Highlights of this year's show
From small back gardens to school gardeners our 2012 show has features to interest everyone.
Children's television-themed school gardens, designer and TV presenter Chris Beardshaw illustrating ways to green up towns and cities, and a Show garden with a rocket in the middle are just some of the things you can expect from this year's RHS Flower Show Tatton Park. Here are some more highlights...
The Orchestra Gardens are a new feature and will consist of four innovative show gardens, with designers creating a garden that reflects part of an orchestra. There will be four gardens, each of which will represent one musical discipline: brass, woodwind, strings and percussion.
Ladies' Day, Thursday 19 July
Once again Ladies' Day will take place on the Thursday (19 July). Women visiting the Show will be encouraged to glam up for this special day with the chance of being named to ‘Best Dressed’ at the Show. The RHS Talks Theatre will host up and coming fashion designers from the Manchester College of Art along with floristry demonstrations and specialist talks throughout the day.
Chris Beardshaw and Groundwork UK
Broadcaster Chris Beardshaw will be linking up with the charity Groundwork UK to promote gardening and greening up our towns and cities. This is one of a series of gardens Chris is designing for all the 2012 RHS flower shows - the idea is to focus minds on not just gardens, but all the green space around us in our urban environments.
Chris Beardshaw said: 'The green space around us - where we live and work - has a fundamental effect on our emotions and behaviour. It is well documented that in areas where these spaces are neglected and poorly designed we see strong evidence of social unrest'.
Groundwork UK is a national regeneration charity whose first exhibit is staged at RHS Show Cardiff in April.
School gardens - small but perfectly formed
For great ideas on a smaller scale, visit the Back to Back Gardens. These 6m x 4m plots cram lots of clever design ideas into a tiny area and are perfect for giving visitors inspiration for themes, projects and planting ideas to try at home.
Smaller still, the School Front to Front Gardens are 3m x3m plots that give school children from all over the North West the chance to create their very own gardens. The project, run by the Winsford Educations Partnership and sponsored by Barclays, will include 28 designs with themes geared around 1950s and 60s children’s television programmes.
Primary and Secondary schools from around the North West will will be creating their own ‘wonderful window boxes’, as well as growing to fill their fruit & vegetable trugs at this new competition, run in conjunction with the RHS Summer Fruit & Vegetable Competition.
The RHS National Young Designer of the Year
Three lucky finalists will battle it out to be named as the RHS National Young Designer of the Year 2012. Run in association with the Society of Garden Designers, the brief for this year is colour.
Floral Design Studio
The British Floristry Association, headed by Dennis van Wonderen, will host professional floristry competitions throughout the week. There will be displays from florists, and the Cheshire Area and North West Area of NAFAS, and we are introducing a floristry competition specifically for colleges on the theme of ‘Flights of Fancy’. The BFA will also be hosting ‘Have a go’ floristry workshops for all to get involved.
The Visionary Gardens: four to six gardens that challenge the boundaries on conventional design and engage art and sculpture in horticulture.
RHS Summer Fruit & Vegetable Competition Pavilion: The Pavilion that houses the best of Grow Your Own along with specialist fruit and herb exhibitors.
The National Flowerbed Competition: for the first time this has been given a theme of Celebration of Sport to celebrate the Olympics 2012. Each bed will depict a different sport.
Dig a little deeper in to the work of Society at the new RHS Experience stand; with friendly RHS staff, interactive exhibits and displays.
The Great Taste Market: 30 fine food exhibitors selling and sampling their award-winning artisan foods including speciality cheese, olives, preserves and meats. There is also a wide range of catering facilities.
Plant Plaza: plant selling units with creative displays to offer visitors more plant retail opportunity.
Horticultural Arts & Crafts Pavilion: Everything from silk painting to botanical art.
Discover stunning arts and sculpture.
Shop for all your gardening needs.
Pick up top tips from expert talks and demonstrations.
Did you know.....
- Area of show ground is 28 acres.
- The length of vehicle trackway laid around the venue equals to 14.5km2.
- It takes 22 days to put the show up, but only 10 days to take it down.
- The number of exhibitors at the very first show was 340, and the number this year will be 505.
- Approximately 86,000 people visited last year.
- The number of gardens at first show was 28 and the number last year was 42.
During show week, visitors consume:
- 17,676 teas
- 39,234 coffees
- 174 bottles of champagne
- 6,059 glasses of Pimm’s.
- 6,130 fish and chips
- 6,041 roast pork and beef sandwiches