We, my husband and I, not the royal we, treated ourselves to an afternoon out to The National Gardening Show this weekend. It was my first flower or gardening show here in the UK, or anywhere, and I had really high hopes - not least because because the tickets cost 12 pounds each! Where is the pound sign on this American computer....?
Some exhibits were quite frankly disappointing. Take the National Dahlia Society held its annual competition in a massive expanse of the indoor Bath and West Showground. While the dahlias themselves were absolutely breathtaking (even several days after having been cut), but I thought too much space was given to this one section of the overall show. There was a really interesting botanical art exhibit, but there were only two artist featured. I'm a huge fan of botanical art (who isn't partial to a watercolour cabbage?) and would have liked to see more of this!
However, there were aspects of the gardening show that we really weren't expecting and that were a great surprise. For example, there was a great bee keeping garden, and we caught the tail end of a really informative and pretty funny demonstration. Olly spent some time ooing and awing over some cute alpaca, and I spent some time drooling over bags of their wool! Some other unexpected highlights were the larger than life gourds, cabbages, pumpkins, and roots - including the worlds longest parsnip. Seriously, it's a contender for the Guinness Book of World Records! We had a really lovely time all in all, made it home before the drizzly rain started up again (welcome to Autumn, not so different from summer), and we came home with a few new plants for our garden. Success!