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What to expect at my first gardening show?

I'm off to the Harrogate Spring flower show tomorrow, with 18 month old twins in tow so unfortunately can't spend much time there before the inevitable meltdowns.

having not been to anything like this before, what should I focus on?  Are the plants for sale cheap (or just in front of you so you can see what you are buying)?  Are the talks generally worth focussing on, or maybe spending the quality time looking at the show gardens?

just interested in thoughts.


  • CarlyannCarlyann Posts: 52

    Hi Andy with 18 month old twins in tow it might be an idea to take a picnic with plenty for the littleuns to drink.The food and drink at shows is always good but often costly.Take a pad and pen to note down anything which takes your eye and enjoy looking around .Don't buy at the first stall you come to as prices can vary a lot.The quality at shows is usually good but not always cheap.Take some strong carrier bags with you.Allow some time for the twins to have a good runaround at lunchtime and with a bit of luck,and after an ice cream they will nod off image and then you can go back to anything which you would like to look at more closely.You will go home with lots of ideas and  leaflets.Take your time and have a great day.Oh,and be sure to remember where you have parked your car!!!image

  • Andy LeedsAndy Leeds Posts: 518

    Carlyann, that's fantastic advice, just what I'm after.  Many thanks.

  • I'd also advise taking a camera too for photographs of anything that catches your eye image It was my first time at Harrogate and my first gardening show too today. I made sure I went around all the stalls first before buying and when I did they seemed to be of good quality, I couldn't resist getting some Auriculas! 

  • Tray14Tray14 Posts: 210
    Talk to the exhibitors - give loads of free advice with passion - enjoy ????
  • KT53KT53 GloucestershirePosts: 7,561

    Assuming the little 'uns are in a twin buggy, expect problems getting around any indoor areas, and much huffing and puffing from people who see you as a mobile traffic jam.

    Pad and something to write with essential, accompanied by photos will make it much easier to remember what was what when you get back home.

    From todays weather forecast, wrap up warm too.  It doesn't look like being picnic weather.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,323

    How was it Andy?

  • PerkiPerki Rossendale - LancashirePosts: 2,291

    Wish I was going, Motorbike in workshop for the past 7 months image was hoping to have it back in time to go Harrogate flower show. I been before when I was 15 or 16 with the mother, it were a good day out. The fudge cost an arm and leg though image I got some bonsai trees

  • Andy LeedsAndy Leeds Posts: 518

    Just got back - survived and as I got there when it opened I didn't have to deal with the massive crowds until lunchtime when we headed back anyway after some food.

    Twins were asleep for most of it fortunately, and lots of 'aaah aren't they cute' were the general comments image

    Hosta, your ears must have been burning when you posted as I was talking to the Mickfield Hostas lady (very impressed) and mentioned your name image.  Just as I hadn't thought of hostas really until reading about your obvious passion for them!  Didn't buy any though as had a few fire and ice delivered recently (from other suppliers...eek).  Very good website for hostas.

    I did buy a few things - piccy below.  Had to do two trips to the car though!

    Plantagogo very good for heucheras, nice display too - unfortunately they had already sold out of the very pretty 'mysteria'. I did get some 'paprika' and 'glitter' though.

    Picked up a random peony Sarah Bernhardt and then stumbled on a stall (Petrichor bulb specialists) selling loads of potted alliums, so maybe my allium border may get going this year after all.  I bought quite a few.  The man there was suggesting grasses to hide the 'ugly' allium foliage, maybe Verdun can suggest something (or anyone else).  Saw stipa tennuissima pony tails and chlonochloa rubra (loved that one) but couldnt carry anything else and no idea if they are suitable anyway...

    Finally I picked up my pre-ordered 'Betty Corning', 'Rebecca' and 'Bonanza' from Taylors clematis.

    My arms are sore image



  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,323

    I've just been looking at Mickfield's  video. 

    I have Hosta envyimage

    Glad you had a good time.

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