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The show goes on as Harrogate sows seeds of recovery

24th May 2021

Harrogate Flower Shows is preparing to throw open its gates once more with the UK’s first major gardening event for 2021.

A special Covid-safe show, called Spring Essentials, is being staged at the Great Yorkshire Showground from 20 – 23 May 2021. Using the green open spaces of the showground, the outdoor event marks the return of popular flower shows after a year of cancellations and lockdowns.

Featuring favourite attractions such as show gardens, plant sales, garden shopping and live theatre, Spring Essentials will also include some outdoor floral installations as a nod to Harrogate Flower Show’s famous tradition for fabulous floral displays.

Show Director Nick Smith said: “Like so much in our lives, this year’s spring show is going to be different, particularly because it needs to be entirely outdoors. In the best traditions of a show that has survived 100 years of wars, financial crashes, stormy weather and now a global pandemic, we set out to embrace all the fantastic things we could create for our visitors to enjoy, rather than simply admitting defeat.

“Harrogate is famous for its floral displays, created by plant nurseries, florists and flower arrangers from all over the country. Obviously, an outdoor setting makes that a real challenge, but we have worked closely with plant nurseries, floral artists and flower clubs to adapt displays so that our visitors can still enjoy some of the colour and creativity they enjoy so much.”

Among the installations will be a special display by members of the Yorkshire Flower Club, a recreation of the famous painting, The Lady of Shalott, on one of the showground lakes, and a series of fun exhibits with quirky ideas for livening up those old ladders tucked away in the corner of your garden!

Celebrity floral designer Jonathan Moseley will be giving the GROW! outdoor theatre stage some wow factor with a display to illustrate his daily Festival of Flowers demonstrations, and growers from across the country will be creating special outdoor versions of their renowned plant displays.

The North of England Horticultural Society is celebrating 100 years since its first spring flower show in the spa town in 1921. Since then, Harrogate Flower Shows have grown to become some of the biggest and most prestigious independent gardening events in the country, welcoming up to 100,000 visitors over two annual spring and autumn shows.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, next week’s one-off Spring Essentials event will have a number of Covid-safe measures in place, including limited numbers of both visitors and exhibitors to allow for social distancing.

Nick Smith added: “We can’t thank our exhibitors and visitors enough for their continued support and their willingness to adapt to the new reality we all face this year. We are looking forward to four fantastic days celebrating horticulture and all the great things gardening can bring to our lives.”

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

Editors notes: After taking part in a small regional event in 1920, the North of England Horticultural Society staged its first spring flower show in the North Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate in 1921. Since then, its twice-yearly spring and autumn shows have grown into some of the UK’s biggest and most prestigious national gardening events. Due to the pandemic, both the 2020 spring event and its sister Harrogate Autumn Flower Show were cancelled.