Harrogate Autumn Show 2014

Yet another year, yet another Autumn Show and like always an excellent show.

Once again the organisers have tried to better an already successful format and in my opinion they succeeded, apart from the new parking arrangements where they have done away with the 'Park & Ride' feature

There was much talk of this retrograde step but rumour has it that the organisers will try and improve on this for future shows.


The most notable change in the show ground was that they have moved some of what once a trade stand and picnic area, and made it into a larger exhibition area for small garden exhibits.

For their first exhibition in this new area they formed a row of front gardens with a back drop of terraced houses.

They named the exhibit "Inspiration Street" and as it turned out the ehibitors were inspired (in many ways) when they built their gardens.

There were also a few more gardens behind the hoarding that formed the backdrop to the terraced house feature.

All in all a useful way to develop what was once a mediocre part of the show site.

The Show

Click on the pictures to enlarge them or engage a slide show.

As always armed with my trusty camera, I set out to see what the rest of the show had to offer.

My first port of call was the new garden area exhibition area, but sadly so too did everyone else it seemed.

The crowds made it rather difficult to take pictures, so I returned later in the day when it was less crowded.

This is what I saw:

Watch and Learn - Stepping Stones in suburbia

This garden was a small oasis to inspire children.

The belvedere gave elevated views of the beehive, bird table and nesting boxes.

The rock pond and stream created an area to see aquatic wildlife.

The beds and planting were designed to encourage insect and birds to the garden.

The field gate, stile and dry stone wall completes an adventurous space for young minds.

The Social Media Garden

"What would happen if architecture could reflect human emotions?"

The University of Lincoln's modern design may have the answer.

Their school of architecture and computer science came up with this futuristic garden.

The garden was designed in a manner where the panels responded to Twitter tweets.

As the tweets came in, the panels moved in unison with the volume of the Twitter traffic.

A truly inovative concept and one that might be difficult to imagine until you have seen it in operation!

I now have, but I would have to say I will stick to more traditional forms of garden design!

The planted area reflected the contrast between a harsh built environment and a lush utopia.

Give Nature a a home.

To humans, a home is a place to eat, sleep and raise your family, its just the same for wildlife.

This garden was built by a group of RSPB York members to show that we can give nature a home in our gardens by making small changes that will mean a lot to the wildlife.

Using raised beds, pots and a variety of plants the the garden provides a year round habitat.

Then with strategic placing of a table and chairs the human visitors can enjoy the garden also.

A Journey through Childhood

This garden featured the NSPCC's full stop symbol in the form of a circlar lawn.

The campervan represents a means to taking deprived children away from fear and darkness to a place of safety and hope.

The log store represents the darkness of the childrens past and the more colourful, softer planting symbolises the happy ending to their journey.

The Serenity Garden

Inspired by woodland close to the designers home, this garden aims to create a place of calm and tranquility.

Using new and recycled materials, the design features a living wall representing woodland vegetation.

One of the gravel path leads visitors between curved borders and a stone water feature.

The other path leads to a sitting area surrounded by wooden cabinets and planters made from recycled materials.

Pots and Paving

Designed to demonstrate how paving and pots can be combined to create a high quality and attractive front garden.

The design combines two colours of clay pavers in a zigzag pattern,which is also edged to emphasise the design.

The various sized and styled pots are sunk into a gravel bed for stability.

The pots are then filled with a variety of plants to suit the owners taste.

Be Resourceful

This is a garden that makes the most of recycled objects and materials and allows people and wildlife to co-habit in a small place.

The garden supports the "Waste less and Keep Britain Tidy" campaign which will take place from 22-28 September this year.

The Artisan Mosaic Garden

This garden is designed to fetch a Mediterranean feel to a British terraced house.

The centrepiece is an intricate graded pebble mosaic, where the mosaic has been constructed in reverse and upside down, resulting in a flat surface that is comfortable to walk on.

The planting is also formed in a mediterranean style.

New Dimensions

This garden is designed to make the most of the space available.

The zigzag cobbletech footpath leads you to natural slate paving and steps around the front door.

A stainless steel water feature and river cobble surround fetches the garden to life.

There is a small area of astro turf to eliminate the need for mowing, and a few small trees to add height to the planting scheme.

Why there are Giraffes in the garden escapes me ????

Could this be 'The New Dimension' referred to in the title?

The Back to Front Garden

This garden was constructed by a local personaility to demonstrate how much can be grown in a tiny 3m x 5m space.

Crops usually destined for the 'back garden' are put in full view of passers by to show how attractive edible plants can be.

The garden has been packed with easy to grow produce and colourful scented flowers for inside the home.

No space is wasted -- even the cracks in the paving host healthy salad crops.

That concludes my visit to the 'Small Garden' demonstration area now lets head to the 'Show Marquees' where many of the National societies are holding their annual shows.

