost 160,000 visitors, who in five days of stomping about typically drink 3,500 bottles of champagne, 24,000 glasses of Pimm's and munch 24,615 sandwiches – presumably in an attempt to stop them wobbling off into the rhododendrons.

Final preparations are being made today for the Royal Horticultural Society's Chelsea Flower Show, which opens to the public tomorrow morning at the Royal Hospital in South-west London. It is the 89th show to be held there, and marks the event's 150th anniversary.

Among the show gardens, urban gardens, courtyards, educational displays, flora, floristry extravaganzas and sales stands of garden products, it is, of course, the Great Pavilion that is named by most visitors as their favourite feature each year.

With enough room to park a staggering 500 double-decker buses, it contains hundreds of species and thousands of varieties of plant, as well as tens of thousands of blooms.

At the top end of the price spectrum, corporate hospitality packages sell for as much as £449 for a day. After the show, it takes only five days to dismantle everything.

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