Chelsea Flower Show 2018 Highlights | Fulton Umbrellas

11 acres, 550 exhibitors, 157,000 yearly visitors, and millions of television viewers are just a few figures associated with the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Since its launch in 1913, people from all over the world have visited this event to enjoy inspiring horticultural scenery and insightful designs. So, what were this year’s stand-out exhibits and most memorable trends?

At Fulton Umbrellas, we’ve long admired the ingenuity and effort that goes into creating each RHS Chelsea Flower Show — and here, we’ve explored the top trends and highlights from 2018’s event…

Space to Grow

This year, a new environment was brought to the show: Space to Grow. Within this area, visitors of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show could amble through the area, take a seat and relax, and discover more about effective planting options that people can taker inspiration from when carrying out their own gardening at home.

The introduction of Space to Grow helped drive the growing trend at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show for utilising every inch of our gardens and making the most of our outdoor spaces.


This year’s event saw the debut of Tom Massey, a designer from west London. Massey attracted much attention for his Lemon Tree Trust Garden, which symbolised the plight endured by refugees and those facing persecution in their home countries.

Massey’s outdoor design was a major influence in this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, which had a recurring theme of highlighting political, social and health issues. According to Massey, the Syrian refugees he visited at their camps earlier in 2018 displayed a keen interest in gardening — creating makeshift green spaces to grow and tend. He said: “We wanted to elevate the discussion around refugees and show they are more than the pain and hardship that they have seen.”

A win for the NSPCC

The victory of The Morgan Stanley Garden for the NSPCC was met with great admiration this year. It is the first time that designer, Chris Beardshaw, has won Best Show Garden and — similar to Tom Massey’s design — this outdoor space wonderfully emphasised how change is possible even in adverse situations.

Beardshaw’s creation was intended to highlight the positive work that the NSPCC carries out.


Spearheaded by Tom Stuart-Smith — who has received Best in Show three times — caring for the environment was a major, recurring theme at the 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Making his garden solely from recycled materials, Stuart-Smith demonstrated the importance of maintaining ethical processes and using eco-friendly products when gardening or working with the environment.

Personal wellbeing

Apart from the environment, mental and physical health played an influential role at this year’s event. But where was this theme highlighted the most? A collaboration between the NHS and Matt Keighley — the RHS Feel Good Garden — was designed with an aim to show how gardening can create a feeling of happiness and productivity, encouraging people to feel engaged with their surroundings and stimulate the mind.

Monty Don, renowned broadcaster and gardener who was involved in the project, commented: “I know from personal experience how gardening helps heal many mental and physical ills. When you are sad, a garden comforts. When you are humiliated or defeated, a garden consoles. When you are consumed by anxiety, it will soothe you, and when the world is a dark and bleak place it shines a light to guide you on.”

Gadget garden

Although a traditional event, RHS Chelsea Flower Show is innovative, progressive and perceptive; bringing to the forefront trends and concerns that sometimes we forget even exist in our society. Another excellent display of foresight and from this year’s event came from Kate Gould, who produced a landscape that paid homage to 21st century London — namely, Chelsea. It featured eco-friendly technology — again, highlighting the importance of caring for our surroundings despite technological advances — to create a positive vision of how modern business and British culture can exist harmoniously.

The royal wedding

Not long ago, we wrote a blog about the wedding of the now Duke of Sussex to the formerly-known, Meghan Markle. And, it appears that this event was also an important moment in history for designers at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The notion of a springtime wedding was apparent in the decorative floral thrones and blooming arbours. At A Royal Celebration by Hillier, visitors enjoyed a show of royal-themed purple flowers blended with bridal white plants to mark the royal wedding. In fact, the Hydrangea Runaway Bride ‘Snow White’ was even named Plant of the Year!

These are just a few highlights from this year’s incredible RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Check out our ranges of children’s, men’s, women’s, sport, and designer umbrellas before you go!

The Royal Wedding: A Rundown of the Day | Fulton Umbrellas

The royal wedding: a rundown of the day

As a company with a Royal Warrant, we love the pomp and pageantry of a royal event. And like billions of people around the world, we’ve been looking forward to the wedding of Prince Harry and his now-wife, Meghan Markle, for months — so how did the day pan out?

Whether you only caught the end of the event or just want to learn a few interesting bits of trivia about it, we’ve put together a step-by-step review so you can relive the day!


Activity really started to pick up from around 9am on the day of the wedding of Prince Harry and the formerly-titled, Meghan Markle. The 1,200 members of the public that had been selected to watch the occasion from the grounds of Windsor Castle — the world’s oldest and biggest inhabited castle on the planet — started to arrive around this time and news coverage of the event began.

