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The best lesser-known flower shows in the UK

May 2019

Blenheim Palace Rose Garden. Visit Britain Pete Seaward
©VisitBritain/ Pete Seaward

The Royal Horticultural Society flower shows are renowned for their quality as they showcase the best plants and gardening that Britain has to offer in stunning surroundings. But beyond the well-known spectacles such as RHS Chelsea and RHS Hampton Court are a number of lesser-known flower shows that are packed with an abundance of floral delights.

RHS Malvern Spring Festival

With the spectacular Malvern Hills providing a beautiful backdrop, the RHS Malvern Spring Festival  has a wealth of flowers, food and crafts to explore. Uncover innovative ways of bringing greenery into small spaces as part of the Green Living Spaces initiative, speak to traders to discover more about the plants on offer and see cutting-edge designs in the show gardens. Or venture into the Floral Marquee to browse what more than 65 leading nurseries have to offer, including seven exhibitors with a distinct focus on house plant design and indoor plants.

When? 9-12 May

National Flower Show at Hylands House

Set in the grounds of the spectacular Hylands House and Estate in Essex, the National Flower Show  will return for its 5th year in 2019. The Floral Pavilion is the centre of the show, providing inspiration as exhibitors present the finest plants and flowers as they compete to be crowned Best in Show. TV gardener Carol Klein will officially open the show, before hosting two question and answer sessions on all things floral. On top of an array of gardening talks, they’ll also be an opportunity to participate in floral workshops, although participation in these will be limited. Entry to the impressive Hylands House, Parks and Gardens is included with entry to the show.

When? 17-19 May

Gardening Scotland

With its focus on gardening and outdoor living, Gardening Scotland  hosts an abundance of designers and features all of the latest gardening trends. More than 400 exhibitors from across Britain flock to the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh, while numerous florists and horticultural experts are on hand to answer queries and provide advice. Pop-up food stalls and cafes serve an eclectic mix of country food, providing everything from sandwiches and speciality coffees to Scottish steak rolls.

When? 31 May - 2 June

RHS Chatsworth Flower Show

The grounds of Chatsworth House provide the setting for the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show , offering spectacular summer colours, unique shopping experiences and numerous have-a-go workshops. From thought-provoking show gardens featuring innovative planting ideas to floral experts on hand in the marquees to answer questions, Chatsworth caters for every gardener, regardless of experience. More than 200 exhibitors will also be in attendance, offering everything from sculpture to garden furniture.

When? 5-9 June

Blenheim Palace Flower Show

Returning for its seventh year in 2019, the Blenheim Palace Flower Show  offers 3 days of stunning flower displays, mouth-watering food and drink, and inspiration for both the home and outdoors. Discover hand-made crafts and gifts in the Home and Country Living Pavilion before casting an eye over the entries for Best in Show in the Grand Floral Pavilion, all in the shadow of the magnificent Blenheim Palace.

When? 21-23 June

Woburn Abbey Garden Show

Marking a decade since the Woburn Abbey Garden Show  first graced the landscaped grounds of Woburn Abbey, 2019’s show will feature a hand-picked selection of exhibitors and nurseries. Visitors can expect live entertainment, food and shopping alongside informative talks, demonstrations and gardening tours. Gain rare access to the Private Gardens of the Duke and Duchess of Bedford and browse a selection of RHS Medal winning nurseries that offer a diverse mix of European and global plants.

When? 22-23 June

RHS Flower Show Tatton Park

Rich gardening inspiration, entertaining family activities and hands-on workshops are just some of what is on offer at the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park . Discover the essentials for creating a new vegetable plot and meet the future stars of garden design as part of the RHS Young Designer of the Year competition. Afterwards, browse the stalls of hundreds of exhibitors before wandering through a dazzling display of more than 5,000 dahlias. An interactive feature called the Bug Hub will detail the lifecycle of insects, while the School Gardens, created by hundreds of local school children, are just waiting to be explored.

When? 17-21 July

Prestatyn Flower Show

Held annually in the North Wales seaside town of Prestatyn, the Prestatyn Flower Show  features an array of beautiful plants and garden furniture alongside arts, crafts and prize-winning exhibitions. Enjoy brass band music and live jazz and explore a striking collection of classic cars before discovering the many boutique shops and eateries in the town.

When? 26-27 July

Chorley Flower Show

The 4th annual Chorley Flower Show  transforms Astley Park into a blaze of colour in late July, as horticultural exhibitors and florists descend on the heart of Lancashire. As well as plenty of garden designs and exciting species, there’s also an amateur marquee packed full of beautiful plants and shrubs.

When? 27-28 July

Shrewsbury Flower Show

Attracting exhibitors from all over Britain, the Shrewsbury Flower Show  is home to spectacular entertainment, celebrity chefs and a wealth of stunning flower collections. The UK’s top nurseries display their plants in the Quarry Marquee, while the lecture theatre hosts talks from leading industry experts throughout the show. Alongside a space for amateur growers to showcase their skills, there is a special section for bee keeping and honey exhibitors. A magnificent firework display brings an end to proceedings.

When? 9-10 August

Southport Flower Show

Find horticultural inspiration, try out delicious regional food and immerse yourself in spectacular show gardens at the Southport Flower Show , all of which reflect the 2019 theme of ‘Garden Party’. Visit the Grand Floral Marquee to unearth a treasure trove of plants, flowers, trees, shrubs, vegetables and herbs before discovering the quirky work of landscape designers as they go head-to-head to create the most Curious Garden at the show.

When? 15-18 August

Ayr and District Flower Show

Ayr Racecourse welcomes the Ayr and District Flower Show  in August, a delightful mix of brightly coloured flowers, floral art, Bonsai trees and other plants. There’s also a delightful food market featuring Scottish producers selling baked goods, fruit and vegetables, meat and confectionary. Numerous trade stands sell everything from plants, bulbs and trees to pots, planters and other garden equipment.

When? 16-17 August

RHS Wisley Flower Show

Taking place in late summer, the RHS Wisley Flower Show  is home to a plethora of colourful plants, an expert zone with talks and demos and ample opportunities to seek gardening advice. The National Dahlia Society Annual Show forms part of proceedings, showcasing the very best in dahlia cultivation in Britain.

When? 3-9 September


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