Magic of nature brings inside out inspiration at flower show

Find inspiration in the most ordinary places this spring as Harrogate Flower Show turns the garden inside out!

Wednesday, 25th April 2018, 8:20 am
Updated Wednesday, 25th April 2018, 8:31 am
Ian Precious and Sally Hobson of The Ripon Walled Garden with their secret shed

Explore a topsy turvy world as you stroll from room to room in The GREENhouse and immerse yourself in a world where plants and flowers take over the living space to create a house infused with the magic of nature.

Can you imagine a bathroom where beautiful water lilies float serenely by as you bathe? Or a bedroom where you sink into a peaceful sleep on a real bed of aromatic herbs? Even the broom cupboard has a surprise!

Also new for 2018 are Secret Sheds, offering spring flower show visitors the opportunity to open the door to new possibilities. Designers, students and community gardening groups will join forces to create a surprise in each shed around the showground.

Helen James and her daughter Laura of Helen James Flowers work on their display

Will it be a potager in the potting shed or tulips in the tool rack - you won’t find out until you open the door!

Show garden solutions to everyday problems will be on offer in a new feature called Designed to Last. Whether it’s clay like concrete or soil that leaks moisture like a sieve, visitors will be able to see how even the most troublesome growing conditions can become a fabulous garden.

Be sure to visit the beautiful spring show gardens along The Avenue for even more inspiration from talented design and build teams across the region.

The spring show, which is staged from April 26 to 29 at the Great Yorkshire Showground, features the UK’s biggest exhibition of floral art. This year flower clubs will be celebrating all things Quintessentially British in their large-scale displays, while floristry students create a room with Grand Designs.

The Horticap team Stephen Ferrell, Timothy Simpson, Phil Airey, Tony Brady and Carl Crooks

Rated Britain’s top gardening event by Which?Gardening, Harrogate Spring Flower Show also features stunning displays by nearly 100 of the country’s top plant nurseries.

Young visitors to the show can join our fun-loving friend, Pod, in his new pop-up play patch, complete with lots of hands-on educational activities.

There is a packed programme of talks and demonstrations across four live theatres, including lively chat in the Grow! Garden Theatre, great growing advice in Shed Talk, and a menu of delicious seasonal dishes from a team of talented local chefs in the Feast! Food Theatre.

Thousands of high-quality garden products, unique handmade crafts, lovely gifts and specialist foods all add to a truly great day out for all garden lovers!

Helen James and her daughter Laura of Helen James Flowers work on their display

From boggy blank sheet to super showstopper, Harrogate Flower Shows will be helping Yorkshire homeowners to turn their garden troubles into treasure. A new Designed to Last attraction at the 2018 spring flower show will feature three designs based on real gardens from across the region.

Each one has a different set of growing conditions but they all cause a big headache for the owner!

Show organisers have challenged Harrogate-based landscaper, Nicholas Fryer, to come up with show garden solutions for three common problems - dark watery bogs, heavy clay soil and an exposed or dry aspect.

Three local homeowners Susan Hibbert, Judy Preston and Helen Plowman, whose problem plot is in Filey, have agreed to act as ‘clients’ for the challenge and are now eagerly awaiting the final reveal when the show opens on Thursday.

The Horticap team Stephen Ferrell, Timothy Simpson, Phil Airey, Tony Brady and Carl Crooks

Judy moved to a new build a few months ago and was excitedly planning her garden until she discovered the soil was very heavy clay. Susan uncovered what she now affectionately calls ‘Dingley Dell’ during a big tidy up at the bottom of her garden, and Helen’s sea front holiday home must withstand the full force of the North Sea winds.

Nick Smith, Show Director, said: “Show gardens are an incredibly popular feature, but they are often designed for perfect growing conditions. As we know, there are very few gardens with perfect soil, perfect drainage and a perfect aspect, so we wanted to showcase practical solutions with gardens that are designed to stand the test of time.”

Community groups across the region are being invited to open the door to new possibilities and share their secrets with visitors to this year’s Harrogate Spring Flower Show.

A new attraction at the show will feature a series of Secret Sheds each containing a different display or message. It could be a potager in the potting shed or tulips in the tool rack – visitors won’t find out until they open the door!

Show Director Nick Smith said: “Gardens have always been a great way to get across a message or a theme, and many organisations have taken the opportunity to highlight their work by creating a show garden to bring their story to life.

“A full-sized show garden can be a big undertaking, so we are introducing the new concept of Secret Sheds as an exciting way to surprise and engage our visitors. Behind the door of each shed will be a unique display and story, which should be great fun for everyone.”

Each shed comes with a 2m x 2m plot to help set the scene and there are prizes of £300, £200 and £100 for the top three.

Tickets: Thurs, Fri, Sat, £21.00 on the gate; Sun , £19.00 on the gate. Parking is free. Under 16s go free when accompanied by an adult.