RHS Gardens Spring Events Programme: March to May 2018

RHS Gardens Spring Events Programme: March to May 2018

Spring 2018 sees a busy schedule of events, shows and fun days out across the four Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Gardens.

The forthcoming season’s highlights at RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey, RHS Garden Hyde Hall in Essex, RHS Garden Harlow Carr in North Yorkshire and RHS Garden Rosemoor in Devon include live music, a celebration of seasonal flowers and opportunities to find unique gifts and items for the home from talented artists and makers.

The Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt returns to all four gardens, along with exciting half-term family events and the chance to get hands-on as the RHS Gardens share their passion for plants during National Gardening Week. Here is just a taste of the many exciting happenings. For full listings, visit www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/whats-on-at-rhs-gardens

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January 13 – March 4: Butterflies in the Glasshouse, RHS Garden Wisley

The exotic Glasshouse paradise at RHS Garden Wisley is perfect for flamboyant butterflies from warmer climes. Spot the many different varieties and learn about the life cycle of butterflies in the interactive education zone. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley

March 1 – April 1: Bath House Gallery Textiles Showcase, RHS Garden Harlow Carr

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Browse and buy textiles made by talented local artists. From felt and appliqué to embroidery and woollen work, there’s something for everyone. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/harlow-carr

March 3-4: Spring Antiques Fair, RHS Garden Rosemoor

Discover a treasure trove of antiques and collectables, with items for everyone from seasoned connoisseurs to casual collectors to be found. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/rosemoor

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March 3-4: Step into Spring, RHS Garden Hyde Hall

A weekend where you can discover how gardening can help you to enjoy a happy and healthy lifestyle. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/hyde-hall

March 10: Orchid Society of Great Britain Spring Show, RHS Garden Wisley

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Enjoy fabulous displays of orchids, buy from a range of top suppliers and learn how to care for orchids at home with expert advice and free workshops. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley

March 10-11: Mother’s Day Weekend, all gardens, times vary

Treat mums to a day out in beautiful surroundings this Mother’s Day weekend, with lunches, afternoon teas, shopping and floristry demonstrations among the activities available at RHS gardens. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/whats-on-at-rhs-gardens

March 10-11: Rosemoor Spring Flower Competitions, RHS Garden Rosemoor

Celebrating the very best of spring, this weekend of competitions will include glorious displays of camellias, early magnolias and rhododendrons as well as classes for daffodils and hyacinths. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/rosemoor

March 20: RHS Free Tuesday, all gardens, times vary

Visitors have the chance to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the RHS’s inspirational four gardens in spring – for free! http://www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/whats-on-at-rhs-gardens

March 22 – April 30: International Garden Photographer of the Year Exhibition, RHS Garden Hyde Hall

One of the world’s most esteemed photographic exhibitions returns to Hyde Hall, displaying winning images from the latest competition. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/hyde-hall

March 23-25: Spring Plant Fair, RHS Garden Wisley

A chance to pick up high-quality plants and meet the growers from more than 30 specialist nurseries. Plants on sale include many with an RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM). Some specialists will be selling rare or heritage plants that are not commonly found elsewhere. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley

March 24-25: Bonsai Show, RHS Garden Wisley

Bonsai beginners and experienced growers alike will find inspirational displays and expert advice on offer at this specialist show. Learn how to grow bonsai pines from seed with Sutton Bonsai or bring a bonsai for repotting and styling at the Plant Centre. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley

March 24 – April 15: Easter Holiday Fun & Lindt Gold Bunny Trail, all gardens, times vary

Hop through one of the four RHS Gardens on the trail of the Lindt Gold Bunny, and join in with fun family activities including arts and crafts workshops throughout the Easter holidays. http://www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/whats-on-at-rhs-gardens

March 24 – April 22: Orchids in the Glasshouse, RHS Garden Wisley

A celebration of all things bright and beautiful, the orchid display is at its very best at this time of year. Combining exotic colour and innovative planting displays, it’s a perfect oasis for orchid lovers and enthusiasts. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley


April 3-29: Bath House Gallery Printing Showcase, RHS Garden Harlow Carr

Printmakers will showcase their work in Harlow Carr’s historic Bath House. Discover a wide range of printing styles alongside the likes of handmade books and paper cut artworks. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/harlow-carr

April 5 – June 3: Pelargonium Display in the Glasshouse, RHS Garden Wisley

Discover more than 100 cultivars of Pelargonium in a vibrant display of beautiful pink and red blooms and a myriad of different leaf shapes and textures. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley

April 7-8: Birds of Prey, RHS Garden Wisley

A great day out for all the family to see magnificent birds of prey up close with agility displays at 11am and 2pm. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley

April 14-15: Wilderness Weekend, RHS Garden Rosemoor

This exciting event introduces people to living off the land, treading more quietly and understanding more about nature. There will be ‘living off the grid’ ideas for everyone from gardeners to ecologists. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/rosemoor

April 21-22: Spring Plant Fair, RHS Garden Hyde Hall

In conjunction with Essex Plant Heritage, a weekend all about plants where specialist nurseries from across the region will be selling rare and unusual varieties – a perfect opportunity to get your garden set up for the season ahead. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/hyde-hall

April 21-22: RHS National Rhododendron Show, RHS Garden Rosemoor

With more than 60 classes covering all types of rhododendron, professional and home gardeners alike can marvel at the variety and colour of these beautiful spring-flowering plants. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/rosemoor

April 30 – May 6: National Gardening Week, all gardens, times vary

Starting a fortnight later than in previous years to take advantage of more spring plants in bloom (and hopefully better weather), National Gardening Week will encourage everyone to ‘Share Your Passion For Plants’ at events around the UK including the four RHS Gardens. More details at www.nationalgardeningweek.org.uk closer to the time.


