Harrogate Spring Flower Show

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Think the Chelsea Flower Show is big? Small potatoes!

The twice yearly Flower Show at The Great Yorkshire Showground on the outskirts of Harrogate is simply huge and the U.K's biggest, with the Spring Flower Show recently rated as the best gardening show in the U.K. by Which Magazine.

Set on the massive acreage of the Showground in the midst of the beautiful Crimple Valley, this feast for the senses is organised by the North of England Horticultural Society, itself more than 100 years old.

All profits from the events are given back to this charitable body in order to promote gardening and horticulture in the North of England.

There are more than 1,000 exhibitors and more than 100 plant nurseries presenting their produce. There is everything from dahlias to bee-keeping, bonsai to bird spotting, garden tools to show vegetables.

Even for a not too keen gardener like myself, I found plenty to interest me, not least the theatre style cookery demonstrations by top chefs, food halls and numerous foodie type stands linked to Deliciously Yorkshire.

The astounding displays of show exhibits were superb in colours, scents and display style. I didn't realise that there were so many varieties of one basic flower.

Exhibitors also travel the length and breadth of the country to create their show gardens, innovative ideas and settings for us all to aspire to.

There were also creative displays by the National Association of Floral Art Societies, many of which were thought provoking and humorous.

We were lucky enough to have a beautifully sunny and warm Spring day, but this event is not totally weather dependent, taking advantage of the many permanent exhibition halls and huge marquees brought in.

A quick glance at the city names on the back of the coaches in the coach car park brings home just how widespread the popularity of this event is.

The traffic plan for those attending by car is now a well oiled system and although some queuing can be expected, it is nowhere near as chaotic as it used to be. I spent no more than 10 minutes waiting in a moving queue approaching one of the many ways in and no delay at all on the way out.

As well as the Spring Show held at the end of April, there is a second show held in September.

A tremendous day out for all the family and highly recommended for all ages.

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