Stars flock to Tom Stuart-Smith’s National Garden Scheme Garden at RHS Chelsea 

RHS Chelsea press day release, May 20

After rave reviews from Adam Frost and Sophie Raworth on the BBC’s Chelsea prequel programme on Sunday night, the stars flocked to the National Garden Scheme Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show on press day (Monday 20 May). Eager to catch a glimpse of Tom Stuart-Smith’s exquisite planting that has created a garden of soft, shaded tranquility among the show gardens on main avenue and to enjoy the craftsmanship of the beautifully crafted oak hut, visitors were not disappointed.  

Dame Mary Berry, President of the National Garden Scheme said: “The garden makes me feel at peace and at ease. I love the tranquility of the white.” 

Gardening legend Alan Titchmarsh added: “You walk into it and, because the colour scheme is so cooling, whites, green and canopy of hazels over the top, it is instantly calming.” 

“There is just so much serenity within this garden – I dressed accordingly – it’s just so peaceful and so beautiful.” National Garden Scheme ambassador, DJ Jo Whiley. 

Comedians Josh Widdicombe, Ivo Graham and Suzi Ruffell arrived en masse and enjoyed the experience of visiting the garden. “It’s the first one we’ve visited and it’s all downhill from here!” said Josh Widdicombe. 

“It’s my first visit to Chelsea, it’s busy but this garden is very calming. I could live in any of these gardens, but this is more me. I love the structure.” Josh O’Connor, actor. 

“This garden is absolutely magical. Beautiful.” Sophie Raworth, TV presenter and daughter of long-term National Garden Scheme garden openers and volunteers.

“It’s so soft and calming – lovely shades of green showing that you can be constrained with colour – so elegant, lovely.” Prue Leith. 

“It’s so tranquil. Such nourishment for the soul,” TV presenter, Anneka Rice 

“Every element is exquisite and perfect. I’m moving in tomorrow,” Simon Lycett, celebrity event florist.

The tranquilty is expertly and purposefully designed into a garden that will form part of a new Maggie’s at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge after the show. 

Watch the video:



Stars on the garden included:

Dame Mary Berry – President, National Garden Scheme
Alan Titchmarsh – gardener, author, presenter
Jo Whiley – DJ and Ambassador National Garden Scheme
Rachel de Thame – garden writer and presenter, Ambassador National Garden Scheme
Arit Anderson – garden designer, presenter, Trustee National Garden Scheme
Joe Swift – garden designer and presenter
Josh O’Connor – Challengers and The Crown actor
Dame Prue Leith – chef
Sophie Raworth – presenter
Anneka Rice -presenter
Nick Grimshaw – Radio 1 DJ
Ruby Wax – comedian
Paul Hollywood – baker and presenter
Suzi Ruffell – comedian
Josh Widdicombe – comedian
Ivo Graham – comdian
Simon Lycett – celebrity event florist
Nigel Dunnett – Reader in Urban Horticulture in the landscape department at the University of Sheffield, author, garden opener for the National Garden Scheme
Jessica Ennis-Hill – Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill DBE OLY is a retired British track and field athlete from England, specialising in the heptathlon and 100 metres hurdles
Alex Jones and Jermaine Jenas – One Show presenters
Nicky Haslam – designer
Paul Smith – designer 


About The National Garden Scheme Garden at RHS Chelsea 2024 

Designed by eight times Chelsea Gold Medal winner, Tom Stuart-Smith, The National Garden Scheme Garden for the National Garden Scheme is fully funded by Project Giving Back and will be relocated to form part of the new garden at Maggie’s at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. 

Tom Stuart-Smith has opened his own garden, The Barn at Serge Hill in Hertfordshire for the National Garden Scheme for thirty years and fully embraces the spirit of generosity that is exemplified by the charity. This ethos has been woven into the Show Garden with other National Garden Scheme garden owners supplying plants and volunteering during the week of the show, sharing their expert knowledge of plants and passion for the charity with a global audience.  

The Barn opens for the National Garden Scheme on Sunday 2nd June alongside Serge Hill and, for the first time in 2024, The Plant Library, part of the Serge Hill Project, a not-for-profit, set up by Sue and Tom Stuart-Smith in 2023. For details CLICK HERE 

Plant sale on Saturday 1st June gives the chance to own a part of the garden 

Following RHS Chelsea, the National Garden Scheme will be selling a selection of woodland perennials from the show garden at Chilworth Manor in Surrey. The plants have been specially selected by award-winning garden designer Tom Stuart-Smith and Peter Clay, co-founder of the renowned online nursery Crocus. 

With the relocation of the garden to Maggie’s not taking place immediately, the perennials need new homes and will be sold in support of the charity. In addition to the wide range of plants and the expert horticultural advice from National Garden Scheme volunteers, buyers will have the opportunity to explore the beautiful garden at Chilworth Manor – a regular opener for the National Garden Scheme since 1933 – and enjoy delicious homemade tea and cakes in the walled garden. Head Gardener at Chilworth Manor, John MacRae-Brown will also be available to lead visitors on a tour of the garden at 1pm. 

For more details and to book a timed ticket slot CLICK HERE 


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