Thousands of gardening enthusiasts flocked to the Cornwall Garden Society’s (CGS) 2022 Spring Flower Show at The Royal Cornwall Showground in Wadebridge this weekend with visitors, traders and organisers declaring the event a success.
The Exhibition Halls were vibrant with spring colour as visitors admired the beautiful blooms on display.
Smiling faces were in abundance as those who attended expressed their delight at being able to enjoy the ‘Chelsea of the West’ after the Covid-19-related cancellations of the past two years.
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 experienced gardeners and green-fingered amateurs from Penzance to Polperro, as well as from beyond the Tamar.
The Competitive Classes, which are said to be among the best in the country, delivered spectacular displays of camellias, daffodils, magnolias and rhododendrons.
The Show also attracted more than 95 specialist nurseries and horticultural-related trade stands from Cornwall, the south west and further afield.
From locally-grown cut flowers and sub-tropical shrubs to vintage tools and garden ponds, The Plant Pavilion and Horticultural Heaven presented much to tempt Cornwall’s gardeners, many of whom left laden with plants from Master Growers and National Collections®. The Artisan Area also proved popular with its eclectic array of glass art, textile prints, pottery, jewellery, home aromas and botanical artwork by Cornish creatives; the Floral Art Marquee impressed with its themed displays whilst Big Pan Parties and the Atlantic Bar & Distillery kept everyone well-fuelled and refreshed.
“It was lovely to see the smiles on the faces of showgoers because, without them, we would not be able to run this Show,” commented Show Director, Dickie Trant. “This event is also about the traders who were here with us after a brutal couple of years, business-wise; and the competition area, which was of such a high standard.
“We have a raft of volunteers who all contribute with the greatest of grace, good will and enthusiasm. Our Show is the culmination of a lot of effort and the pleasure of running it is in seeing people enjoy it.”
The CGS’s charitable remit to share horticultural knowledge was achieved through the work of Perennial Harvest who helped young people from schools and community groups to take part in the Children’s Competitive Classes; the informative line-up of talks and demonstrations on subjects as diverse as wildflowers and willow-weaving, and Gardeners’ Question Time with experts from organisations such as the National Trust, the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery and the Lost Gardens of Heligan.
“It was wonderful to see so many people at the Show, enjoying the atmosphere,” added Show Chairman, Andrew Leslie. “Whilst the number of entrants in the Competitive Classes was strong, what was really thrilling was that the entries in the Novice classes, by people who had not won a prize before, were up hugely in every class and that has really inspired us to continue to develop that aspect of the event. As an exhibitor myself, everything I show, I have planted and nurtured, which really gives me a buzz, and we hope even more people will experience that and enter next year.”
Prizes were awarded to the winners of the Competitive Classes by CGS President, Charles Fox and Director of Atkins Ferrie Wealth Management, James Sculthorp-Wright.
Emily Stevenson from Beach Guardian 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 thanks to visitors, exhibitors, judges, caterers, traders, lecturers, volunteers and sponsors for creating such a happy and successful two-day celebration of spring,” concluded Andrew Leslie. “Cornwall is the most wonderful place to grow plants that do not thrive elsewhere and the power of horticulture as a driver of economic vitality in the Duchy is under-estimated. We will continue to raise awareness of this and support the next generation of gardeners through our bursary scheme. We congratulate this year’s prize winners and look forward to staging our next spring showcase in 2023.”
The CGS 2023 Spring Flower Show will be held at The Royal Cornwall Showground in Wadebridge on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd April.
BBC Radio Cornwall’s Jack Murley and Dasha Smith broadcast live from this year’s event and you can listen to their experience of the Show on BBC Sounds
See our Spring Flower Show page for the list of all our prize winners.