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Top flower shows in the UK

By Bessie Johns

Britain is rightly famous for its beautiful gardens and the profusion of lovely flowers and plants to be found in them. Artfully using plants that are early or later to flower arrangements can be made that are pleasing to the eye and give an overall cohesion in planting. It is unsurprising then, given our passion for our gardens, that flower shows are so popular.

Britain’s favourite shows are grand affairs and specially created show grounds become a hive of activity. Starting as clear ground, the same day flowers and plants will have been brought in and arranged giving the appearance of established and mature gardens.

The Royal Horticultural Society’s annual show at Chelsea Hospital is perhaps the grandest and most eagerly anticipated of all. Once the royal family and a whole host of celebrities have had their chance to look around, the public have the chance to explore the gardens and spectacular flower arrangements to be found in the Grand Marquee. Exhibitors, whether British or from around the world, all hope to see a Gold Medal left by the judges to reward all their hard work.

One of the most magnificent settings to enjoy a flower show is Hampton Court Palace. Large numbers of designer gardens jostle for visitors’ attention while glorious flower arrangements adorn the Festival of Roses marquee. The gardens of the palace itself make a wonderful backdrop for proceedings.

The show which purports to be the oldest of all horticultural shows is the Shrewsbury Flower Show which has run for more than 120 years. Amateurs, nurserymen and professional landscapers spend all year preparing for the event. As well as the Quarry Marquee which showcases stunning flower arrangements prepared by enthusiastic and gifted amateurs as well as professional florists, visitors can also enjoy marquees offering locally produced food and drink and arts and crafts.

The Taunton Show is designed very much with families in mind. As well as the usual attractions such as the Floral Marquee, there are also arena events to be enjoyed by all ages and an extensive play area. The Competitive Marquee sees fierce rivalry and hotly contested classes akin to those seen in village shows, but on a grander scale. These competitions often boast more than 2000 entries and cover all manner of subjects from vegetables and flowers to cookery and photography.

The history of seeds and so called ‘lost’ varieties of flowers and vegetables is of increasing interest. Many of the RHS flower shows have exhibits dedicated to them and actively encourage visitors to try growing them themselves.

Once a show is over the show ground clears as fast as it was created and the same day flowers and plants will be packed up and have disappeared. Our delight in our gardens and in flower shows continues to grow however and you can be sure they will be back next year.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Johns, Bessie "Top flower shows in the UK." Top flower shows in the UK. 24 Mar. 2011. 23 Jul 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Johns, B (2011, March 24). Top flower shows in the UK. Retrieved July 23, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Johns, Bessie "Top flower shows in the UK"

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