RHS SHOW CARDIFF BLOSSOMS UNDER APRIL SHOWERS
By: Steve Ott
Another year, another great attendance at the RHS Show Cardiff, as almost 24,000 people braved the April showers to enjoy the first outdoor show of the Royal Horticultural Society season, which provided the finale to the very first National Gardening Week.
BBC One Show presenter Alex Jones returned to her Welsh roots to show her family the Daffodil that bears her name, grown by eight times Gold Medal winner, Ron Scamp, of Quality Daffodils. Alex said: “I’m very touched to have one of the Welsh national emblems, the beautiful Daffodil, named in my honour. It’s wonderful that Alex Jones the Daffodil will live on after me for years to come. It was a very emotional moment when I saw the flower for the first time, and it’s the prettiest Daffodil I’ve ever seen.”
Other show highlights included the Urban Oasis feature designed by Chris Beardshaw; the first RHS collaboration with the community charity Groundwork UK. Chris was in Cardiff to launch the series of gardens that will be at every RHS show this summer, culminating in a display of all of them at RHS Hampton Court Palace. Urban Oasis will then be recreated in Merthyr Tydfil in the Valleys as a learning resource for local children.
The Cardiff show proved particularly fruitful for 24 year old Harry Rich from Brecon, who set up Rich Landscapes with his brother David and family, only a year ago. Harry’s creation, Naturalistic, was his first design for the RHS, winning a Silver Gilt Medal and Best Show Garden for a work inspired by his native Brecon Beacons. Harry said: “The response from the public visiting the show has been overwhelming, and I’m sure that business will come out of it. I’ll be taking the garden to Gardener’s World Live, and hope to be accepted for Chelsea one day.”
Another winner was Cheshire based Plantagogo, specialist growers of Heuchera, Heucherella, Tiarella and other Perennials, in the Best Floral Display category. Vicky Fox said: “This is fantastic, we’re thrilled to bits. It’s been a brilliant weekend, there was a great turnout despite the weather and we’ve sold really well. We’ve been to the last seven shows in Cardiff; it’s such a friendly event.”
The Schools Wheelbarrow competition was another roaring success amongst show-goers, with Ty Gwyn Special School victorious with their hugely popular floral Paralympian, triumphing over runner-up Radyr Primary School and third place Ysgol Pwll Coch.
The Cardiff show was also the launch pad for the RHS Young School Gardener of the Year competition, another feature of National Gardening Week. There were also over 50 floral exhibitors, and a whole variety of talks and demonstrations, entertainment, trade stands, crafts and great Welsh food and drink.
RHS Shows Director, Stephen Bennett, said: “The rain is welcome news for gardeners across the UK, and the April showers did nothing to diminish the spirits of the crowds who turned out to these beautiful parklands in the heart of Cardiff. This show represents a great partnership between the RHS and Cardiff Council, and is now firmly established in the horticultural calendar.”
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