Our show was simply the best place to discover all the latest plants and tips to help you start growing as the gardening year began. As we put winter behind us, it was time to get outdoors and enjoy the short intense burst of colour that would be spring 2018!
Vibrant new gardens
We unveiled a new garden category this year: Regeneration Gardens, where emphasis was placed on the use of recycled materials, in exciting, plant-filled designs provided by recent graduates of landscape architecture.
Reclaimed water tanks were the focus of Millie Souter's award-winning Urban Regeneration, which created a public space with low-cost items. Pam Creed's deconstructed Victorian garden, The Reimagined Past, was a space of contemplation among household items, recycled fireplaces and drain covers from the era. The Reflection in the Past Garden was designer Shin Myungja's interpretation of a sensory garden in a modern setting with re-purposed baths taking centre stage.
See all the show awards
Beautiful plants and flowers to buy
With more than 50 stands displaying spectacular spring blooms in the Floral Marquee and Plant Village, you could stock up on top-quality plants – and you were sure to spot an exciting addition for your borders. There was also a chance to chat to specialist growers who had plenty of advice on how to brighten up any space and make the most of your garden, whatever its size.
New and exciting exhibitors this year included Andy's Air Plants with their display of unusual Tillandsias – perfect for people with less space to grow plants and those wanting something interesting and easy to grow. Another nursery new to the show was Surreal Succulents, with their range of drought-tolerant, low-maintenence plants – ideal for those of you who don't have the time for a strict watering regime.
Cardiff Master Grower
Our Master Grower scheme celebrates top-quality nurseries, and we chose Dibleys Nursery as our Cardiff Master Grower. A family-run business specialising in streptocarpus, they really know their stuff and are so enthusiastic about their plants - plenty of visitors made time in their day to pay them a visit and see their delightful display.
Schools' Wheelbarrow Competition
RHS Flower Show Cardiff helped mark Visit Wales’ ‘Year of the Sea’. Show-goers were entertained by the School’s Wheelbarrow Competition with its seaside theme; the show feature ‘Such wonderful things around you’ was inspired by the song ‘Under the Sea’; and there was a fun display in Floral Marquee 2 of surfers and sempervivums.
Talks and demonstrations
Our entertaining line-up of speakers in our talks and theatres, included celebrity florist Jonathan Moseley and passionate plantsman Matthew Biggs. With a broad programme of varied, expert speakers provided over the three days of the show, the Talks Theatre offered a break from the bustle of the main show areas. As key speaker Matt Biggs explained: ‘There was plenty of practical gardening advice on offer, all delivered in an entertaining and informative manner.’
In addition to the popular Potting Bench demonstration area, we introduced the Floristry Bench for 2018, curated by local florist Sharon Dower. Some of the UK's top florists, including Jonathan Moseley, showed how best to grow your own cut flower garden and how to display your blooms for maximum impact.
The place for a family day out
Every member of the family could get involved at the show - even if they weren't a gardener, there was still a diverse range of stands to interest them. With crafty and creative ideas to take home, there was also the chance to get up close to nature and learn all about growing in your own garden.
The place to taste
There was a chance to enoy fresh, artisan food and drink at our Farmers' Market. With the spotlight on local produce, you could sample a Welsh tipple or savour a Bristolian cheese at your leisure, then take home some of your tasty purchases. Among the many exhibitors, there was a range of flavoured gins from Ian Macleod Distillers, cheeses from the Snowdonia Cheese Company, wines from the Cwm Deri Vinyard, and something to satisfy a sweet tooth at Crumpet Cakes.
The place to discover something new
This year there was plenty to see in the Discovery area; for example, learning all about growing your own produce from the National Allotment Society, finding out about the great gardens of West Wales, or being inspired by an exhibit from the Japanese Garden Society with its display of perfectly-formed bonsai.