More than 5,500 gardening enthusiasts flocked to the Cornwall Garden Society’s (CGS) 2019 Spring Flower Show at The Royal Cornwall Showground in Wadebridge this weekend with visitors, traders and organisers declaring the event a triumphant success. The new venue wowed the crowds with its quality, variety, space and ease of access, and a happy atmosphere pervaded the Show throughout.
Sponsored by Atkins Ferrie Wealth Management and described by The Daily Telegraph as one of the best flower shows in the UK, this highlight of Cornwall’s horticultural calendar welcomed gardening experts and novices alike from Land’s End to the Tamar and beyond.
With a record number of entries in the Competitive Classes, which offered kaleidoscopic spring colour through spectacular displays of camellias, daffodils, magnolias and rhododendrons; floral art and photography, the Show also attracted more than 130 specialist nurseries and gardening-related trade stands from Cornwall, the south west and further afield.
From exquisite cut flowers and rare and unusual shrubs to vintage tools and garden sheds, The Plant Pavilion and Horticultural Heaven presented much to tempt Cornwall’s gardeners, many of whom departed the Show laden with plants of superlative quality and interest. The Artisan Area also proved popular with its eclectic array of artwork, ceramics, jewellery and illustration, whilst the cornucopia of Cornish food and drink kept everyone fuelled in the Picnic Area.
“It was fantastic to welcome such a huge number of visitors to our new venue and I am enormously grateful to every single person who contributed to the event’s success,” commented Show Director, Dickie Trant. “I cannot overstate the incredible effort of our volunteers who are the unsung heroes. What they delivered is nothing short of amazing. There was a wonderful vibe on each of the two days and it was heartening to see so many smiling faces. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we are delighted that the Society’s decision to relocate the Show has been so resoundingly endorsed.”
The CGS’s charitable remit to share horticultural knowledge focused on encouraging more young people to participate in the Show this year, an objective that was achieved in abundance.
“Encouraging children to nurture an interest in gardening, wildlife and the natural world is a really important part of what we do,” explained Tamasin Pemberton, Chair of Perennial Harvest Gardening Club. “Through our collaboration with the CGS, we are delighted that so many young people have engaged with the Spring Flower Show by attending our plant-growing workshops at Wyevale Garden Centre in Par and Wheal Martyn in St Austell; entering a record number of exhibits in the Children’s Competitive Classes, and winning the majority of the trophies that the Society awards. The Story in a Box, Best Dressed Vegetable and Walk in my Shoes categories provided the perfect platform for their ingenuity. From parsnip princesses and Superman Squash to tulips fashioned from peppers and a tortoise created with cucumber, their imaginations knew no bounds!”
Acknowledging the challenge involved in moving an event from familiar surroundings, Show Chairman, Andrew Leslie added: “There are always obstacles to overcome and improvements to be made, but we are delighted to have established a foundation of success at our new venue on which to build for the future. The Royal Cornwall Showground’s spacious Exhibition Halls, flooded with natural light, showcased the county’s finest flora to their best advantage and the number of visitors and their smiles left us in no doubt that we have made the right decision.”
John Waldie, Managing Director of lead sponsor, Atkins Ferrie Wealth Management agreed: “A standing ovation to the organisers at the CGS for taking the risk of moving the Show’s venue and for making such an outstanding success of it. I look forward to the Spring Flower Show achieving continued success at its new venue in the future.”
Prizes were awarded to the winners of the Competitive Classes by CGS President, Charles Fox and John Waldie.
Cornish royalty, Kernow King and award-winning horticulturalist, Liam Shoesmith presented the prizes to the winners of the Children’s Competitive Classes.
“On behalf of the CGS, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to visitors, exhibitors, judges, caterers, traders, lecturers, volunteers and sponsors for creating such a happy and successful two-day celebration of Spring,” concluded CGS Chairman, Sir Robert Owen. “The coming together of Cornwall’s horticultural community with the professional infrastructure that The Royal Cornwall Showground provides makes for a winning combination. We congratulate the prize winners and look forward to building on this year’s success next year and beyond.”
The CGS 2020 Spring Flower Show will be held at The Royal Cornwall Showground in Wadebridge on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th April 2020.