Growers express anger over extension of Chelsea show

"Crazy" extra day puts financial strain on exhibitors

Growers have complained after the RHS extended the Chelsea show by an extra day this year to ease overcrowding. One grower, who did not want to be named, said exhibitors wanted to complain but: “If people say anything, they won’t get to show at Tatton Park or BBC Gardeners’ World Live. They’ll be lucky to get into a big show again.” Howard Nurseries owner David Howard said his costs would increase by 10 per cent because of the extension. WHTh Ingwersen manager Martyn Flint said the nursery failed for a second year to get into Chelsea in 2005 after seven decades of continuous involvement, but he was no longer worried about it because of the difficulties involved in showing. A grower said extending Chelsea to an extra day was “crazy” and meant she had to spend 10 days setting up and showing. She added that her nursery “just about” covers its £1,000 accommodation and food, £450 transport and £150 parking costs by selling seeds and catalogues. RHS shows director Stephen Bennett said the move to a fifth day was inevitable and had been welcomed by the public. He claimed the extra day was the reason for tickets selling more quickly than ever this year. Growers also complained that they could not cover their stands at night to protect them from dust. One grower blamed corporate evening events, at which guests expected to see the displays.

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