The Royal Horticultural Society is planning to cut the number of London Flower Shows it stages, saying it will put on “fewer, but more spectacular shows”.
Casualties include the RHS London Rose Show and RHS London Christmas Show, which will not take place this year.
In addition, RHS members will have to fork-out £5 admission to some of the London shows. Previously, free admission to all but one of the London shows was a benefit of membership.
The RHS’s London shows are not profit-making; however the Society pledged to continue to stage the events, as part of its charitable remit to promote horticulture.
The RHS says resources will be consolidated to “invest in bigger and seasonal shows”.
Director-general Sue Biggs said the RHS had been staging its London shows since 1904.
“We’re committed to continuing these very special shows, where some of the UK’s best nurseries create the most beautiful plant displays,” Sue said.
“The flower show season is extremely busy. We think fewer, but bigger and better London shows in both of our magnificent halls will give our visitors a more wonderful experience and engage more of our members, as well as new audiences.”
This year there will be three shows staged across the Lindley and Lawrence Halls (£5 for RHS members; £6 for non-members).
They are the RHS Early Spring Fair (14-15 February), RHS Spring Plant and Orchid Show (29-30 March) and RHS Autumn Garden Show (25-26 October).
Three smaller events, staged in just one hall, will be free for RHS members and the public: the RHS Botanical Art Show (24-25 February), RHS Summer Urban Garden Show (12-13 July) and RHS Harvest Festival Show (3-4 October).
In 2018, the RHS plans to launch a Summer Garden, Art and Photography show (11-12 July 2018).
The RHS said that money from member and public admission charges will go towards paying for RHS apprentices, who learn vital skills while training at the Society’s four UK gardens.