We welcomed in the new growing season with a wealth of inspiration to help visitors get their horticultural creativity started.
Our first show of the year, the RHS Early Spring Plant Fair had more for visitors to see, do, and take home. To reflect the enhanced show experience and as part of the RHS’ commitment to grow the next generation of gardeners, there was a small entry charge for members (£5) and the public (£6 advance, £9 on the day).
Funds from ticket sales will go towards supporting our charitable aims such as helping to pay for RHS Apprentices, to kick-start and enable young people’s careers in horticulture.*
Lawrence and Lindley Halls
13 February 6–9pm All tickets £5
14–15 February 10am–5pm RHS members £5, Public £6 in advance £9 on the day
*Discover more about our new and improved London shows
Highlights of the Show
High-quality displays from exhibitors:
- Dibleys Nurseries
- Avon Bulbs
- Penberth Plants
- Jaques Amand - exhibited new dwarf Iris (Reticulata) varieties
- The Botanic Nursery - exhibited the new Helleborus 'Waterlily' and lime-tolerant Daphne varieties
- H W Hyde & W & S Lockyer - exhibited innovatively shaped displays
Expert advice from the nurserymen and growers.
A range of seed potatoes from Pennard Plants.
There was a chance to preview the designs for Show gardens at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show, including Q&A sessions with some of the designers. These sessions were chaired by RHS Chelsea Flower Show manager Tom Harfleet at 2pm on each day of the Show.
- 14 February - we were joined by Andrew Wilson, Kate Gould, Fiona Cadwallader and Charlotte Harris
- 15 February - the panel included Lee Bestall, Gavin McWilliam and Ruth Willmott
Showcasing the designs for Show Gardens at RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, a brand new event for the RHS in June 2017
Visitors could also take part in a full talks programme including:
Growing Alpines from some of the specialist horticulturists at RHS Garden Wisley
A talk on garden design from SGD member Emma Plunket
Chris Smith of Pennard Plants who talked us through the art of growing perfect potatoes
The RHS Lindley Library offered free curated tours at 11am and 2pm on each day of the Show, which introduced the library’s current exhibition ‘Pigments and Petals’, exploring the important role of women in the history of botanical art.
- Visitors could sign up for these workshops on the day at the Lindley Library stand in the Lindley Hall
New RHS Floral Artist in Residence Fiona Haser Bizony from the Electric Daisy Flower Farm created a stunning floral installation of an anatomical heart, created purely from flowers grown on her own farm near Bath.
Taking place on both days of the Show, workshops could be purchased online when buying tickets to the Show:
Pastel Posy workshop with Helen Cranmer (RHS In-House Florist 2016)
A relaxed and informative workshop, where you learned traditional techniques enabling you to create your own pretty, domed posy full of pastel spring flowers and foliage.
Helen guided you through selecting high-quality flowers and foliage for arrangements, and how to condition them for longevity. After a step-by-step demonstration, you created your own posy, with Helen on hand to help.
To finish the posy, a technique for creating a neat but sweet twine handle was demonstrated.
Workshop length & time: 1.5 hours - 11am on Tuesday 14 Feb, and 11am & 1pm on Wednesday 15 Feb
Cost: £20 plus show entry
Speaking from the show, Helen said:
“The workshop has a lot to offer; you'll learn traditional techniques to create a beautiful product to take away with you today. Overall a relaxing and theraputic experience.”
Express Lunchtime Valentine’s Pastel Posy workshop Helen Cranmer (RHS In-House Florist 2016)
An express lunchtime workshop, where you created your own pretty, domed posy full of pastel spring flowers and foliage. Perfect for a thoughtful and creative Valentine’s gift.
Workshop length & time: 40 minutes - 1.15pm on Tuesday 14 Feb
Cost: £15 plus show entry
More from the Show
A range of hot food options was on offer from various vendors.
The Late event offered a chance to be the first to experience the Show, featuring a DJ and live music, free flower crown and homemade floral cupcake decorating workshops, and a free glass of ‘Love Potion’ on entry, to tie in with the season. There was also a plant ‘Peep Show’ in which we revealed some images from the RHS Lindley Library archives that were historically deemed too risqué for women to view.
See the full exhibitor list & talks programme (943kB pdf)