The RHS Cardiff Flower Show is just a short hop over the border from the Cotswolds. I’ve been talking to the new show manager and finding out what 2017 has to offer. Plus there’s the chance to win tickets to the show.
With a name like Rose and what she describes as “plant obsessed” parents it’s hardly surprising that Rose Gore Browne works for the RHS. What few could have predicted though is that she would be running one of their shows at just 25.
The show manager for RHS Cardiff took over last November and is relishing the challenge.
“I’m very excited to be on board for Cardiff,” she says.
Rose was snapped up by the RHS when contemporary garden show Grow London closed last summer; she had worked there since graduating with a business degree.
“It was really great doing Grow and I built up a lot of experience.”
The RHS Cardiff Flower Show opens the season for the society’s big public events and this year runs from April 7-9. Now in its 13th year, it’s the smallest of the RHS shows and has a different feel to the likes of Chelsea.
“I think what we’re trying to do is something different,” explains Rose. “We’re not trying to be Chelsea at all.”
She describes the show, sited in the grounds of Cardiff Castle, as relaxed and welcoming.
“You can walk around in a day without having to fight the crowds.”
Each year, the show has a theme and 2017 sees a focus on myths and legends with several of the show gardens taking their inspiration from tales of magic and folklore, including one designed by Daniel Bodin based on the legend of the Devil’s Bridge and another by Chris Myers Design that takes the legend of Blodeuwedd as its starting point.
“The good thing about RHS Cardiff is that they provide some inspiration that people can take home and recreate themselves without breaking the bank.”
The popular wheelbarrow competition for primary schools also has a Welsh legends theme – “It’s going to be a lot of fun for them and should get their imaginations going.” – and there will be two gardens designed by secondary school pupils as part of the RHS’ Green Plan It competition.
Wildlife and the steps gardeners can take to support it is another message running through the show. There will be workshops where you can make a bug hotel or seed bomb, information on what to plant and how to style your garden to make it wildlife friendly and giant willow bugs sited throughout the show; they will be travelling to the Hampton Court show and the RHS’ new Chatsworth event later in the year.
More advice will be offered with floristry demos and talks on everything from growing agapanthus and community gardening to the story of Italy’s citrus fruit and how to grow veg.
What many gardeners go for though is the chance to buy plants and there will be around 50 specialist growers at the show. Fittingly for the Welsh capital, one of the main displays will be from Scamp’s daffodils, while Tale Valley Nursery, which specialises in shade-tolerant plants, is the RHS Master Grower at RHS Cardiff with a special display about the nursery.
“We’ve got a lot of the exhibitors who go to Chelsea,” says Rose, “so we’ve got that standard of nursery.
“It’s a great time of year to come and think about what you’re going to do in your garden this year.”
• The RHS Cardiff Flower Show runs from April 7-9 2017. For more information, see here
• WIN two tickets to the show by entering The Chatty Gardener’s prize draw. See here for details. This contest is now closed.
• Photos copyright of RHS/Jason Ingram