Giant daffodil heralds spring at RHS Show Cardiff
15 March 2011
A giant daffodil made of wicker and recycled steel will welcome visitors to this year's RHS Show Cardiff, which runs from 8-10 April.
The creation of sculptor Susan Jones, professionally known as Purple Sue, it stands 11ft high with a 4ft-wide yellow wicker bloom, a mighty spectacle at the show entrance in Bute Park, Cardiff Castle.
Sue began making it in December, but says the job pushed her to the limit. The 10ft willow bath for soaking the willow froze from mid November until after Christmas, halting her in her creative tracks. She had to wait for the thaw before she could get to work and the daffodil finally took shape.
The show, now in its seventh year, celebrates spring with a host of seasonal exhibits in the Floral Marquees, show gardens, the schools' wheelbarrow competition, talks, demonstrations and advice from plant experts.
Show garden designer Caroline Jones decided to make the most of seasonal planting and work only with plants that would look good however hard the winter. Her Spring Time show garden uses topiary, spring-flowering plants and bulbs, with two hand-carved sculptures made from oak beams to provide structure and interest.
Look out also for Sweet Retreat, by novice designers Imogen Cox and Pippa Tee. The pair have chosen Cardiff as the venue for their first-ever show garden which highlights the importance of humans having a positive impact on the landscape.
To this end, there are wild plants near a beehive, the honey from which would provide the natural sweetener in this Sweet Retreat, encouraging beneficial insects into the garden and providing them with food or shelter.
After many joint projects from town to Welsh and Cotswold hillside gardens, they decided to try a show garden at an RHS show for the first time. Imogen said: “Show gardens are, of course, very different from real gardens so we thought we’d start with Cardiff because it was a smaller, friendly show and we hope that it will be a gentle start for first timers! We both garden using organic methods and feel it is important that we include nature in all our schemes and work with the land and soil.”