Posted: 20/03/2015 at 23:06
Chelsea - get there as early as you can so you can see the show gardens before the crowds arrive. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and clothes in layers as it can get hot. Take a back pack to carry sandwiches and a bottle of water as they are expensive on sight and there are queues. Take a plastic bin bag to open out to sit on the grass for your picnic as there are never enough tables and chairs. Remember sun screen or umbrella depending on the forecast.
People are generally polite and patient about letting everyone have their turn at the front to see the show gardens but you may need to be thick skinned, especially on non members days. Make sure your camera is fully charged and has loads of disk space. Take your time in the floral marquee so you don't miss anything. It is huge. In there you can talk to some of the best growers in the world about how and where to grow particular plants and place orders with them.
Apart from the odd stand selling lily bulbs and seeds in the floral marquee you can't buy plants at Chelsea except on the last day at closing time but there are seed stands and sundries such as garden tools, clothes, pictures, ornaments, art work and so on that you can buy so have some cash and a credit card with you.
Enjoy it. It's a great show with a completely different atmosphere from Tatton, Hampton Court and Malvern. Haven't been to GW live so can't comment on that.