RHS director general Sue Biggs said:
"Gardening is so in tune with what’s important to people at the moment. We’re breaking visitor records at our gardens, 19,000 new members have joined the RHS in the last three months and more people visited our show at Cardiff in April since it started in 2005.
"And it’s not just the beautiful weather that’s getting people outside - research by the Horticultural Trades Association in March showed over a quarter of people with a garden want to spend more time gardening. Interest in horticulture is also being reflected by media with ITV committing to more gardening coverage in 2011 as well as BBC’s excellent coverage.
"Gardening has always been popular in this country, but I believe this increased interest can largely be attributed to a desire to get back to the simpler pleasures in life and also to benefit from the huge trend to grow your own food, which has been a great boost to reach new audiences and people of all ages. Gardening is the perfect way to indulge yourself without any guilt and it’s good for both you and the environment – what more could you ask for? So in these tough times, it’s clear to see that the more people we can lead into this great pastime the better."
Biggs said gardeners should not buy tickets from touts to the 157,000-capacity show:
"RHS Chelsea tickets have now sold out, so can I please ask people to not spend extortionate money via ticket touts on tickets that may not be authentic and risk being refused entry to the show. The best thing to do is visit our world class events at Malvern, Hampton and Tatton for gardening inspiration, advice and ideas. Also, everyone can tune into the 12 hours fabulous coverage of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show on the BBC."