Harrogate Spring Flower show gets streetwise as it looks to ‘kerb couture’ inspiration

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An English country garden in a rural idyll may still be the dream of many a horticulturist, but urban areas are also blooming, according to the organisers of one of the country’s biggest seasonal events.

The Harrogate Spring Flower Show, which opens today and runs through the weekend, is themed around what it calls “kerb couture” that is able to brighten up the greyest townscapes.

It features ideas for vertical gardens, mini urban oases and a street scene of design ideas for flower-bombed pubs, as well as a wall of floral graffiti. A pair of break dancers, usually more at home in a concrete park than a flower garden, have also been drafted in.

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The show’s director, Nick Smith said: “We wanted to show how, even in the smallest of spaces or bleakest of back yards, flowers and plants can thrive and make a difference.”

He added: “It’s widely recognised that gardens help to create a real sense of well-being wherever they appear. And where no plants can grow, there’s always floral wall art.”

Exhibitors include Lee Ferry, a mural artist from Stanley, Co Durham, who is painting a series of street pictures during the show to demonstrate how courtyards and bare walls can be brought to life.

Florists from Harewood and Ripon, alongside the British cut flower co-operative Flowers from the Farm, are also producing displays to show the benefits of bringing plants to the streets.

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The event, at the Great Yorkshire Showground, features full-sized show gardens with displays by nearly 100 of the country’s top plant nurseries, and Britain’s biggest exhibition of flower arranging.

Other demonstrations include “gutter gardening”, using everything from dustbins to drainpipes for growing plants in confined spaces.