Growing giant vegetables

Champion gardener’s secrets revealed at Harrogate Autumn Flower Show

Kevin Fortey marrow
Giant veg grower Kevin Fortey, who will be at this year’s Harrogate Autumn Flower Show. Picture; NOEHS/Harrogate Flower Show

The world of giant veg growing is one of closely guarded secrets and rituals… until now.

British record holder and author Kevin Fortey will reveal the tricks of the trade at Harrogate Autumn Flower Show (September 15-17), with talks to mark the launch of three new classes for novice growers.

Aimed at gardeners who have never won a prize for super-sized specimens, the beginner classes will invite entries for marrows, tomatoes, and runner beans. Continue reading “Growing giant vegetables”

Harrogate Autumn Flower Show 2017

Countdown to the giant veg show – September 15-17

Far from winding down in early autumn, Harrogate Autumn Flower Show is a great place for inspiration and buying end-of-season bargains – and my favourite show.

Plant nursery displays, live expert demonstrations and Continue reading “Harrogate Autumn Flower Show 2017”

Best multi-branching sunflowers

Size isn’t everything – go for multiple flowerers

Solar Flash
Sunflower Solar Flash is seen through pale lavender

In late summer, you reap the rewards of growing sunflowers, with the traditional huge yellow heads nodding over the garden.

However, it’s not all about size – popular big ‘uns like Russian Giant (3m), Mongolian Giant (3.6- Continue reading “Best multi-branching sunflowers”

RHS Wisley Flower Show 2017

A must for dahlia fans, September 5-10

Marion Watkinson in the National Dahlia Society Show tent at the 2015 show. Picture courtesy of RHS/Luke MacGregor

Wisley’s 25th late summer show rounds off the season with a bang, featuring the National Dahlia Society Annual Show, displays, shopping from specialist nurseries and trade stands, National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS) floral exhibits, expert advice and more.

If it’s unusual plants you’re after, a host of RHS Chelsea and Hampton Court Palace Flower Show medal winners are taking part. The National Dahlia Society Annual Show has more than 100 exhibitors taking Continue reading “RHS Wisley Flower Show 2017”

RHS Hyde Hall Flower Show August 3-6 2017

Four-day flower show in Essex

Hyde Hall
Kit Strange putting the finishing touches to her Eremurus display in 2012. Picture; RHS/Mike Moore

If you’re anywhere near Essex from August 3-6, make a beeline for RHS Hyde Hall, which is holding its four-day flower show at the garden on the outskirts of Chelmsford.

The show has plenty of shopping opportunities with specialist nurseries and gardening sundries, expert advice from RHS advisors and demonstrations, live music, as well as the chance to explore the garden. Continue reading “RHS Hyde Hall Flower Show August 3-6 2017”

RHS Harlow Carr’s summer holiday events 2017

Adventures with the Famous Five until September 3

Craggle Top Treehouse
Craggle Top Treehouse at RHS Harlow Carr. Picture; RHS/SiRA Studio

Family events at RHS Harlow Carr, Harrogate have a Famous Five theme this summer, as the garden has teamed up with Enid Blyton Entertainment and Hodder Children’s Books to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Five on a Treasure Island, the first book in the series.

Julian, Dick, Anne, George, and Timmy the dog’s escapades are rooted in exploring the great outdoors – hence the holiday theme. Continue reading “RHS Harlow Carr’s summer holiday events 2017”