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‘Beast’ fails to get the better of giant growers

The beast from the east and blistering summer temperatures have failed to faze growers in the world-famous giant vegetable competition at Harrogate Autumn Flower Show.

The show, which runs from 14 to 16 September, is celebrating yet another record number of entries and monster specimens for this year’s battle of the bulge.

Harrogate Flower Show is also hosting the 2018 National Vegetable Society UK championships, with pristine produce from across the country vying for coveted national titles.

Up to 40,000 visitors and 1,000 exhibitors are expected to take part in the three-day event at the Great Yorkshire Showground, which also features displays from nearly 50 top plant nurseries and over 5,000 autumn blooms in Britain’s biggest exhibition by specialist gardening societies.

The 2018 show theme is Plants of Pleasure exploring the origins of those plants often considered naughty but nice, and there is also a special bicentenary tribute to Humphry Repton, the man who coined the phrase ‘landscape gardener’.

This year’s Best in Show for the plant nursery displays went to RV Roger of Pickering for their display of apples and The Rose Society UK won Best in Show for educational and scientific exhibits. Judges awarded 19 Premier Golds, with 24 Gold Awards, 19 Silver Gilt, 6 Silver and 1 Bronze.

The 2018 garden border competition saw three Gold medals awarded, plus two Silver Gilts and a Silver. Themes ranged from a campaigning entry by the Women’s Farm and Garden Association, to a gruesome gothic dinner gathering for carnivorous plants.

The full garden border results are as follows:


Do you remember the time? – Horticap Ltd, Harrogate
Celebrating 30 years of exhibiting at Harrogate Flower Shows, the team from Horticap re-created their very first display garden. GOLD

A tale of autumn grass & squirrels – Ashley Landscape Studio, Bath
Turning the tables on the usual autumn picture of leaves falling from the sky, by introducing horizontal movement into the garden. SILVER

Tekku garden border – KG Cooke Design, Leeds
Designed to demonstrate that even a small space can be beautiful with a combination of traditional garden elements, formal and informal planting. SILVER GILT

Season of mists – Rachel Forbes Landscape Design, Burley-in-Wharfedale
A celebration of autumn inspired by the ‘season of mist and mellow fruitfulness’ featured the famous Keats poem, To Autumn. SILVER GILT

Pushing the boundaries for access to horticulture – Women’s Farm & Garden Association, Tetbury
Celebrating the work of the WFGA, a charity providing opportunities for people hoping to start a new career in gardening. GOLD

Grubs Up – Wacks Wicked Plants in partnership with Horticap Ltd
Things get a little Gothic with this garden border! Dinner is all set for four with a delicious array of flies, bugs and other insects on the menu. GOLD


Tickets are available on the gate each day of the show: Fri & Sat £20; Sun £18.50. Parking is FREE. Under 16s go FREE when accompanied by an adult