Harrogate show gets set to bloom

Holly Fisher from Askham Bryam College at the show. PIC: Simon Hulme
Holly Fisher from Askham Bryam College at the show. PIC: Simon Hulme
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Brilliant blooms and inspiring plant schemes are among the highlights for visitors to this year’s Harrogate Spring Flower Show which opens today. (April 23)

Plenty of preening and planting was underway yesterday as the final touches were being put to the displays at the show, which takes place today, tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday at the Great Yorkshire Showground, in Harrogate, where exhibitors have been inspired by the 70th anniversary of VE Day and the army of allotment gardeners who helped to feed the country.

Winston Churchill lookalike, Derek Herbert, paid a visit to inspect progress ahead of the show’s opening and came face-to-face with a giant floral portrait of himself created for the show from 1,400 carnation stems in shades of red, cream, burgundy and pink.

It has been created by florist Lucy Hutton Smith, from Richmond, who said it had taken two people eight hours to create. Other VE activities include plant nursery displays based on the victory speech: ‘This is Your Hour’ made by Churchill when he was Prime Minister in May 1945.

Complete with dolly tubs, an Anderson shelter and chicken run, the display by the Leeds & District Allotment Gardeners’ Federation, celebrates those gardeners who mobilised to help feed a nation under siege during the conflict.

Phil Gomersall, of the Federation, said: “I think that there is an interest today in knowing what you are eating.”