Cornwall has been described as the garden capital of the world but, as an exhibition at the Cornwall Spring Flower Show in 2016 demonstrated, the county owes its wonderful springtime splendour not to native species - but rather to a small band of intrepid plant hunters who brought back seeds.
The fabulous range of Camellias, Magnolias, Rhododendrons and Daffodils that brighten up our gardens and our lives from February onwards would not be here were it not for the likes of Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker, George Forrest, Ernest Henry Wilson and Captain Richard Rawes who braved untold dangers and adventures to bring them back to Britain.
Sponsored by a number of wealthy estate owners including JC Williams of Caerhays Castle and George Johnstone of Trewithen House, their incredible exploits helped to transform a country that had the smallest natural flora in the world to one that can now boast the widest range of any nation on earth. Given that 70% more plants grow in Cornwall than in the rest of Britain put together, it is hardly surprising that an event like Cornwall Spring Flower Show provides the ultimate testament to all that the plant hunters achieved.
“I suspect most of us take the extraordinary shrubs and plants in our gardens for granted but the truth is we wouldn’t have them if the plant hunters hadn’t travelled so widely,” said Pat Ward, who putt the exhibition together for the show. “We’re staging the display in its own marquee with lots of beautiful photos and samples of flowers. Hopefully, visitors will enjoy it and learn a lot more about Cornwall’s horticulture in the process. I’m also doing a ‘six easy steps to competing’ guide as well.”
Photo: Camellias and magnolias aren’t native to Cornwall but were introduced by plant hunters
Our members have some truly beautiful and interesting gardens. Take a look to see some of the wonderful things growing.
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The Cornwall Garden Society are working in partnership with St Austell-based social enterprise, Perennial Harvest to offer hands-on horticultural workshops in the run up to this year's Spring Flower Show to help children of all ages create their entries and try their hand at winning a prize in our junior competitive classes.
The second pre-Show session will be held at Wheal Martyn Clay Works in St Austell on Saturday 30th March, and this one is a free, drop-in workshop between 10.30am and 1.30pm.
With a new venue and a new look for 2019, the CGS Spring Flower Show is set to be the best yet. With an enviable reputation on the national gardening calendar it’s the perfect opportunity to get into the gardening mood for the season to come. So do join us to experience our spring oasis within the Royal Cornwall Showground.
Join us on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th April 2019 to explore an array of horticultural delights will be wide-ranging, with stunning displays of spring flowers and shrubs, plus beautiful floral art and photographic displays. And if you fancy indulging in a bit of garden-related retail therapy we have everything you could wish for with over 60 prestigious nurseries selling fabulous plants and bulbs and another 50 plus retailers selling garden-related goodies.
With a focus on families we look forward to welcoming lots of youngsters to the show and will be offering a range of activities designed to nurture an interest in gardening, wildlife and the natural world.
All that plus an Artisan Marquee, live music, and a food offering that will get your taste buds tingling.
To purchase your tickets to the Cornwall Garden Society Spring Flower Show 2019, please click here.