100th Cornwall Spring Flower Show promises to be the best yet
By: Steve Ott
2012 marks Cornwall Garden Society’s 100th Cornwall Spring Flower Show. Held at the beautiful and historic Boconnoc estate, near Lostwithiel, home to two former British Prime Ministers, the centenary event will take place on Saturday 31 March and Sunday 1 April.
Famous for showcasing some of the very best examples of springtime horticultural beauty and dubbed Cornwall’s answer to the Chelsea Flower Show, Cornwall Spring Flower Show regularly attracts up to 10,000 people. Classes include ornamental trees and shrubs, magnolias, camellias, rhododendrons, daffodils, herbaceous, bulbs, pot plants, alpines and floral art. There are children’s classes – Cbeebies Mr Bloom will be attending on the Sunday - and, of course, show gardens. The show also attracts over 100 specialist growers and trade exhibitors from all over the UK – including, this year, Tresco Abbey Gardens from the Isles of Scilly, with their wonderful array of southern hemisphere blooms.
First established as the Royal Horticultural Society of Cornwall in 1832 under the patronage of King William IV ‘who was graciously pleased to place the sum of £10.10s.0d (ten guineas) annually’ at its disposal, the charity held its first ‘Daffodil and Spring Flower Show’ on 30 and 31 March 1897. With occasional breaks for wartime, petrol rationing or severe cold weather, the society (which formally became Cornwall Garden Society in 1958) has been holding annual shows ever since.
Initially supported mainly by owners of large estates in the county, the event now attracts a wide range of people and, importantly, a wide age group. The CGS itself has more than 1400 members and most are only too keen to be involved in any way they can.
Malcolm Bell, Head of VisitCornwall, the Cornwall Development Company tourism service for the county, said: “There is nothing like a Cornish spring with all its vibrant colours and that’s what makes this event so special. Our gardens are world-famous for their early displays of spectacular trees, shrubs and plants and all that beauty is brought together at the Cornwall Spring Flower Show, with its promise of long days of summer and outdoor pursuits to come. Whether you’re someone who likes gardening or not, it is an event that is guaranteed to lift the spirits – especially in a wonderful setting like Boconnoc which is not normally open to the public.”
Cornwall Garden Society’s Spring Flower Show is open from 10am to 5pm on Saturday 31 March and from 10am to 4pm on Sunday 1 April. Advance tickets for non-CGS members cost £6 per adult, under 16s go in free. Tickets on the day cost £7 or £4.50 for CGS members. For further information, visit www.cornwallflowershow.co.uk or call 01209 714488.
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