No Chelsea Flower Show for James Gillick in 2024. Lightning struck. My tradestand has been given to a new sponsor of RHS Urban who was seeking a swift entry to the Chelsea Show site in order to launch a garden clothing range. It will be a Royalty-free show this year – neither the ill Royal Family nor this trumped up little artist king!

Thankfully, in 2024 & beyond I am going to be kept very busy with some complex work for clients in the UK & USA. But from now on, it is just my clients and me. I will be producing a catalogue of new work for June.

I was alarmed & upset when the news landed in November, mostly because losing one’s place to financial incentive like this puts the potential skids under every exhibitor at the Show – friends of mine. It certainly put a ripple through the show exhibitors, none of who have seen this sort of thing done before. Rule-bending leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.

With a little hindsight, it was about time, though. I have a 27 year old workbook of wonderful clients who I haven’t been able to look after as much as I hoped due to the annual pressures of exhibiting. Now I can, which is a big relief.