As there are quite a number of these shows in play I thought I would discuss them in alphabetical order.


The National Cactus Society

Because of time constraints and the fact that I have covered this society shows in some of my previous 'blogs' I only took a couple the pictures of exhibits that caught my eye, namely:

<< Astrophytum Ornatum and Parodia Leninghausii>>

The National Carnation Society show


Charlie Earl Hodgson


Claras Choice


Crompton Classic






Pink Francesca



These were a number of Carnation for sale on one of the trade stands which as you can see, they are of as good quality as the exhibition entries, which goes to show that the public have access to as good a quality of plants as the exhibitors have.











The National Chrysanthemum Society

This was a good year for Chrysanthemums as you will see in the attached slide show.

As an ex-exhibitor of Chrysanthemums I just went to town with my camera to record all the different varieties that are in vogue.

I was pleasantly surprised to see some of the older varieties that I used grow were still holding there own with the new stuff.

The National Dahlia Society

Another great turnout of exhibition blooms and once again I drooled in amazement at the quality on display.

I refrained from taking too many pictures as I have covered these in previous blogs, so instead I concentrated on my preferred Dahli - The Colorette. I had to take a few pictures of varieities I really liked, then needless to say I had to take a picture or two of some 'eye catchers'


Ann Breckenfielder


Birkenshaw Garden Freinds


Edith Jones


Hillcrest Regal


Orange Kiss


Susan Gilbert


Andrea Lawson


John Hill


Kelsea Carla


Shorty Bridge


Tahatari Ruby


Weston Spanish Dancer

Floral Art

In Spring a whole marquee is dedicated to these classes but at the Autumn show this is not possible due to the demand for space from the other societies.

Having said that there are still lots to see.

To compensate for this lack of space there are less large floor mounted exhibits and these are replaced with six or seven niche and table top classes, plus a few largish flower club exhibits.

Club Exhibits

Sadly I could not find a placard stating what the theme of these large exhibits was, so perhaps you can come up with your own ideas on what a title could be!

A Planter with a Past

This exhibit has to include Hosta plant material and will be staged on open staging covered with black drape.

The space allowed will be 76cm wide x 76cm deep and the height is unlimited.

The staging will be 75cm from the ground.

The exhibit is to be viewed all round but judged from the front.

Apples are the Jewels of Autumn

This exhibit has to be staged on show staging covered with a black drape.

The backgound is to be of white fabric.

Space allowed is 78cm wide x 76cm deep x 99cm high on staging raised 75cm off the floor.

Blooms and Berries

A pedestal exhibit staged on a board 1m square at ground level and painted Crown Mimosa emulsion with a background of white fabric.

Space allowed is 100cm wide x 100cm deep and a maximum height of 210cm.

Exhibit to be viewed and judged from the front.

Floral Tapestry

An exhibit staged on a stand 61cm in diameter by a maximum hieght of 75cm.

Staging to be painted Crown Mimosa Solo.

Exhibit to be viewed and judged from the front.

Harvest of Colour

An exhibit featuring Roses staged on openstaging covered with black drape.

Space allowed is 76cm wide x 78 cm deep with unlimited height.

Staging to be raised 75cm from the floor.

Exhibit to viewed all round but judged from the front.

Topsy Turvey

An abstract exhibit staged on show staging covered with black drape.

The background to be of white fabric.

Space allowed is 76cm wide x 76cm deep by 99cm high.

Staging to be raised 75cm of the floor.


An exhibit staged on show staging covered with black drape.

Background to be of white fabric.

Space allowed is 76cm wide x 76cm deep by 99cm high.

Staging to be raised 75cm of the floor.

National Gladiolus Society

Another well attended show where the benches were totally filled with spikes of colourful flowers as can be seen in the attached picture.

Trade Stands

This year I was a bit limited for time so I did not get around as many stands as I would have liked.

As I passed one of the many Lillium stands I was overpowered by the smell so I had a look and a sniff at these.










As a trained stonemason I was intrigued by these two exhibits, the first showing various forms of drystone walling and the other a novel fireplace / barbecue.

The Master Gardener's Class

This is an exhibit to supposedly test the gardeners ability to grow Fruit, Vegetables and flowers.

The exhibit must contain at least one piece of fruit, a vase of flowers and a flowering pot plant, plus one type of vegetable all of which will be judged and scored to the respective judging rules of the said items.

National Vegetable Society

In terms of vegetable growing, this is the place to come and see some of the best exhibition vegetables you are ever likely to see.

It is also an opportunity to see some of the heaviest or longest vegetables in their class.

Sadly I was unable to get all the weights and lengths but I have recorded these where I can.

.......and that concludes my blog of The Harrogate Autumn Show 2014.

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