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Friday, 4 January 2013

Top of the pots: gardeners vote Harrogate flower shows their favourites

Readers of consumer magazine Which? Gardening have voted Harrogate Spring Flower Show the best gardening event in the UK — and its sister autumn event is a firm favourite, too.

The spring show, taking place this year from 25–28 April, scored 86 per cent as the event most people would recommend to others and attend again  while the autumn show came third in the national poll to find the top ten gardening calendar dates.

The flower displays, shopping and expert advice were singled out for praise, together with the choice and quality of plants from more than 100 nurseries at the event. With show gardens, a cookery theatre, food marquee and floral art, readers thought there was enough to occupy visitors for the whole day and plenty to interest non-gardeners too.

The autumn show, which runs from 13-15 September, this year, scored 81 per cent. Which? members were wowed by its giant vegetable competition and amazing flower displays. Again they found plenty to fill an entire day and to prompt repeat visits.

Staged at the Great Yorkshire Showground and attracting nearly 100,000 visitors, the twice-yearly Harrogate Flower Shows are Britain’s biggest and most prestigious independent gardening events.

News of the latest accolade followed last week’s announcement that they had also been voted the most popular gardening event of the year by more than 47,000 viewers of the specialist TV network, The Horticultural Channel. 

Show director Martin Fish, said: “The results of the Which? survey and the Horticultural Channel Awards are fantastic news and a tremendous affirmation of the hard work and dedication of everyone involved with Harrogate Flower Shows, from exhibitors and garden designers to staff and volunteers. We would like to thank all those who voted for us or took part in the survey for their support and recognition.”

He added: "We are immensely proud of our 102-year heritage of supporting and promoting horticulture and of the very special relationship we enjoy with our visitors, many of whom return year after year. We constantly look for ways to improve and develop in response to their views, indeed the 2013 Spring show will feature twice the number of show gardens as a direct result of the comments we received from our visitors last year.”

Harrogate Spring and Autumn Flower Shows are organised by the North of England Horticultural Society, a leading gardening charity set up to promote horticulture in the north. In 2012 the Society provided support for more than 70 other gardening organisations and community groups.

Further information about the shows including ticket details is available at or by  calling 01423 546157.