Want to know your rhododendrons from your rudbeckia? Wondering when is the best time to plant your petunias? Then help is at hand! These fantastic UK flower festivals are the place to go if you want to get to grips with your garden, whether you’re a budding beginner or a seasoned pro. And, whilst the Chelsea Flower Show in London is the go-to for many green-fingered gardeners, the UK is full of flower and garden shows that are well worth going on holiday for.
Seeing The Best UK Flower And Gardening Shows
If you’re keen to attend one of the shows that isn’t near you, don’t worry. From cosy cottages in Kent to stylish apartments in Edinburgh, you’re sure to come up smelling of roses when you book a Holiday Lettings rental during your trip. There are hundreds of homes to choose from near these fantastic flower festivals so you won’t need to miss any events. Whether you need just a one-night stay, a long weekend, or turning the flower show visit into a full-on holiday to explore the surrounding city. Bloomin’ marvellous! You have until 24th May to make your pick!
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The National Flower Show | 18 – 20 May
The National Flower Show at Hylands House in Chelmsford is returning for its fourth year this May. TV gardener Alan Titchmarsh will be there, as well as a Floral Pavilion, where exhibitors showcase the finest nurseries, and trade stands selling everything from gazebos to greenhouses. The event also includes a Food and Drink Pavilion and a Home and Country Pavilion where you’ll find a selection of original handmade giftware, jewellery and luxury goods. After a busy day at the show, head back to a holiday rental nearby where you can start planning your garden improvements.
The Kent Garden Show | 26 – 28 May
The Kent Garden Show, taking place at the Kent Showground in Detling near Maidstone, will see its 26th year in 2018. The show features around 300 exhibitors who cover all aspects of gardening, from the smallest of pansies to the largest of garden statues and trees. This popular show attracts around 30,000 people over the three days and is a delightful family day out. The three main halls of the showground are also used to feature floral displays, flower arranging, crafts and food.
Gardening Scotland 2018 | 1 – 3 June
Taking place at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh, this show is a firm favourite among horticulturalists. It’s home to the biggest plant sale in Scotland and it’s great day out for expert gardeners and novices alike. There’ll be Show Gardens full of inspirational ideas, a Floral Pavilion packed with rare and unusual plants, stalls selling all kinds of gardening tools and a Big Back Garden with outdoor activities for children. Experts will be giving advice and hands-on demonstrations, and all kinds of gourmet produce will be on sale in the Food Fayre.
RHS Chatsworth Flower Show | 6 – 10 June
The Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) newest Show – RHS Chatsworth Flower Show supported by Wedgwood – will return to the magnificent 1,000 acre Chatsworth Estate this June. Attractions include a river of 12,000 Cosmos, the largest display of Phalaenopsis Orchids in the UK, a living laboratory to satisfy inquisitive minds, and stunning Show Gardens. There’ll also be the opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty, scent and colour of the Floral Marquee and Plant Village. It’s filled to bursting with a wide variety of quality plants to purchase from Britain’s top nurseries. This event will stir the senses and leave you feeling inspired to get growing.
The Blenheim Palace Flower Show | 22 – 24 June
This wonderful three-day show near Woodstock in Oxfordshire celebrates the very best of gardening, home and lifestyle. It’s packed with inspirational displays, flowers, plants, and everything you need for your home and garden. This year’s event will enjoy a brand new Orchid Tunnel and more exhibitors than ever before, with the stunning Grand Floral Pavilion as the centrepiece of the show. The Shopping Village will feature an abundance of trade stands selling gardening sundries and hundreds of other products from over 250 leading exhibitors. And, if you’re feeling peckish, the Food and Drink Pavilion features a range of produce to buy and samples to try.
The English Country Garden Festival 2018 | 22 – 24 June
Designed to celebrate the Great British garden, the stunning 14-acre grounds of the Bishop’s Palace in Wells will feature guided tours, live music, expert speakers, BBQ food, ‘have a go’ skills and crafts, and over 40 stalls. There’ll be a fabulous range of nurseries selling unusual and popular plants, too. The festival will be opened on Friday by Jo Thompson and the Royal Horticultural Society will be in attendance on Saturday. They’ll be holding a ‘Gardeners’ Question Time’ designed to give keen horticulturalists and amateur garden enthusiasts all the advice they need.
Leigh Summer Flower Show | 21 July
Established in 1891, the Leigh & District Cottage Garden Society is based in the heart of the Surrey countryside near Box Hill. Their Summer Flower Show in July is their biggest event and the highlight of the village calendar! This is a traditional flower show held under canvas, with flowers, fruit and vegetables, handicrafts and home produce. Over the years, the flower show has expanded to include entertainment for children, an animal corner, stalls run by local craftspeople, local food, a classic car parade and a brass band. The latest development is the inclusion of local, environmentally-friendly countryside projects, with activities for all visitors to enjoy.
The Knowsley Flower Show | 5 August
The Knowsley Flower Show celebrates its 20th birthday this year, and lots of attractions and activities are being planned to celebrate! The theme for 2018 is the Aster, the 20th anniversary flower. There are over 100 classes to enter, with categories including pot plants, vegetables, crafts and many more. The show is the borough of Knowsley’s flagship (and free!) cultural event, attracting thousands of visitors from across the North West region. Why not make the most of your visit and book a rental nearby?
Shrewsbury Flower Show | 10 – 11 August
Shrewsbury Flower Show is one of the country’s best flower show events, attracting top exhibitors from all over the country. Expect fantastic floral displays, horticultural competitions and high quality trade stands. There’ll be music throughout the day on the bandstand, while the arena offers a variety of entertainment to suit every taste. For green-fingered visitors, gardeners will be on hand to share tips and give advice. In the dedicated food hall, celebrity and local chefs create mouth-watering, indulgent and tempting treats. There are lots of great shopping opportunities in the large trade stands area and unique gifts are on offer in the dedicated craft marquee.
Southport Flower Show | 16 – 19 August
Southport Flower Show is the largest independent flower show in the country and attracts more than 50,000 visitors over four days. Visitors can enjoy stunning show gardens, spectacular floral displays, specialist food, demonstrations, celebrity guests, live music, arena entertainment and much more. Located in 34 beautiful acres of Victoria Park, it is a great day out for the whole family. So why not combine your visit with a holiday in Southport? The Mendip hills are close by where you can see more flora and fauna in its natural environment.
Harrogate Spring Flower Show | 14 – 16 September
Harrogate Spring Flower Show is a major event in the gardening calendar, welcoming the new growing season with a spectacular celebration of the very best in horticulture. The show features beautiful gardens, shopping, live demonstrations, expert growing advice, and hosts the country’s biggest exhibition by florists and flower arrangers. There’s a huge range of plants available from around 100 of the UK’s top nurseries, and excellent facilities at the event’s location on the Great Yorkshire Showground. Plus, the show was voted Britain’s No. 1 flower show by readers of ‘Which? Gardening’, so it’s not to be missed!
Toby’s Garden Harvest Festival | 15 – 16 September
TV gardener Toby Buckland’s Harvest Festival returns to Forde Abbey at Chard in Somerset for its second year this September. Celebrity speakers include Alys Fowler, Matt Biggs (Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time), actor John Challis (aka ‘Boycie’ from Only Fools & Horses) and the Blue Peter gardener. It’s a great way to finish off the summer, with apple-pressing, local cider-makers, flower farming demos, live music and art from Serena de la Hey’s ‘Willow Wonder’; the piece was commissioned to launch the campaign to save the M5 Willow Man at nearby Bridgwater. Make hay while the sun shines and combine your visit with a holiday!
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