One Year On – Catching up with Lola Lely – RHS Virtual Chelsea 2020

It’s day two of this year’s RHS Virtual Chelsea Flower Show, which for the first time ever in its 107-year history is being held online, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

We couldn’t help but feel a little nostalgic and so are catching up with some familiar faces.

Every year, we provide the artisan studios for the plateau in Ranelagh Gardens. Through the years, we have seen some amazing artisans and craft makers calling a Malvern Garden Building home for the week, and 2019 was no exception. As there won’t be a new cohort this year, we wanted to catch up with the talented bunch who we met last year.

Lola Lely

Lola can’t believe a year has flown by already.  She was really looking forward to RHS Chelsea this year and experiencing the show as a visitor. Lola found last year a lot of fun if a little hectic talking to the public.

“The Artisan’s retreat was wonderful. Amongst the crowd and the heat, this area was the most relaxing place to be in.  It had an intimate and creative atmosphere.”

Show Highlights

One of her top highlights of the show was meeting the other artists and watching them work from their garden studios. “It felt very authentic and inspiring.”

Lola also loved seeing the queen and actually meeting Kate and William, as well lots of other interesting members of the public.

Lola Lely at Chelsea Flower Show 2019. Artisan Studio provided by Malvern Garden Buildings


As a result of taking part in RHS 2019, Lola was later invited to take part in a group exhibition at the ARAM Gallery in London to show her natural dye work.

Then the Hauser & Wirth Gallery invited her to exhibit her work at their contemporary gallery in Bruton, Somerset. All of Lola’s work sold out at this exhibition and gained a further commission to make another piece.

Lola’s work is featured in the latest issue of Flora Magazine. “I met the editor during the show”.


Future Plans

“My most recent work has been developing my brand WAX Atelier. This is a brand I started in 2017 with a friend to explore materials such as natural dyes and plant waxes. Our products include hand-dipped and naturally coloured beeswax candles and naturally dyed waxed linen food products. These have sold really well and some of my stockist are retail buyers whom I met at the Show.”

Lola is grateful to Malvern Garden Buildings for making all the retreats so unique and special. As she says, “It was a fantastic and most memorable week!”


To find out more about Lola, her process and her artwork, check out our interview with her from last year here.

Keep up to date with all things RHS Virtual Chelsea 2020 by clicking here.

View Lola’s work on her website here.

Every day this week we’ll be releasing an update from the Chelsea artisans of 2019

Next up: Corrie Bain

Read Corrie’s interview on the run up to RHS Chelsea 2019 here

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