With the UK devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show next month will be a captivating virtual event.
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) said this northern hemisphere summer would mark its first “virtual” version of the event at Royal Hospital Chelsea, London, where the Chelsea Flower Show has been held since 1913 (there were no shows doing the two World Wars).
The show, taking place between 18 and 23 May, will now include virtual garden tours, a school gardening club, virtual floristry displays and experts on hand to give growing tips.
Each day of the world-famous exhibition will begin with a video tour by a leading designer, florist or gardener showing their own back gardens. Some will even reproduce the plant showpieces they were due to present on the grand pavilion at the show.
A range of expert advice will be free to read and watch on the RHS website and subscribers will get exclusive content, and the BBC will broadcast a series of special programmes.
“We’re lucky to live in a digital age where we’re able to bring aspects of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show online so we can continue to share the world’s best in horticulture and bring garden design inspiration, breath-taking displays and horticultural knowledge for the nation to enjoy during this difficult time,” said Sue Biggs, RHS Director General.
“We really hope the virtual show will help fill the gap caused by the sad but necessary cancellation of this year’s show and will inspire more people to get growing.”
With this year's #RHSChelsea cancelled there will be special programmes on @BBCOne and @BBCTwo to celebrate the world renowned RHS Chelsea Flower Show with yours truly, @SophieRaworth, Joe Swift, & @TheMontyDon pic.twitter.com/rL7HKAwtZQ
— Nicki Chapman (@Nicki_Chapman) April 18, 2020
The Chelsea Flower Show is the latest event that had to be scrapped in the UK to become a virtual event. The UK has suffered her highest number of hospital fatalities from COVID-19 for five days, with the daily death toll just under 1000 people dying from coronavirus. More than 20,750 people have died from the coronavirus in total, according to World-O-Meters.
The Mind Map has launched daily Instagram live broadcasts offering everything from yoga, cooking classes and mindfulness to comedy sessions and guitar classes. A number of sessions take place each day.
Digital Theatre offers subscriptions from UK£9.99 per month, with the chance to see more than 100 theatre shows, including Hamlet, featuring Maxine Peake; Lovesong with Edward Bennett and Funny Girl with Sheridan Smith and Darius Campbell.
Broadway HD gives theatregoers the chance to visit New York without leaving home. There are more than 200 recorded performances that you can stream, including Hugh Jackman in Oklahoma! and Orlando Bloom in Romeo and Juliet. The streaming service costs US$8.99 a month.
Quality Wines, a UK business, is hosting daily online wine tasting sessions via Instagram Live. You are unable to visit a store to pick up samples, but Quality Wines will find recommendations for similar bottles on the brand’s Instagram page. Tune in at 6pm via Quality Wines Instagram page for an evening of virtual wine tasting from the comfort of your home.
Museum and art galleries have all become virtual tours. You can go to the J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California, before breakfast, take in the National Gallery, London, before lunch. Then head to the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain before taking in the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in South Korea. Check out your favourite museum, or the art gallery you have always wanted to visit and it will be a virtual feast.
There are also virtual tours of world famous landmarks as international travel is virtually impossible. You can take in the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, which were constructed around 4,500 years ago as grand tombs for the pharaohs, through Google Maps. Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world, is in Cambodia but can be seen via Virtual Angkorwat. Dreamed of visiting Petra in Jordan, one of the oldest cities in the world. It is believed the spectacular sandstone city was built in the 3rd century BC by the Nabatean Arabs. Take the online tour via Google Maps.
For entertainment with friends, there are two popular options right now.
Use the Netflix extension entitled Netflix Party, which makes binge watching communal by syncing the video playback for multiple viewers on different devices, while a group chat function allows you to keep in contact with your friends throughout the night.
Facebook also has a function, Facebook Watch Party, to mimic a movie night, as it allows you to watch any public videos in real time with your friends and family.