With barely enough time to catch their breath since the Royal Wedding, the Brits are atwitter once again. Tickets to the Royal Horticultural Society's annual flower show are the latest must-have items, inspring a black market racket of tickets priced at five times their value.
But are the blooms themselves the draw? A reporter for The Telegraph doubts very many of the attendees (and hopefuls) are true gardeners, explaining that the Chelsea Flower Show has developed into a spectacle that is not a flower show in the traditional sense. Like an over-bred rose after years of accruing desirable qualities through hybridisation, it has morphed into something scarcely recognisable as a rose at all. Excepting the last day of the show, flower sales are prohibited, limiting the show's appeal for the sincerely horiculturally minded. Instead, exclusivity and pageantry are the true commodities.
All 157, 000 tickets for the four-day event sold out in record time. The show begins on May 24, but by May 6, all of the passes - originally priced at £45 - were snatched up. Enter price-gauging third party ticket sites, who are now offering the same passes at up to £253 (USD$400) for a peek at what the Telegraph report is calling a spectator sport...much the same as the Olympics. We apply for 2012 tickets not because we think we would have a chance of beating Usain Bolt [champion sprinter] over 100 metres, but because, in our overwhelmingly imperfect lives, we need from time to time to glimpse perfection.