From 9:30am to 11am, viewers watching events unfold in Windsor were treated to sightings of a crowd of celebrity faces. Around 600 guests attended the wedding, including royals and well-known personalities such as Oprah Winfrey, the Beckhams, Joss Stone, James Corden, Serena Williams, George Clooney, and Sir Elton John.


The guests filled into Windsor Castle’s Round Tower after arriving by coach, then, stepped into the chapel via the South Door before finally taking their seats to await the arrival of the bride and groom. Although, some commentators were irked that a few of the guests caught on camera were chewing gum!

Around 11:15am, the bride left Cliveden Castle where she had spent the night with her mother, Doria Ragland. During the bride’s journey to Windsor Castle, members of the royal family began to arrive at the Galilee Porch, either on foot or via car.

Any spectators gathered at the Long Walk would have caught a glimpse of the bride’s car before it came to a stop to allow the bride’s mother to exit and enter the Castle. Afterwards, the bride met with her four pageboys and six bridesmaids — which included children of friends and family members on both the bride’s and groom’s side — before she got out of the car and entered the St. George’s Chapel at the West Steps.

This was the first time viewers watching in person and on television caught a glimpse of the bride’s choice of dress. The garment was designed by Clare Waight Keller — the first female artistic director at Givenchy — and featured an open bateau neckline and sculpted waist. Unlike the Duchess of Cambridge’s dress, Meghan chose not to go for lace embellishments, and instead, opted for a satin fabric with a five-metre veil.

At approximately 11:45am, the groom alongside his brother and best man, Prince William, started to make their way to the Chapel’s West Steps, waving at the members of the public that had showed up to celebrate the affair.

If you watched the event on television, you may also have noticed some people gathered in the Horseshoe Cloister at the bottom of the West Steps. These were representatives of several charities that Prince Harry is associated with.

Due to protocol, The Queen was the last to arrive and entered the Chapel at about 11:52am. Her choice of outfit colour has been highly debated in recent weeks, and it seems that for the event, Her Majesty opted for lime green with purple accessories.

Once the Queen had taken her seat, the bride walked down the aisle alone before meeting Prince Charles at the Quire and taking her final steps alongside him to her groom.

Starting at 12pm, the cameras stayed on the couple and congregation as the service, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, got underway. Much of the service was business as usual, although, homage was clearly paid at certain intervals to the bride’s family and background — particularly with the inclusion of the hymn ‘This Little Light of Mine’ and the invitation of American reverend, Michael Curry.

Interestingly, Prince Harry opted to wear a wedding ring, which is not the standard for royal grooms.

Once the service concluded at 1pm, the couple exited St. George’s Chapel from the West Steps and shared their first kiss as husband and wife in front of cheering crowds. Then, the couple began their two-mile carriage procession through Windsor. Reportedly, around 100,000 people turned out to see them as they sat in the open-top Ascot Landau carriage, which was pulled by Windsor Grey horses — a breed that has done this job for members of the British royal family since the 1900s.

Lip readers watching the Prince and his new wife were able to discern that Markle exclaimed “wow” upon seeing and hearing the crowds, while Prince Harry apparently muttered to her that he was “ready for a drink” at the end of the procession!

To begin the celebrations, the Queen hosted a reception for her grandson and his new wife at St. George’s Hall. Afterwards, the public caught another sight of the newlyweds when they emerged in their evening attire for a reception hosted by Prince Charles at Frogmore House — a favourite residence of Queen Victoria.

Unfortunately, the receptions weren’t televised. However, we know that Meghan — who now has the title Duchess of Sussex — broke with protocol to deliver a speech, while the father of the groom, the Prince of Wales, reportedly delivered a very moving speech himself. Prince William’s best man’s speech also had the 600 guests who attended the reception laughing, especially when he mentioned his younger brother’s “growing bald patch”. Another highlight of the event was the mini concert Sir Elton John gave, in which he entertained the newlyweds and their guests to renditions of Circle of Life and Tiny Dancer.

As the evening wore on, guests enjoyed burgers and candyfloss, then danced the night away to songs mixed by DJ Sam Totolee.

The wedding of the now-titled Duke and Duchess of Sussex was watched all over the world — including by around 18 million Brits and 29 million Americans!


Browse our ranges of women’s, men’s, children’s, designer, and sport umbrellas before you go.

How to be a Modern Gentleman in 2018 | Fulton Umbrellas

Language is constantly evolving, with new words entering the vernacular everyday to keep up with changes in technology and society. But, what happens to established terms that simply tweak their meanings?

