I am looking forward to another new flower show in mid-July (Ascot was the new one on the block in April – see my post Racing to Ascot). This one, the first Belvoir Flower & Garden Festival, is at Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire on 14 and 15 July.
Set within the beautiful castle grounds, the event will feature around 60 exhibitors including nine show gardens, along with a wide range of popular nurseries, trade stands and more. Perennial, the UK’s only charity dedicated to looking after all those who work in horticulture, is the show’s beneficiary charity.
Highlights include the Perennial Garden, designed by Chris Gutteridge, which represents a calming place of sanctuary and a show garden for Rainbows Hospice by fellow blogger BBC Radio Leicester broadcaster and garden designer, Karen Gimson and David Greaves. In addition there are some new designers who are producing their first show gardens.
In the Lakeside Pavilion nurseries and exhibitors include Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants, Peter Beales Roses, Brooklands Nurseries, Coopers Nursery, Flowers from the Farm, The Hardy Plant Society, Thompson & Morgan and NAFAS, as well as Barcham Trees and CED Stone.
The Gardeners’ Q&A panel headed by John Stirland of BBC Radio Nottingham includes Mark Smith of BBC Radio Derby, Sean Murray, winner of the Great Chelsea Garden Challenge, Nick Hamilton (son of the late Geoff Hamilton) of Barnsdale Gardens, and garden designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin.
The show will be officially opened by Her Grace, the Duchess of Rutland on the Saturday morning. The military charity Highground, which provides horticultural therapy for injured service personnel, will also be there and local schools will be competing in the ‘sow and grow’ competition, encouraging young people to get into gardening.
The event organiser, Andy Tudbury, is no stranger to shows. He has created some 25 award-winning show gardens during his horticultural career and founded the East Midlands Flower Show in 2016. Now with Belvoir Castle, the premier privately-owned property in the region, as the venue for the first ever Belvoir Flower & Garden Festival, he is looking forward to the gates opening and visitors enjoying this wonderful new show, in addition to the sweeping landscapes created by Capability Brown.
Laura Garnett, Senior Development Manager at Perennial, says: “We are delighted to be involved with this new event that is set to become a highlight of the calendar for garden lovers. It is great to have the opportunity to raise the profile of Perennial among the garden loving public in the Midlands and beyond. The Perennial Garden, created for us by Chris Gutteridge, shows how Perennial can help people overcome crisis to reach a place of reassurance and calm.”
I am a member of Perennial and on one of its committees, so I am thrilled that it will have such a high-profile presence at this new show. Perennial is the only charity dedicated to helping everyone working in and retired from horticulture and all of its related industries. Its services are a lifeline for those coping with difficulties caused by debt, injury, illness, bereavement and other crises in life. All services are free, confidential and continue for as long as needed.
The Belvoir Flower & Garden Festival
Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 July 2018
Belvoir Castle, Grantham, Leicestershire NG32 1PE
Tickets cost £15 for adults, £5 for children (4–16yrs) and under 4s are free. Buy online at belvoircastle.com.
© Photos courtesy of Belvoir Castle