Behind the scenes at the Harrogate Spring Flower Show

Harrogate Spring Flower Show director Nick Smith behind the scenes at one of the show gardens (1604183AM1).
Harrogate Spring Flower Show director Nick Smith behind the scenes at one of the show gardens (1604183AM1).

Organising a huge event like the Harrogate Spring Flower Show involves a great deal of preparation and the The North of England Horticultural Society starts planning for the show 18 months before it opens.

The marquees, housing the plants and exhibitions, usually go up around three weeks before the event and the show gardens are installed around a fortnight before.

This year for the first time there will be a dedicated plant pavilion, which will house displays from more than 100 leading nurseries from across the UK. The temporary 5,000 sq m structure will take three weeks to erect and will feature everything From herbs to hostas and cacti to carnivores, plus impressive displays of plants and flowers created especially for the show.

Mr Smith said: “We want to continue to encourage these nurseries, which come from all over the UK, to keep coming to Harrogate.”

Each year the event showcases emerging fashions and trends in the horticultural world. Identifying three trends for 2016, Mr Smith said: “Mindfulness, nostalgia and vertical gardening, which makes the most of a small space by growing a garden upwards, will all feature.”

This year there will also be a special floral art exhibit – a carnival costume celebrating Rio 2016. Created by international carnival designer Hughbon Condor and award-winning Harrogate florist Helen James, the costume has taken the pair 155 hours to complete.

Spring Flower Show facts

• The Harrogate Spring Flower Show attracts up to 60,000 people and 1,000 exhibitors

• The spring show was voted Britain’s best gardening event by Which?

• The site covers around 22 acres of the Great Yorkshire Showground

• Show organiser, the North of England Horticultural Society, was founded 105 years ago

• The show team will work more than 2,000 hours over the course of the four-day show

• The show team parks more than 16,000 cars over the course of the show

• The spring show hosts Britain’s biggest exhibition of floral art

• The smallest floral art exhibit is just 10cm x 10cm, the biggest is nearly 10m x 10m

• Visitors and exhibitors consume more than 8,000 ice creams during the average spring show

• Specialist society spring shows include up to 1,200 daffodils and 250 bonsai trees

Tickets for the show are available on the gate: Thurs, Fri, Sat £18.50; Sun £16.50. Parking is free. Under 16s go free when accompanied by an adult.