May 1-30: Bath House Gallery Ceramics & Glass Showcase, RHS Garden Harlow Carr

Raku, slab and thrown pottery work is on show throughout May alongside a wide range of glass items. Practical and decorative work will make this a must-see event. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/harlow-carr

May 3: Old Herbaceous Outdoor Theatre, RHS Garden Harlow Carr

A charming and humorous one-man play described by The Guardian as ‘Downton Abbey with gardening tips’, this is the story of a single-minded yet gentle man and his passion for plants, set against the backdrop of the early 20th century class system. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/harlow-carr

May 3-7: Spring Craft Fair, RHS Garden Wisley

Enjoy the beauty of the garden in spring while shopping a diverse range of contemporary and traditional crafts with more exhibitors than ever before as well as food and live demonstrations. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley

May 4-7: Spring Craft Fair, RHS Garden Hyde Hall

A fabulous four-day craft fair held over the bank holiday weekend, showcasing around 60 artists, craftspeople and designer-makers selling fine art, photography, jewellery, ceramics, textiles and many more contemporary crafts. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/hyde-hall

May 5-6: Spring Plant Weekend, RHS Garden Harlow Carr

This hugely popular event – which includes the RHS-judged Daffodil, Tulip and Rhododendron Shows – provides inspiration for gardeners as well as a wealth of specialist advice from growers, including plants to buy from specialist Plant Heritage nurseries on May 6. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/harlow-carr

May 5-7: Spring Design For Living Fair, RHS Garden Rosemoor

Browse and shop beautiful and unique hand-crafted items for home and garden and meet the makers at this event showcasing a wealth of West Country design talent. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/rosemoor

May 12: National Alpine Show, RHS Garden Wisley

This national level show will feature a huge range of unusual plants for sale, displays and competition classes as well as tours of the Wisley alpine areas and collections. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley

May 12-13: Plant Heritage Spring Plant Fair and Bonsai Weekend, RHS Garden Rosemoor

Two popular events come together for a weekend of rare and unusual trees, shrubs and perennials from local nurseries for sale under the Plant Heritage banner as well as the chance to learn the ancient Japanese art of bonsai from the experts at the North Devon Bonsai Group. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/rosemoor

May 16-29: Rosemoor Live Fortnight, RHS Garden Rosemoor

Two weeks of live entertainment including the And Finally… Phil Collins tribute band, music concerts from the Plough Arts Centre, theatre, comedy and children’s shows. Events vary daily. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/rosemoor

May 19-20: Wildlife Weekend, RHS Garden Hyde Hall

A chance for visitors to learn all about wildlife in their own gardens and beyond. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/hyde-hall

May 22-25: Celebrate Chelsea Flower Show, RHS Garden Rosemoor

Get into the spirit of the flagship RHS Chelsea Flower Show in Devon with a themed afternoon tea and join in with floristry workshops. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/rosemoor

May 26: Say ‘Ello!’ to Mr Bloom, RHS Garden Harlow Carr

See Mr Bloom from CBeebies perform live at the launch of Harlow Carr’s new Children’s Gardening Weekend. Enter the ‘design a pot’ competition for a chance to meet him in person, with the winning designs brought to life at the Harlow Carr Flower Show in June. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/harlow-carr

May 26-27: Children’s Gardening Weekend, RHS Garden Harlow Carr

See Mr Bloom from CBeebies perform live on Saturday to launch this new weekend event. Kids big and small can take part in a range of practical and educational activities from 11am to 3pm, including making a rock garden, learning about bees or decorating an ‘In the Night Garden’ pot to take home. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/harlow-carr

May 26-28: Anglian Potters Exhibition, RHS Garden Hyde Hall

The Anglian Potters will be showcasing the very best in East Anglian ceramics, with the chance to take home unique pieces that are both pleasing to the eye and a joy to use. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/hyde-hall

May 26 – June 3: ‘Get Set, Grow!’ Half Term Family Fun, all gardens, times vary

Get Set, Grow this half term, with lots of plant-themed fun and free activities every day, including garden trails, storytelling, crafts and fun activities to help children get into growing.


May 31 – June 3: Family Gardening Show, RHS Garden Wisley

A fun-packed event for the whole family: enjoy hands-on gardening activities and crafts such as planting, potato and spoon races, face painting, seed jars and talks, plus the chance to take part in our vegetable sculpture completion. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley

Photographs (from top):

Violinist Jessie May Smart poses with butterflies at RHS Garden Wisley; montage of spring colour; The Cottage Garden at RHS Garden Rosemoor; Spring colour at RHS Garden Hyde Hall; Tulips at RHS Garden Harlow Carr (credit: RHS).

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Steve Ott
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