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Flower show celebrates 150 years of glorious Leeds gardening

Suzanne Tagger of the West Yorkshire Fuchsia Society (Leeds)  putting the finishing touches to a display for the 2011 Leeds Horticultural Society Leeds Flower Show.

Suzanne Tagger of the West Yorkshire Fuchsia Society (Leeds) putting the finishing touches to a display for the 2011 Leeds Horticultural Society Leeds Flower Show.

IT’s Leeds’s annual festival of beautiful blooms – a gala of the city’s glorious gardening efforts.

And this year, the Leeds Flower, Vegetable and Craft Show is celebrating its 150th year.

Organised by Leeds Horticultural Society, the show returns on Saturday, August 2 and Sunday, August 3 for its milestone event.

The weekend-long event at The Grammar School in Alwoodley will feature over 200 classes and categories for enthusiasts to enter, including flowers, floral art, vegetables, fruit, domestic produce, wine and honey, photography, craft and a children’s section.

An extra highlight this year will be a marquee set out in the style of the first ever show held in 1864.

The marquee will feature reproductions of many varieties of plants, flowers, vegetables and fruits grown at that time.

The show, which has also been known as the Leeds Show, has a history as colourful as many of its displays.

The first event was held at the Leeds Volunteer Rifles Drill Room and Parade ground in Oxford Road on June 21, 1864. It was reported in the Leeds Mercury the following day.

The showcase later moved to Soldiers’ Field in Roundhay Park. At one time it was part backed by the council but is now an independent event.

Viv Caunt, who has been chairman of Leeds Horticultural Society for the past three years, said she remembered going to the show in the 1950s as a girl.

“I can remember going with my dad when I was aged just eight or nine, when it was at Roundhay Park.

“Then it became the Leeds Show .

“It’s something interesting for people who love gardening, and a chance to show the flowers they have grown.

“It’s always a nice day out and we are hoping for a good turnout for the 150th year.”

On the menu this year, apart from the horticultural highlights, will be demonstrations of spinning, quilting, lace making, embroidery, wood carving, flower arranging and cookery. A gardeners’ question time will also be held.

Entries for the 200 categories are still open.

The show will open from noon to 5pm on Saturday and 10am to 5pm on Sunday.

Entry is £6 for adults, £5 for senior citizens and free for Leeds Horticultural Society members. Children under 16 will be admitted free if accompanied by an adult.

The event will feature a raffle in aid of St Gemma’s Hospice.

Call the show secretary on 0113 225 0030 for more details. To see a detailed show schedule, visit www.leedshs.org.uk.

 

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