Application Process

Can I apply if I have no prior experience of designing a garden at Chelsea?

Yes. While experience of designing and / or building a show garden is beneficial, we are keen to encourage new talent and do not require Chelsea experience in some of our funding categories. Every design that PGB commits to funding then goes before the RHS selection panel, who is likely to favour those who have exhibited at one of the other RHS shows like RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival or RHS Flower Show Tatton Park.. So, for Show Garden applications, you have a better chance of being accepted if you have designed a garden at one of the other RHS shows. However, please do not let this prevent you from applying - the category 'All About Plants' is designed to encourage new creative talent and we are keen to hear from all interested designers.

How does the Project Giving Back selection process relate to the RHS Selection Process?

Project Giving Back is not an alternative to the RHS selection process. Our aim is to identify interesting designers, nurseries and horticultural groups and encourage them to apply for PGB funding in partnership with a good cause. If you are successful in being selected by Project Giving Back, you will still need to apply to the RHS in the usual way and PGB funding is not a guarantee of space allocation at the show.

If I am turned down for PGB funding can I reapply in future years?

Yes. We would encourage you to reapply to the PGB funding application process with a new concept and design. If you are not successful in receiving PGB funding, you may of course continue with an application to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and we would encourage you to find an alternative source of funding.

Can horticultural charities participate? 

Yes. All UK charities (registered and working in the UK) are welcome to apply for a Project Giving Back grant. Ideally you should apply with a designer in mind, but it is possible to apply individually and we can help pair you with a suitable designer. We do accept expressions of interest from other types of charitable organisations  and all applications will be considered by the PGB Selection Panel, however, larger garden places will be reserved for organisations with UK-wide reach.

Can botanic gardens, horticultural societies, specialist nurseries and other horticultural institutions apply?

Yes.  We are keen to cast our net as wide as possible and welcome applications from botanic gardens, horticultural societies or any charitable horticultural institution, teamed up with a garden designer and specialist nurseries. Please express your interest and we can tell you more.

Can designers, working in a different field, get involved with this project? 

Yes.  Please get in touch.  We are excited about bringing together designers from other disciplines to either curate or collaborate with exhibits or become one of our mentoring team.

I am a designer / charity without a charity / designer partner. How do I approach a charity / designer with my idea ahead of the PGB selection process?

We will only accept applications for 2025 funding from pre-existing charity/designer teams. Below are some pointers to help you forge relationships with either a charity or a designer if you do not have an immediate link.

For designers: We suggest you select a charity or good cause that you have a personal connection with, prior experience of, or one that resonates with your design ethos and values. We recommend you make initial contact, via email, with the Director of Fundraising / Marketing / Communications at your chosen charity to set out the opportunity you are hoping to apply for on their behalf. Try to set up a video call, or in-person meeting, to explain things in more detail, and use previous examples of successful PGB funded gardens at the show to illustrate your ideas. (You can find these here.) If you need a quick explanation about Project Giving Back and the unique funding scheme we manage, please contact us for a suitable document.

For charities: If you, your board of Trustees or your colleagues do not have personal links with garden designers, we suggest you take a look at the membership of the Society of Garden Designers in the first instance. You can also find great inspiration on designers to approach via popular gardening / interior design magazines such as House & Garden, Gardens Illustrated, The English Garden and Homes & Gardens.


How do exhibitors attract press coverage? 

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show attracts a huge amount of media interest. If your garden is selected by the RHS for the show, the good cause and designer will have the chance to promote their story to the media and work with the RHS press office to maximise media opportunities. They will be invited to organise a photo call on the garden on press day and take advantage of the many other media opportunities available at the show. Any press activity should be coordinated in conversation with the RHS press office. Charities are encouraged to find interesting and creative ways to get their message across and the story behind the garden is often of interest to a wide variety of media.

Who will manage the PR & marketing for the garden if we are awarded PGB funding?

The charitable organisation benefitting from the garden funded by PGB will be responsible for all PR and marketing in the lead up to and during the show. The RHS Press Office team will provide support throughout the process, with additional guidance from the PGB team. However, the PGB funding will not cover PR & marketing costs and so this should be considered when applying for funding.

We have never exhibited at Chelsea before - how will we manage our comms plan?

The RHS Press Office will be your main point of contact and you will receive lots of help and advice from them about planning and managing your communications. The PGB team also has a wealth of experience of exhibiting at Chelsea and managing communications for gardens there. We are here to make your experience a successful one.


What does a Project Giving Back grant cover? 

Successful applicants are expected to work with a UK-based good cause to create a really exciting exhibit. The application will require costings for your exhibit, transport and accommodation for essential staff.  You will be required to keep within the approved budget, which does not include entertainment costs or show tickets. All other costs will need to be budgeted for by the charity partner. PGB will provide more detailed guidance for charities at the application stage.

Are charities/garden designers given free show tickets?  

Show exhibitors are allocated a certain number of badges to allow contractors and staff to build and maintain the garden throughout the build up and show week. This allows designers and charities to engage with show visitors. Should an exhibitor wish to entertain guests or host events at the show, they will need to purchase RHS hospitality or show tickets outside of the Project Giving Back budget and make arrangements directly with the RHS.

Garden build & Logistics

What happens to the garden after the show?

Sustainability is extremely important to Project Giving Back and one of our funding requirements is that there is a relocation plan in place ahead of the show.We have allocated funds for the relocation of the gardens but garden teams must prove to us that they will be publicly accessible and/or provide a public benefit as a lasting legacy. We strongly advise you consider any planning consent, community engagement, local consultation etc that might need to happen ahead of a garden being relocated after the show. PGB can link you with people who have successfully managed Chelsea garden relocations if you need advice and support.

What happens to furniture, artwork or crafts pieces displayed after the show?  

Any money from the sale of components from your garden, not on loan, should be for the sole benefit of the charity involved.

Will Project Giving Back supported gardens be judged?

Yes. All Project Giving Back supported gardens accepted by the RHS for exhibit at the show will be judged.

Who is eligible for a PGB mentor and how does the scheme work?

We have a number of mentors (experts in their particular fields) who can provide advice and support should you need it. We will link you with a suitable mentor at the appropriate time in your application process, depending on the skills you require.

Are Project Giving Back supported gardens walk-through exhibits?

No. All PGB funded gardens will be judged as show gardens, not floral exhibits.The All About Plants gardens are positioned within the Great Pavilion but are not accessible by visitors.

Does my contractor have to have show experience?

You may prefer to choose a contractor with show experience, as building a garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show with tight deadlines and significant build constraints requires excellent planning and project management. However, this is not a PGB requirement and you are free to select a contractor of your choice. We recommend that you are very confident in your project management skills and working relationship.