Sow it, harvest it, cook it at the Harrogate Autumn
Harrogate Autumn Flower Show – highlights for 2011
Celebrating a century of showcasing the very best in
horticulture, the Harrogate Flower Shows are set to offer something truly BIG
this autumn for gardening enthusiasts across the country.
The Harrogate Flower Show is widely regarded as Europe’s biggest
and most prestigious autumn gardening event. It is run by the North of England
Horticultural Society, a leading gardening charity set up 100 years ago this
year to promote horticulture in the north.
This year’s autumn show highlights:
New for the 2011 centenary autumn show is a series of classes
for giant vegetables adding mammoth marrows, tremendous tomatoes and colossal
cucumbers to the traditional displays of hundreds of top class fruit and
National Onion Championship, including the world record weigh-in
for the heaviest onion.
Inspiration for the 2012 growing year with a new competition for
show garden borders. Entries cover a diverse range of themes, including the
therapeutic benefits of horticulture in a drug addict’s journey to recovery, a
tribute to the punk rock era with a riot of clashing colours, and the calming
tranquillity of the water-loving bog garden.
The UK’s biggest specialist societies marquee offering dozens of
gardening-related organisations an opportunity to showcase their work. A
breath-taking, floral feast featuring everything from Bonsai to bees, including:
a staggering array of more than 3,500 dahlias, including over
100 giant blooms measuring up to a whopping 30 cms in diameter!
nearly 1000 chrysanthemums, including a number of historic
varieties under threat of extinction
over 1000 carnations
more than 200 gladioli
bigger than ever fuchsia show
the biggest exhibition of Bonsai outside Japan
one of the country’s most valuable honey shows, including
hundreds of beeswax products and a live honeybee hive.
More than 100 of the country’s leading plant nurseries for
everything from airplants to alpines and roses to rhododendrons offering advice,
inspiration and planting ideas.
Daily demonstrations in the Cookery Theatre with 17 top-class
chefs from across the region presenting their ideas for making the most of the
autumn cornucopia. New this year is a daily ready, steady cook-style challenge
for up-and-coming trainee chefs from local catering colleges in Leeds and
140 different gardening and special interest stands where
visitors can purchase the latest gardening gadgets and products
An early opportunity for Christmas shopping with nearly 70
handmade craft and gift stands
And, if all that shopping makes you hungry, the food marquee
offers a mouth-watering selection of tempting treats. Regional delicacies can
also be found in the area dedicated to deliciouslyorkshire
Tickets - Friday/Saturday £14; Sunday £13; under-16s free.
Opening times: 9.30am – 5.30pm. Car parking is free.
About the Harrogate Flower Shows
The Harrogate Flower Shows are organised and run by the North of
England Horticultural Society (NEHS), a leading gardening charity set up 100
years ago (January 1911) to support horticulture in the north by providing a top
class showcase for exhibits grown in colder northern climates.
The NEHS, which supports over 50 horticultural charities and
organisations, is proud to have HRH The Prince of Wales as its Patron and this
year welcomed the Duchess of Northumberland as its new President.
The spring and autumn shows are spread across 22 acres of the
Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate, attracting nearly 100,000 visitors each
year. They are among the oldest and most prestigious events in the gardening
calendar – pre-dating even the Chelsea Flower Show.
All profits from the shows are returned to the charity and used
to promote and support horticulture in the region.
The West Yorkshire D.A. of the National Vegetable Society were very proud to
be awarded ‘Best in Show’ from over 80 competitors. With their show stopping
display of perfect vegetables, tomato towers and a giant pumpkin they were
deserving winners and a true favourite at the show.
Joe Walker, holding the certificate and
cup, and delighted to be representing the all-amateurs team of the National
Vegetable Society West Yorkshire District Association
In the Floristry, ‘Best in Show’ was awarded to Hannah Wilson, a student from
Knaresborough who was entering her first competition. Hannah, who works part
time at Helen James Florist in Harrogate, created her display to promote and
encourage volunteers for the Sumatran Tiger Trust. An incredible creation, her
floral art included a tigers head of massed chrysanthemums and grasses, along
with foliage to depict the tiger’s natural environment and information about the
work of the trust. Another very worthy winner and incredible achievement.
Of course, it wasn’t just Yorkshire with the winners. The Heaviest Onion
Competition was won for the third year in the row by Peter Glazebrook from
Newark, Nottinghamshire. At 15lbs 9oz, the onion didn’t quite break the world
record but it was the heaviest for the last 4 years.
above - Garden Designer and Horticultural Consultant, Elizabeth Joice, of
Elizabeth J Design, Mirfield, West Yorkshire
Ticket hotline: 01423 546157 or book online at
Tickets available on the gate: Friday/Saturday £14; Sunday
Opening times: 9.30am – 5.30pm
car parking is free and regular shuttle buses will take you
direct to the event
A great day is to be had at The Harrogate Autumn Flower show with something to
enjoy for anyone interested in plants and eating. Music enthusiasts can enjoy
the quality bands bringing real sounds of Yorkshire. There are some fabulous
food stalls and cookery demonstrations, free samples of great cheeses and
pickles, Black Sheep beer and non-alcoholic drinks to tempt the taste-buds.
There are flowers and vegetables galore, with enthusiastic growers to give
advice, or simply revel in winning Best in Show - enthusiasm evident when
talking to Joe Walker. Joe glowed with obvious pride on behalf of all the amateur
growers of the West Yorkshire Vegetable Society and was happy to pose for our photographer. Flower arrangers can browse at some marvellous
There were even garden designers on hand to offer support to
those in need of some inspiration. Garden Designer
and Horticultural Consultant, Elizabeth Joice, of Elizabeth J Design, Mirfield,
West Yorkshire, had a stand and had a good selection of gardens plans and ideas
from satisfied customers. Elizabeth will visit gardeners at home to offer
advice. What more can we ask?
Coffee, cup-cakes and catering - plenty of
places to replenish the calories and do some more exploring - there's always
something more to see at the Great Yorkshire Showground and the Flower Shows.