Enjoy others showing off their skills
Shows are great entertainment and inspiration. So drag yourself away from your garden to mingle with other gardeners and share in their oohs and aaahs.
Take advantage too of the smaller festivals and garden events around the country. Less crowded and definitely less expensive (free entry is common), these often cater for all the family.
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Shows across the UK
The big events
These are mainly run by the Royal Horticultural Society, who sell tickets online for their shows at Cardiff (held in April), Chelsea (held in May), Hampton Court Palace(held in July) and Tatton (also held in July). Additionally there are the Malvern Shows in May and September, plus regular shows in the RHS London exhibition halls. RHS members get cheaper show entrance prices and other privileges so it’s worth joining. Membership makes a great gift too.
Another June stalwart is BBC Gardeners’ World Live, held at the NEC, Birmingham, so mostly under cover, which is a bonus in uncertain weather.
August firm favourites are The Southport Flower Show with its display gardens and marquees, and the renowned Shrewsbury Flower Show, which is far more than a flower show, with a main arena for entertainment and competitive horsey events.
We’re finding it more and more difficult to find time to visit the shows; the last major show we went to was Chelsea 2007, when one of our favourite gardens was:
The Fetzer Sustainable Winery Garden, which won a gold: