100 not out! Harrogate Flower Show reopens gates
It has survived two world wars, two worldwide financial crashes and arguably the most serious global crisis in human history. Now the North of England Horticultural Society (NEHS) is once again getting ready to sow the seeds of recovery with the 100th anniversary of its iconic flower show in Harrogate.
The Society’s Covid-safe Spring Essentials event, 20-23 May, will be the first major gardening show to take place in 2021 and one of only a handful due to be staged in the UK this year following the impact of Coronavirus.
Set in the green open spaces of the Great Yorkshire Showground, Spring Essentials will be different from the traditional Harrogate Spring Flower Show, but will include show favourites like gardens, plant displays and sales, garden shopping, crafts, gifts and specialist foods.
A packed programme of live outdoor theatre includes daily demos by celebrity floral designer Jonathan Moseley and plot to plate recipes from TV chef Stephanie Moon. Expert garden advice and regular Q&A sessions are also on the menu each day.
Show Director Nick Smith said: “After what has been an incredibly difficult year for everyone, we are delighted to be able to welcome visitors and exhibitors back to Harrogate to celebrate 100 years of horticultural excellence and help bring a little joy and colour into people’s lives again.
“Our charity was set up in 1911 to promote the benefits of horticulture across the North. Thanks to the incredible and continuing support of all our visitors, exhibitors, suppliers and colleagues we are able to celebrate a century of shows that have inspired, enthused and entertained gardeners for generations.”
After taking part in a small regional event in 1920, the NEHS staged its first spring flower show in the North Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate the following year. Since then, it has grown into one of the UK’s biggest and most prestigious national gardening events. Due to the pandemic, both last year’s spring event and its sister Harrogate Autumn Flower Show were cancelled.
Nick Smith added: “Despite some fantastic progress over the last few months, we recognise that life is still far from ‘normal’ and so, inevitably, Spring Essentials will be different from the show we all know and love.
“In order to enable everyone to enjoy their day safely, we have put in place a number of Covid-safe measures, including limiting the number of people on site, introducing advance bookings only and adapting the show to an outdoor setting with stands and displays spaced out to allow social distancing.
“If the last year has taught us anything, it is the value of being outdoors and the benefits of gardening for people of all generations and backgrounds. We are immensely proud to reach this landmark and can’t wait to throw open our gates again to get the 2021 season underway!”
Tickets for Spring Essentials are £15 for adults; children under 16 are free when accompanied by an adult and parking is free. There will be NO TICKET SALES AT THE GATE - all tickets must be purchased in advance via our website www.flowershow.org.uk.