Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate, April 20-23
I say it every year, but If you only go to one horticultural show a season, make sure it’s Harrogate (or push the boat out and make BOTH spring and autumn events).
Why? It’s good value, inspirational, down to earth, with great bargains from a huge variety of nurseries – shop wisely and you’ll make back your entrance fee on the money you save.
It’s also the only show my non-gardening partner will happily visit because there are so many other things going on – namely food and drink – to keep him amused.
This spring, floristry students gear up for their challenge to create floral bonnets – using the front half of a car as the backdrop for their team entries in the college competition.
Six small hatchback cars have been prepared by Ripon-based metal recyclers KA Anderson and come complete with wheels, windscreens, wing mirrors, and engines.
Colleges from Askham Bryan, Bishop Burton, East Durham, Shipley, Tyne Metropolitan and Wigan & Leigh have been tasked to create their large scale displays on the front of the car.
Show director Nick Smith said: “Our spring show hosts the biggest exhibition of floral art in Britain and the college displays are a highlight for our visitors.
“We always look for challenges that will bring a contemporary twist to our exhibits and this one is certainly likely to set imaginations running, our only problem now is how to park them in the marquee!”
Keith Anderson, from KA Anderson Metal Recyclers, added: “Cutting six cars in half to make floral displays has got to go down as one of the most unusual requests we have ever had at the yard, but we were happy to help and I am looking forward to seeing the end results.”
Floral Bonnets is part of the show’s spring theme, HortCouture, which will see a series of new features celebrating style trends in the home, the garden and the wardrobe.
Other attractions include an exclusive exhibition of gowns by New Zealand costumier and artist Jenny Gillies, a floral tribute to Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Versace and Vivienne Westwood, plus a ‘Green Room’ furnished entirely with flower and plant materials.
Stunning show gardens and about 100 plant nursery displays also await visitors. There is a programme of talks and demonstrations each day, including lively gardening chat in the Dig It Theatre, great growing advice with Kitchen Garden Live, and a menu of seasonal dishes from a team of talented local chefs in the Feast! Food Theatre.
Tickets: Thursday, Friday, Saturday *£16.50 when booked before Tuesday, April 11, £19 on the gate; Sunday *£14.50 in advance, £17 on the gate. Parking is FREE. Under 16s go FREE when accompanied by an adult. * £1 postage and admin fee applies per order.
The show is held at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG2 8NZ – don’t trust your satnav or route planner which may send you from the M62, M1, and A1 to Harrogate via Wetherby. The easiest route is to use the A1 and exit onto the A59, signposted to Harrogate. Follow the yellow signs to the showground.
For more information, visit www.flowershow.org.uk.