The noun ‘gentleman’ has been around since the late Middle Ages and has changed drastically in definition. So, in 2018 when society is driving modern ideals and looking to improve how people in society behave and interact with each other; what does it take to be a modern gentleman?

Here, Fulton Umbrellas looks at the ‘old-fashioned’ idea of a gentleman and how you can modernise the best elements of the word to become the perfect modern gentleman.

By definition, a gentleman is a ‘chivalrous, courteous or honourable man’, and traditionally, this moniker was used to refer to wealthy men who were of good social standing.

Members of the landed gentry were ‘gentlemen’ by birth in the past, as were those who worked within certain occupational areas, such as the Church of England, the army and Parliament. However, generally, people of lower class who had not had a public education and did not work in a ‘gentlemanly’ job, were not gentlemen — regardless of morals and characteristics.

By the end of the Victorian era and the early 20th century, the definition of the word changed. A gentleman was not simply someone of noble birth and good education; he could also be a man of good virtues and manners.

For some, the idea of being a gentleman might seem out of date at a time when equality for all and liberation of stereotypes appears to have global support. However, being a modern gentleman simply means taking care of your appearance, being mindful of your behaviour and maintaining a polite, respectful and considerate manner — what’s wrong with that?

How to dress like a modern gentleman

To be a modern gentleman, you should embody a sense of confidence and finesse — which means wearing what you want but keeping it classy. Nobody expects you to be in three-piece suits all the time, but taking pride in your appearance and dressing appropriately is a good sign of an assured and sophisticated man.

Every now and then, switch a slouchy t-shirt and jogging pants for a checked buttoned-up shirt and slim-leg jeans — still relatively casual, but so much smarter. Treat yourself to new formal footwear, such as brogues and Oxford shoes, and invest in accessories like watches, pocket squares, umbrellas, and ties for a well put-together outfit when the occasion calls. Good tailoring and close fits will instantly smarten up your entire look, making you appear self-assured and prepared.

How to take care of yourself

Part of being confident and prepared will also come from how well-groomed you feel. Beards are very popular today and there’s no reason to change this to be a modern gentleman. However, making sure that your facial hair is kept under control is important if you want to exude a polished and poised aura.

Use beard combs and oils to keep your facial hair smooth and groomed — and make sure you keep on top of trimming it! Always spraying a nice-smelling cologne or aftershave on yourself before leaving the house — whether you’re going to work or meeting friends — is another good shout.

How to behave

When we think of gentlemanly behaviour, many of us will use words such as: chivalrous, honourable and gracious — and these traits still apply today. But, how should you act in order to embody the modern gentleman?

To behave like a modern gentleman, it’s crucial that how you treat others is always respectful. Be bold and assertive to make sure your point is understood — especially in the workplace — but never be overbearing or condescending. Thoughtfulness is essential; never forgot those who have done favours for you and always strive to be on time for meetings and dates. Paying attention is also a trait of the modern gentleman, so make a note of birthdays and anniversaries. This way, you can make sure to show others that their important life events are important to you, too.

Even chivalry, often now associated with the traditional way a man may treat a woman, can be part of a gentleman’s life in 2018. Simply be courteous and polite to everyone you encounter.

How to speak

A modern gent should try his best not to swear. Instead, expand your vocabulary by reading more — and we don’t mean poring over a dictionary for hours. You can peruse anything that takes you interest, from sci-fi and crime to thrillers and biographies. Even picking up a magazine in a subject that interests you will help to concentrate your mind, improve your vocabulary and present you with plenty of extra, interesting topics to kick-off small talk the next time you’re stuck in the communal area at work with nothing to say.

How to show how you feel

Merging the modern man with the traditional gent has been the aim of this article. So, forget the stereotype that men shouldn’t express their emotions. In 2018, a gentleman is in tune with his feelings and isn’t afraid to show those around him — family members, friends and partners — that he cares.


And this goes for negative sentiments, too. It’s important not to bottle up emotions, as this can lead to anxiety and stress. If you have a problem at work, sit down and discuss the issue calmly and directly. Don’t allow yourself to get worked up or let others dismiss what you’re saying. If you express it with confidence and tact, you’re more likely to be listened to and taken seriously while retaining your confident, gentlemanly persona.

How to spend

Having a good relationship with money is important. Be careful but never stingy, particularly with your friends and family. Being generous — whether that means buying the extra round of drinks at the bar for your friends, offering to treat your partner to a nice meal one evening, or buying a few gifts for no reason — is a true sign of a contemporary gent.

Hopefully, you’ve learned something about being the ideal modern gentleman. Before you go, check out our range of women’s, children’s and designer umbrellas — they make excellent, useful presents!