Frequently Asked Questions

Project Giving Back grants will enable a successful applicant to apply for a RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden, in partnership with a UK charity. We would expect the chosen charities to use the media coverage the show attracts to promote their need for support or to bring their work to the attention of a wider audience via traditional and social media exposure.

The Advisory Panel will want to see creative and interesting ways that charities make the most of this opportunity. Successful garden teams will be required to work closely with the RHS press office and shows department to maximise their involvement in the show.

General Questions

How do exhibitors attract press coverage? 

RHS Chelsea attracts a huge amount of media interest. If the garden is selected for the show, the charity and designer will have the chance to promote their story to the media and work with the RHS press office to maximise 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 media.

What does the Project Giving Back grant cover?

Every applicant will need to submit a budget for approval. Each grant will be sufficient to cover the design and build of the garden. Funding may also be available for relocation of the garden after the show. Accommodation during build-up may be included but additional hospitality is not. Additional costs to be borne by charities will be advised by the RHS once the application is selected.

How does this 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. However, if you are successful in being selected by Project Giving Back, you will still need to apply to the RHS in the usual way.

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.

Can horticultural charities participate? 

Yes. All UK charities are welcome to apply for a Project Giving Back grant and the opportunity to be partnered with a designer.

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

Yes. We are keen to encourage new talent.  The first step is to register your interest with Project Giving Back via our online form. If you are successfully paired with a charity partner, we will ask you to submit a fully costed design plan. If this approved by Project Giving Back you will then submit the design to the RHS selection panel. Every design goes before the RHS selection panel who are likely to favour those who have exhibited at one of the other RHS shows like Tatton Park or Hampton Court. So, you have more 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 interesting and creative talent and we are keen to hear from all interested designers.

If I am turned down for Chelsea 2022 can I reapply?

Yes. If you meet all the criteria you can request that your design be reconsidered for RHS Chelsea Flower Show in either 2023 or 2024. 

What happens to the gardens after the show?

Sustainability is extremely important to Project Giving Back and we would strongly encourage the charities we involve to make good use of their gardens. We have allocated funds for the relocation of the gardens but they must prove to us that they will be publicly accessible and provide a public benefit. 

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.

What happens if my design is accepted but I fail to deliver?

All designers whose plans are accepted by the RHS selection panel are required to pay a non-returnable deposit should any garden fail to materialise. This rule would apply to those benefiting from a Project Giving Back grant but our mentors and advisory team are there to ensure this does not happen. 

What does an ‘All About Plants’ grant cover? 

Successful applicants are expected to work with a UK charity and a designer/mentor 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.

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

Yes.  We are keen to cast our net as wide as possible. Successful applicants for the six ‘All About Plant’ exhibits could include botanic gardens, horticultural societies or any horticultural institution, teamed up with a garden designer as well as nurseries. Please express your interest and we can tell you more. We are looking for interesting and creative collaborations that have plants at their centre.

Will ‘All About Plants’ exhibits be judged?

We believe so, but the RHS Shows Department will decide how this new category of exhibits will be assessed. 

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 exhibits or become one of our mentoring team.