Harrogate Autumn Show - 2017

Welcome to my the sixth 'Harrogate Autumn Show' Blog.

Last year the showground was undergoing some major structural works, well it would appear these works are now complete although there was a screen in the model garden area suggesting that more works are are still in progress.

The Entrance Drive
The New Hall 1

Based on the reduced number of 'Model Gardens' this year I am hoping the ongoing works behind the screen are addressing this shortage for future years.

As one who has attended this show for many years the recent changes were quite noticeable in so far as certain features have been moved or done away with altogether.

As I walked around taking in the pros & cons of the changes I had the feeling something was lacking but what?

I asked my friend what he thought, and he too felt there was 'something missing'

We thought about it for a bit and came to the conclusion that the showground was lacking the atmosphere of previous years.

Overall we thought that the 'alterations' are a great improvement in terms of access, something that is backed up by the number of mobility scooters that were buzzing around.

Possibly one way of describing the new layout, would be to say that an old fashioned 'Open Air Street Market' has been replaced with a modern Open Air Mall and in the process this took away the shows atmosphere / character.

Please note; these comments are only the opinion of two old fogeys and are not really of any consequence.

The reality is; The North of England Horticultural Society (the organisers) have now 'future proofed' the showground for future generations to enjoy sights and experiences similar to we have enjoyed over the years, so that can only be a good thing!

OK that takes care of past events now lets get down to the present i.e. The Harrogate Show 2017.

As always there is a 'theme' that runs through show and this year was no different!

The theme this year was "The Plant Hunters of the Past" so where better to start?


The Plant Hunters

(click on thumbnails to enlarge pictures)

The show theme was demonstrated in the 'Hall 1' with a replica of the world hanging from the ceiling, plus a few representitive scenes from the continents that many of these plant hunters may have visited during their quests.

Francis Masson
North America
Joseph Banks

An other representation was highliighted with a model Garden entitled; Journey of Discovery.

This featured a sailing ship of a type that the explorers would travelled in to fetch back the plant discoveries they had found around the world

Similar representation was found in the 'Floral Art Hall' where members of various local Floral Art Societies had produced 'Floor Displays' representing countries where these 'hunters' may have visited.

South Africa


This year 16 local and national societies were represented at the show they were;

British Cactus & Succulent Society (York Branch) Pelargonium & Geranium Society
British National Carnation Society Plant Heritage (Yorkshire Group)
Botanical Begonia Growers The British Fuchsia Society
Hardy Plant Society West Yorkshire Group The British Gladiolus Society
Harrogate & Ripon Beekeepers' Association The Delphinium Society
National Chrysanthemum Society (N. Group) The Rose Society UK
National Dahlia Society (N. Committee) West Yorkshire Fuchsia & Pot Plant Society
Northern Daffodil Group Yorkshire Bonsai Society

Faced with so much to see I chose to take photos of things that caught my eye and appealed to me rather than trying to take hundreds of pictures similar to those I have taken in past years.

If you would like to see these pictures from the past may I suggest you look at previous years blogs.


British Cactus & Succulent Society (York Branch)

Due to time restraints I did not manage to visit this stand although I did take photos of a couple of commercial trade stands
Fosters Cactus
Williams Cactus


British National Carnation Society

Again due to time restraints I did not manage to visit this stand although I did take photos of a couple of commercial trade stands

P&G Iddon Cottage Garden Plants
Toons Cottage Garden Plants


Botanical Begonia Growers

John Harrison
Powder Puff
Mrs E McLauchlan


National Dahlia Society (N. Committee)

As ever this section of the show was well represented and the quality of the blooms was excellent.

It was nice to see that many of the colleagues I associated with in the days I was a member of NEDA were still winning a few cards.....well done lads!

