As a nation we brits, it’s fair to say, are obsessed with our gardens. Not only do we spend time tending our own gardens, we watch countless TV shows on the subject, have monthly magazines dedicated to the green fingered and even have gardeners question time on our radio.
We’ve spawned generations of great gardeners, from Capability Brown to Getrude Jekyll and Vita Sackville West and in times of trouble, during two world wars, turned our little bits of the great outdoors into allotments to keep our families well fed.
It’s no wonder then that shows up and down the country dedicated to gardens and gardening have become a major part of our summer social calendar. Having never been to one before, I went along to the RHS show at Tatton Park in Cheshire to see what I had been missing.
These are the 5 best things I found out about flower shows should you decide to go yourself.
There is a huge selection of species of plants and flowers from some of the best growers across the country. If you like Hydrangeas for instance you will find them in every colour, shape & size. Prices, although not cheap are competitive and it will save you hours of time trying to find just that exact plant you have been looking for.
There are obviously lots of inspirational gardens to steal ideas from and they’re not all unobtainable or need a huge budget to achieve. I was surprised by how many “ordinary” type gardens there were and there were also lots of great ideas to use within a small yard or courtyard garden if space is limited. I loved this idea for a BBQ area, attached to the side of a shed, a great idea for a compact space.
There are lots of artisan products available to buy to accessorise your garden from sculptures to garden furniture and parasols, to companies that hire out vintage deck chairs for events. If you haven’t got the budget on the day it’s a great way of collecting contact details and website addresses for future purchases.
These beautiful metal teasel heads were made by Dragonswood Forge
If you love gardens but are no gardener yourself and don’t know where to start there are master classes run throughout the day, giving talks on gardening or of course you can network with a range of garden and landscape gardeners and let the experts design your garden. One of my favourites on the day was young designer finalist Josh Chapman whose work you can see here.
Finally if you leave going to the show until the last day, everything is being sold off at knock down prices, so there are bargains galore!