Our top 5 favourite things as the brand new RHS Urban Show (and trust us, picking 5 was hard)

holly daulby, managing director of honest communications at the rhs urban show

A huge hats off, round of applause AND a thumbs up emoji (and we don’t give them out lightly) to anyone involved in the new RHS Urban Show.

Safe to say that when it was first announced I was intrigued and, I’ll admit it, a little sceptical.

Could the RHS, the prestigious and ever so proper, figurehead of gardening, famed for its traditional horticultural events, be the ones to disrupt all that we know about gardening shows?

In a word. Yes.

The RHS Urban Show was everything the industry has been calling out for. And so much more.

At Honest, we’ve been championing the “anyone can garden, you don’t have to read Gardeners’ World, love Monty Don and know all the Latin names to grow things” drum for years. And FINALLY there was a show that backed us up and welcomed a whole new audience with open arms.

rhs urban show in manchester

No space? No problem. It’s often uttered but how included do those with limited space to grow really feel? Enter Manchester, with its infectious city-living spirit and up-for-anything attitude.

The venue? A renovated railway depot where you get dripped on when it rains outside. Perfect.

Houseplants galore where it was okay to hold your hand up and say you have no idea what you’re doing but it looks pretty so how do I make it work. Perfect.

A programme of easy talks with helpful tips. Perfect. Do you see where we’re going with this?

A place where you can get ACTUAL INSPIRATION for what can realistically be created at home. Perfect.

rhs urban show in manchester, showcasing houseplants and simple ways to grow.

Don’t get us wrong, the more traditional shows like Chelsea and Hampton Court, of course still have their place and are incredible for learning more about plants and dreaming big, and we’re counting the seconds ’til Chelsea 2024, but something like this was long overdue.

The ethos of “what can I do for a fiver to bring some greenery into my life?” was celebrated. “Get a can of beans, wash it out, put a plant in it” probably won’t be the top tip from Chelsea this year, but at RHS Urban it was the norm. And we loved it! There was a pub garden, not a champagne tent, upturned bin lids for planters, overwatered houseplants, underwatered houseplants, balcony gardens, upclycing, and lots and lots of moss. There were simple, affordable planting ideas, no crowds, and perhaps best of all – none of those trolleys that people drag around every other gardening show. Its essence of making growing (note – not gardening!) engaging, inclusive and accessible, without costing the earth or having to have a huge landscaped garden absolutely shone through – making it an event for everyone, not just passionate and experienced gardeners.

RHS Urban organisers, you pulled a blinder and should be very proud of what you created! We can’t wait to see what the future holds for this incredible show.

Our Top 5 Highlights

  1. Nathan Webster’s breathtaking Urban Forest Experience
  2. The Cloud Gardener’s Cloudscape courtyard garden
  3. The Flourish flower stand
  4. The  Tipp Inn pub garden with live music
  5. Fairy lights galore

As event season ramps up, make sure you’re following us on Instagram to see our antics!

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