Dahlia Arrangement
Carol Spanish Dancer
Haley Jane

Josudi Neptune
Kilncroft Jenny
Magenta Star
Melanie Louise

Weston Spanish Dancer
Weston Standard
Society Stand


Northern Daffodil Group

When passing this stand I become interested in this demonstration of the life cycle of a Daffodil from seeds to a flowering size bulb.

Seed Pod and Seeds
One year old Bulbils
Two year old Bulbils
Three year old Bulbils

Four year old Bulbs
Five year old Bulbs
Mother Bulb
Root System from 2016 until 2017


West Yorkshire Fuchsia & Pot Plant Society

This society was well represented with lots of entries in the various classes. Howver;what took my eye was the 'Bonsai Method' of growing Fuchsia.

On seeing the examples of Bonsaid Fuchsia I sought out an expert on the subject and got a lesson on how to do it.

Now I am looking forward to having a go at this technique.

Full Exhibit
Delicate Purple
Just Pilk
Royal Welsh


Yorkshire Bonsai Society

This display seems to get larger and larger each year which is nice to see.


Floral Art - North East Area of NAFAS

This is one of my favourite parts of the Harrogate show and once again these exhibitors pulled out all the stops to create some beautiful works of art.

The part that I can never get my head around is how these artists can read the sometimes cryptic brief in so many ways as can be seen in their finished exhibit........have a look for yourself:

The Brief

Buttons & Bows - An exhibit featuring Roses


Club Tropicana - A Design to Depict a Cocktail of Choice


Connectivity - A Contemporary Exhibit


Fruit Fusion - An exhibit staged in an arched niche with partitions


Going up in the World - An exhibit featuring a step-ladder


Palms and Paradise - An exhibit staged in an arched niche with partitions


Paradise Found - A Bridal Design to be held in the hand


Pipe Dreams


Wood You Believe It


Autumn Garden Borders

Across the Prairie

This garden was designed and constructed by:Jo Manfredi-Hamer Garden Design & JH Garden Design

It has been inspired by North American Prairies with the intention of giving a naturalistic feel to a sunny garden with the aid of lush grasses.

In autumn it gives the benefits of vivid autumn colours

A little peace

This garden was designed and constructed by:Austin’s Gardens

It is combination of late summer-flowering perennials and a small body of water to prove that you do not need a big garden to be at peace with nature

Due East

This garden was designed and constructed by :Matt Haddon Gardens Ltd

This planting scheme in this border designed to provide interest and colour as well as floral interest in a garden with slightly acidic soil

Journey of Discovery

This garden was designed and constructed by the charity: Horticap Ltd

This garden is designed to capture the spirit of adventure and determination that the charity has faced to overcome challenges over the last 33 years.

It depicts the type of sailing ships that plant hunters may have used to transport their plant discoveries from around the world,

No fly zone

This garden was designed and constructed by the charity:Wacks Wicked Plants.

This border consists of hardy carnivorous plants that produce the ultimate solution to fly control!

Sommat for nowt!

This garden was designed and constructed by Harrogate and District Allotment Association

The garden has been designed to show that Fruit,Flowers and Vegetables can be raised without the need for expensive tools & equipment.

It emphasises the art of recycling materials and reiterates that old saying: ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure’.


Show Gardens

Breathing Space - Designed by: Nicholas Edward Gardens

This garden is a 7m x 5m section of a larger garden.

It is designed to give a quiet reflective space where one can escape and hideaway.

Bounded by an evergreen hedge and decorative panels, the landscaping is deliberately stripped back and utilitarian using raw industrial materials, such as steel and concrete.

The overall appearance is softened by the movement of grasses and splashes of colour from the planting, it also features concrete monoliths and an oak arm holding a cocoon chair provide height to the design.


The Gardener's Idyll - Designed by:

Designed to allow you to leave the trials and tribulations of the world at the gate.

This 6m x 5m garden with its overhanging branches form patterns in the evening sky, while a carpet of thyme offers luxurious aroma underfoot.

