Seven things to do at the Harrogate Flower Show

Sweet pea breeder David Matthewman with a display of the new Harrogate Gem sweet pea he has bred to celebrate the 40th Harrogate Autumn Flower Show this weekend (18 - 20 September 2015)
Sweet pea breeder David Matthewman with a display of the new Harrogate Gem sweet pea he has bred to celebrate the 40th Harrogate Autumn Flower Show this weekend (18 - 20 September 2015)
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With one of the biggest seasonal shows rearing it’s head this weekend, we’ve put together a list of the top seven things you should make a point of doing.

1. With this year marking the 40th anniversary of the show, a couple of excited exhibitors and passionate planters have dedicated their time to put together a ruby display.

Visitors should make a point of going to see the floral fantasia that is the Lathyrus odoratus - a fragrant vivid red flower that has been nicknamed the ‘Harrogate gem’ after it was specially bred by Matthewman’s sweet pea growers to celebrate the ruby anniversary.

Another display - the ruby floral art display put together by the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies is also on display at the show specifically for the occasion.

2. In a celebration of the season, the Flower Show will also be holding a Harvest and Hedgerow event with plenty of awesome autumn activities.

With opportunities to taste cider produced purely in Yorkshire, using mother nature to help your hand at crafts and to learn more about how you can support your local wildlife the event is not one that should be missed!

3. Any amateur autumn show-goer should be warned that this show isn’t just a bunch of pretty flowers... If you’re part of the competitive crowd you should get yourself to the giant vegetable competition where a whole new species of monster veg is making a debut. The mean new competitor, gigantomo tomatoes are so huge they’ve been subjected to their own set of DNA tests just to distinguish them for your average tomato Joe...

4. If you’re taking your keen green-tipped fingers to get the latest tips on tricks on how to grow your garden to it’s greatest potential you should take a trip to the How2 and Dig it event in the garden theatre. Experts including BBC Radio York’s Nigel Harrison and plantswoman Sarah Hopps will be on hand to answer all your queries and maximise your budding potential.

5. Those with kids wont miss out either - the popular ‘Pod’ part of the show has plenty of activities all dedicated to entertaining children and young gardeners. With competitions, puzzles and fun things to do like the plant a picture activity, you’re guaranteed not to get any ear-ache that the little ones are bored...

6. Here’s one for all you foodies! Visitors are well in with a chance of sampling some free food if you get yourself to the Plot to Pot cookery theatre or take a trip to the renowned Kitchen Garden Live where talks and tips are joined by an array of delicious demonstrations... Who could resist?!

7. And finally if you’re not just a floral fanatic but also a budding bargain hunter, you should spend your Sunday at the show ‘sell-off’ where flowers are flogged to the highest bidder and might just mean you get the best priced bouquet in the borough!