Group friendly gardening events in 2019

RHS Garden Rosemoor Flower Show

RHS Garden Rosemoor Flower Show

You don’t have to be a specialist gardening group to enjoy Britain’s many horticultural attractions. Abbe Bates presents our annual selection of those keen to welcome groups in 2019. And if your group likes to get more hands-on, then you’ll also find Tom Daldry’s update on this year’s Gardening events and Flower Shows.

The nine flower shows and flower festivals organised by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and held throughout the UK are always popular with groups. Discounted rates are available and there’s free coach parking and options such as a group lunch or even a tour of the show with an expert guide can be organised.

Dale Chihuly’s, Sapphire Star at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. © Chihuly Studio

Dale Chihuly’s, Sapphire Star at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. © Chihuly Studio

From 2019, only one RHS show will be held in London’s Lawrence and Lindley Halls – the RHS Spring Launch and Orchid Show in April (the other three shows will now be held at the RHS Gardens).

Also in April, The Cardiff Flower Show in the city’s Bute Park includes gardens, and floral displays. Alongside family activities will be shopping stands with gardening products, gifts and gourmet treats – and a new community competition to create the most beautiful spring borders.

May brings the RHS Malvern Spring Festival at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern. Showcasing everything from RHS Gold Medal Winners’ gardens, outdoor Green Living Places to floral art and Royal Worcester porcelain in the Great Pavilion of Art and Flowers this show is set to inspire the gardener. Talks and demonstrations – including from gardening greats Alan Titchmarsh and Chris Beardshaw – will help with preparations for the upcoming season. The Malvern Autumn Show in September is also a popular event for groups.

In Derbyshire, RHS Chatsworth Flower Show will return in June to the grounds of Chatsworth House. There will be an array of shows and art installations that offer a mix of the traditional and modern display.

Alan Titchmarsh will be on hand to give advice at Gardeners World Live

Alan Titchmarsh will be on hand to give advice at Gardeners World Live

Additional RHS shows include the flagship Chelsea Flower Show in May and two more at Hampton Court Palace and at Tatton Park, Cheshire in July, as well as Garden Flower Shows at each of the four RHS Gardens.

BBC Gardeners’ World Live running from 13th to 16th June at the NEC, Birmingham is one of the most popular of shows attracting groups from all over the UK with its friendly rates, free organiser ticket and no obligation reservation period for groups of more than eight people. The show will give your members the chance to experience Show Gardens and Beautiful Borders that are packed with ideas for your own plots! Demonstrations from TV presenters such as Monty Don, Carol Klein and Adam Frost are part of the event and all tickets include free entry to the BBC Good Food Summer show that takes place at the same time.

Arley Garden Festival at Arley Hall, Cheshire is on 23rd June

Arley Garden Festival at Arley Hall, Cheshire is on 23rd June

Easton Walled Gardens in Grantham, Lincolnshire will hold the second Botanical Art Exhibition from 16th February to 17th March. Plants & Pollinators sees two talented artists interpret the life of bees and the plants they pollinate.

Florimania at Hampton Court Palace takes place over Mothering Sunday weekend and this year’s theme is the Embroidered Treasures of Hampton Court Palace. The beautiful interiors of the King’s State Apartments will showcase treasures from the collections of Historic Royal Palaces and the Royal School of Needlework – united by flowers and embroidery. Florimania is included in the price of admission so groups are also able to explore all the attractions that the palace has to offer.

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew covers some 326 acres of landscaped gardens and includes many outstanding plant collections. From 13th April to 27th October it will host a major exhibition by world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly. Thirty-two large scale art sculptures combining past works and new forms created especially for Kew will be installed across the gardens and glass houses including the newly restored Temperate House and the Waterlily House. The sculptures will encourage visitors to see the heritage site in a new way as a contemporary outdoor gallery space. Evening openings from mid-August to October will offer a different experience of the artworks as the sun sets.