The planting emphasizes the softness of the theme with floating cosmos and tall verbena in pastel hues, combined with raised box planters to give height and definition.

A hanging chandelier sends thousands of glistening stars into the night sky, while the feature slipper bubble bath offers a tempting outdoor retreat from the woes of the day.


National Vegetable Society Championships


The show hosted the Northern Branch Championships for the National Vegetable Society where many of the country’s top growers competed for this year's coveted title.

With so much to see my problem was not what to photograph but what not to!

The quality of the fruit and vegetables was so high every exhibit really deserved to be photographed, so this year I decided to photograph exhibits that displayed their variety, as I know many people are as much interested in the variety as they are the exhibit itself.

Here goes: I hope you like my selection!

Carrot-Sweet Candle
Blanch Leek-Pendle Improved
Celery-Morning Star
Pot Leek-Cumbrian

Runner Bean-Stenner
Onions- G. Treweek strain
Turnip-Market Express

French Bean-Hawksberry Wonder
French Bean-Satelit

Shallots - Native de Noire

Tomato Collection
Mecano - Country Taste - Shipsaint
Master Gardener
Billy Bell, Winsome, New Red Intermediate,
Howgate Wonder
Vegetable Collection
Market Express - Ring of Fire - Native de Noire

Here are a few unamed exhibits that I thought were worthy of having their photograph taken;

Carrot & Parsnip
Long Carrots
2 Types of Carrots

Sweet Peppers
Bowl of fruit for Effect

Basket of Fruit for Effect
Five Exhibition Onions
Trug of Mixed Vegetables

Three pairs of Vegetables
Collection of 5 Vegetables


Giant Vegetable Competition

Sadly I was unable to photograph all the sections in this class as the "weigh in" was in progress when I visited this section of the show.

The results were as follows:

Heaviest Onion - 6.65kg - 14 lbs 10½oz
Heaviest Leek - 8.8kg - 19lbs 6½oz
Longest Cucumber - 34.5 inches

Heaviest Potato - 2.61kg - 5lbs-12oz
Heaviest Beetroot - 16.81kg - 37lbs
Heaviest Marrow - 77kg - 169lbs 12oz (Novice)

Heaviest Parsnip - 4.96kg -10lbs 14½oz
Heaviest Carrot - 3.96kg - 8 11½oz
Three Heaviest Onions - 19.22kg - 42lbs 6oz

As I was interested in the outcome of the exhibits I failed to record I have looked into the 'Show' website and copied the other results.

Heaviest Marrow - 66.8kg = 147-4oz Heaviest Cabbage - 25.4kg = 56lbs
Heaviest Tomato - 2.5kg = 5lb 8.2oz Longest Runner Bean - 34.2 inches
Heaviest Stick of Rhubarb - 730g 1lb 10oz Heaviest Pumpkin - 310.71kg = 685lbs
Longest runner bean - 32.5 inches  


Trade Stands

Where would a show be without the 'Trade Stands'?

As always there were hundreds of stands many enjoying the effects of the alterations to the site by displaying and selling their wares in new covered enclosures and the new show layout.

Like elsewhere at the show I was spoiled for choice as to which ones to photograph so I hope you like the ones I did photograph in the end.

Pinewood Miniature Bonsa

Wood Sculptures

Flowers from the Farm
Hare Spring Cottage Plants
Harperley Hall

Holden Clough Nursery
Jaques Amand
Keith Partington Alpine Plants

P&G Iddon Cottage Garden Plants
P&G Iddon Cottage Garden Plants
Robinsons Seeds

RV Roger Nurseymen
Every Picture Tells a Story
The Fisherman's Reclamation Garden

Just somethings that caught my eye

Finally this is the stand that was in the foyer of the New Building which was supplied by 'Wacks Wicked Plants' with a good selection of Sarracenias on display as you can see here;

.....and that concludes my visit to Harrogate Autumn Flower Show 2017.

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