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If you know your daisies from your dahlias and your freesias from your fuchsias, or if you’re keen to learn, Harrogate’s spring and autumn flower shows are an unmissable date for your diary.
The highlight of the horticultural calendar for amateur gardeners and green-fingered experts alike, the bi-annual Harrogate Flower Shows draw visitors from across the country and beyond.
Organised by the North of England Horticultural Society, the shows have received numerous accolades, including ‘best gardening event’ from Which Magazine. They take place at The Great Yorkshire Show Ground which is just a mile from the centre of Harrogate and have deservedly been dubbed ‘the Chelsea of the North’.
The Spring Flower Show features 1,000 exhibitors each year in April – perfectly timed for inspiring us to get busy as the garden comes alive for the summer. Harrogate’s Autumn Flower Show in September attracts upwards of 40,000 people and is the perfect showcase for the bountiful growth of this season.
Exhibitors are a dynamic mix of innovative garden designers, landscapers, community groups and charities, showing off their skills in a variety of competitions, from border design to the National Vegetable Society Championships!
Medal-winning blooms and produce are only a small part of this fantastic event: expect to see the country’s finest floral artists going head to head in competitions which range from garden borders bursting with autumnal hues, to stunning arrangements of glorious blooms. Exhibitors from across the country unite with displays of riotous colour, seeds, vegetables and fascinating plants. Whet your appetite with a show at ‘The Feast’, a Food Theatre demonstrating how to get crafty in the kitchen with seasonal produce. Talented chefs take the stage to demonstrate their knowledge on tasty topics ranging from chocolate making to pumpkin-based dishes.
Take inspiration for your own garden and pick up some tips from the experts as they share their horticultural knowledge in their ‘Shed Talks’. Enjoy a shopping extravaganza with unique crafts, gifts and artisan products, whilst the Plant Pavilion offers the very best plants and garden products from 100 of the country’s leading nurseries. Don’t worry about having to carry your purchases around with you: there’s a dedicated area where you can leave them and pick them up at the end of the day.
Pod, the vivacious green mascot for the shows, ensures there’s plenty to keep the youngest members of the family entertained with lots of crafty, hands-on fun throughout the day.
Not only are the flower shows a feast for the eyes, but they also tantalise the taste buds with specialist food and drink stalls selling everything from homemade brownies to freshly cooked takeaway meals.
If you feel like a real treat, opt for the VIP experience and escape the crowds in a dedicated private haven with fine dining, refreshments and Bucks Fizz reception.
Why not make a weekend of it whilst you’re here and enjoy our garden town? The 200-acre Stray Park, protected by Royal Charter, extends through and around Harrogate, whilst the Valley Gardens have developed from walks by fashionable visitors taking the Spa waters into the glorious gardens they are today.
For advance ticket purchases and show information, take a look at the Harrogate Flower Show website.
Harrogate Holidays has many self-catering apartments, town houses and holiday cottages which offer views overlooking the Stray or the Valley Gardens. Browse our collection of cottages for Harrogate Flower Show and plan your green-fingered getaway today.