Blenheim Palace Flower Show

Blenheim Palace Flower Show

East Sussex attraction Pashley Manor Garden’s floral calendar for 2019 includes the 25th Tulip Festival in April, a Rose Week in June and Dahlia Days in September. Meanwhile in Cheshire, Arley Hall’s Garden Festival marks its 25th anniversary on 23rd June with a celebration of horticulture and gardening excellence. Amongst the show’s highlights are specialist plant nurseries, a floral marquee, food fair and a Question Time with experts while hall owner, Lord Ashbrook, and head gardener, Gordon Baillie will lead garden tours throughout the day.

Blenheim Palace Flower Show returns to the Oxfordshire World Heritage Site from 21st to 23rd June. Now in its seventh year, the show houses over 300 exhibitors around a Grand Floral Pavilion. Visitors can also explore the Formal Gardens and 2,000 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown Parkland.

The National Association of Flower Arrangers celebrates its diamond anniversary this year and the Floral Art & Design Show will be held in Islington’s Business Design Centre from 7th to 10th August.

Calendar of Garden Shows

From 9th February
Snowdrop Walk
Hever Castle, Edenbridge
01732 865224

29th–31st March
Hampton Court Palace, London
020 3166 6000

9th February–10th March
Orchids Festival
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
020 8332 5655

20th–24th March
Dazzling Daffodils
Hever Castle, Edenbridge
01732 865224

8th–10th April
RHS London Spring Launch
RHS Lawrence & Lindley Halls, London
0844 412 4650

12th–14th April
RHS Flower Show Cardiff
Bute Park, Cardiff
0844 412 4650

22nd April – 7th May
Tulip Festival
Pashley Manor Gardens, Ticehurst
01580 200888

11th April–5th May
Tulip Festival
Arundel Castle, Arundel
01903 882173

13th–14th April
RHS Spring Ornamental Competition
Savill Garden, Windsor
0844 412 4650

24th–30th April
Tulip Celebrations
Hever Castle, Edenbridge
01732 865224

25th–28th April
Harrogate Spring Flower Show
Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate
01243 546158

28th April
Arundel Castle Spring Plant Fair
Arundel, West Sussex
01903 882173

9th–12th May
RHS Malvern Spring Festival
Three Counties Showground, Malvern
0844 412 4650

21st–25th May
RHS Chelsea Flower Show
The Royal Hospital, Chelsea
0844 412 4650

5th–9th June
RHS Chatsworth Flower Show
Chatsworth House, Bakewell
0844 412 4650

13th–16th June
BBC Gardeners’ World Live 2018
0121 780 4141

21st–23rd June
Blenheim Palace Flower Show
Blenheim Palace, Woodstock
01993 810530

21st–23rd June
RHS Garden Harlow Carr Flower Show
Harrogate, North Yorkshire
0844 412 4650

25th June–30th June
Hever in Bloom
Hever Castle, Edenbridge
01732 865224

1st–7th July
RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
Hampton Court Palace, London
0844 412 4650

17th–21st July
RHS Flower Show Tatton Park
Tatton Park, Knutsford
0844 412 4650

26th–28th July
The Summer Garden Show
Loseley Park, Guildford
01483 304440

31st July–4th August
RHS Garden Hyde Hall Flower Show
Chelmsford, Essex
0844 412 4650

9th–10th August
Shrewsbury Flower Show
Quarry Lodge, Shrewsbury
01743 234050

15th–18th August
Southport Flower Show
Victoria Park, Southport
01704 547147

16th–18th August
RHS Rosemoor Flower Show
Torrington, Devon
0844 412 4650

3rd–8th September
RHS Garden Wisley Flower Show
Wisley, Woking
0844 412 4650

14th–19th September
Festival of Flowers
Leeds Castle, Maidstone
01622 765400

24th September–4th November
Art in the Garden
Savill Garden, Windsor
01753 860222

28th September–29th September
Malvern Autumn Show
Three Counties Showground, Malvern
01684 584900