Having earned its rightful reputation as the first and best of its kind in the south west, the Cornwall Garden Society’s (CGS) 2019 Spring Flower Show, sponsored by Atkins Ferrie Wealth Management, is a major highlight of the horticultural year. With a new location at the county’s prestigious Royal Cornwall Showground in Wadebridge, the two-day event on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th April will celebrate the season on an unprecedented scale.
The Competitive Classes are at the heart of the Show and organisers are encouraging local people to enter their best blooms and finest flora to wow the judges, many of whom are household names in the horticultural world: celebrated plantsman and legendary broadcaster, Roy Lancaster; Head Gardener at Exbury Gardens, Tom Clarke; nurseryman and plant hunter, Nick Macer; Chairman of the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Bulb Committee, Jan Pennings and 23 times RHS Chelsea Gold Winner, Johnny Walker from Taylors Bulbs among them.
With more than 150 categories for ornamental trees and shrubs; magnolias, camellias, rhododendrons, daffodils and pot plants/alpines, as well as floral art, photography and classes for young people, there is something for seasoned horticulturalist and novice gardener alike.
"Whether you are an experienced head gardener, an enthusiastic amateur or just starting out, be brave and throw your horticultural hats into the ring,” says CGS Spring Flower Show Director, Dickie Trant. “All you have to do is take a walk around your garden, decide which class you would like to enter, complete the relevant entry form, send it to the appropriate organiser by Thursday 28th March and deliver your entries for staging as directed in The Schedule of Competitive Classes, which you can access from the Spring Flower Show page of our website. We have an amazing array of trophies to present at the prize giving so why not try your hand?”
“Many of Cornwall’s great gardens have already signed up to participate but we would love to hear from hoteliers, country estate owners, domestic gardeners, photography clubs and florists from across the county too,” adds Dickie. “The more entries we receive, the greater the visual impact for visitors when they enter the Exhibition Halls and witness the kaleidoscope of spring colour. This is Cornwall’s Spring Flower Show so let’s make it the best yet.”
To any primary school children out there who fancy flexing their green fingers and competing in the junior classes, local social enterprise, Perennial Harvest is holding a free, drop-in planting workshop at Wheal Martyn in St Austell between 10.30am and 1.30pm on Saturday 30th March to help young people create their entries. Their exhibits will then be transported to the Showground for judging. Cornwall’s own comedic royalty, Kernow King will select the winners on Saturday 6th April.
You do not have to be a member of the Cornwall Garden Society to enter the Competitive Classes. There is no fee for doing so and exhibitors gain free admittance to the Spring Flower Show.
To book advance tickets for the Cornwall Garden Society 2019 Spring Flower Show, Please click here or telephone the Cornish Riviera Box Office on 01726 879500.
General tickets cost £10 in advance or £11 on the gate. CGS member tickets cost £8 in advance or £9 on the gate. Under 16s are free. The ticket price includes free parking. Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome, as are card payments on the gate.
Our members have some truly beautiful and interesting gardens. Take a look to see some of the wonderful things growing.
You can take out CGS membership as an individual or as a family and there are lots of benefits.
At Bickham House, we will discover seven acres of colour co-ordinated borders, mature trees, a fernery and a water garden. There is a formal parterre complete with lily pond and a walled garden full of vegetables and flowers. A palm tree avenue leads to a summerhouse.
Cadhay Garden provides a tranquil setting for the magnificent Elizabethan manor house built in 1550, a tour of which is an option. Full of colour, the garden includes a 120ft herbaceous bed planted with cottage garden plants. There are clematis, roses and lilies as well as two medieval fishponds. The walled garden has been transformed into allotments.
To download a booking form for this day trip, please click here.
Self-drive visit to Kestle Barton, Manaccan; The Potager, High Cross, Constantine and Tregonning, Carleen, Breage
Run by Karen Townsend and Ryya Bread, Kestle Barton is a restored ancient farmstead and gallery above Frenchman’s Creek. The garden was created in the south-facing mowhay by James Alexander-Sinclair whose plantsman’s scheme of gauzy swathes of herbaceous plants and sweeping grasses surround a space for sitting and dreaming. Beyond is the meadow with its ever-changing carpet of wild flowers and adjacent orchard.
During lunch at The Potager, Mark Harris will describe how this charming haven emerged from a bramble-choked wilderness.
Andrew and Kathryn Eaton’s sculpted grass meadow at Tregonning takes in panoramic views from Carn Brea to Helston. There are leaf-shaped beds, a stream and pond, a summerhouse, carp pond, fernery and packed vegetable garden.
To download a booking form for this self-drive visit, please click here.