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A Blooming Spectacle: The Ascot Spring Garden Show

Posted on by Abbie Coombes

On the 13th, 14th and 15th April, the grounds of Ascot Racecourse will not be filled with the sounds of thudding hooves, but instead will host for the first time, the Ascot Spring Garden Show. The first event of its kind to be held within this historic racecourse, the Spring Garden Show is a sheer celebration of the very best established and undiscovered horticultural talent, that Britain has to offer. Working closely alongside The Saville Garden and the Valley Gardens at Windsor Great Park, the event will be filled with a vast array of gardening expertise- it is sure to be a blooming spectacle!

The flower show, or 'Flower Feasts' as they were first referred to in the 1600s, are yearly events that arguably, form an integral part of this nation's history, the Royal Chelsea Flower Show perhaps illuminates this most profoundly. From merely being one's judgement of the best tulips, carnations, pinks or polyanthus' in the town halls and public houses across Britain during the 19th Century, the flower show has developed into something which not only exhibits flowers in an aesthetically pleasing manner, but seeks to proactively engage others in gardening. This is reiterated by the words of the award-winning garden designer, Kate Gould who commented, 'The Ascot Spring Garden Show is a wonderful chance to demonstrate how interesting and appealing gardens can be...to see how inviting and textural a simple green scheme can be.' 

Our gardens are a space which, on those sunnier days, provide a light relief from the chaotic nature of everyday life- there are for many of us a haven beyond the concrete walls of the home, and to be admired at. Although, not all of us are quite as handy as Alan Titchmarsh with the garden rake, Ascot's Garden Spring Show, with the attendance of renowned expert and televised gardeners, David Domoney and John Anderson, is sure to provide you with a number of handy tips. So, if the garden enthusiasts among you are worried about those pesky squirrels ruining your newly planted bulbs, or need advice on seeding, sowing and potting, Ascot's Garden Show should not be missed. I think therefore, perhaps what distinguishes this flower show to others, is not only the creation of show gardens to be marvelled at, but also the fact that these exhibits serve to educate both amateurs and avid gardeners. 

Click on the images below for a sneak peak at the kinds of unmissable gardening tips that will be shared over the course of this three day event...

 

(Image Source: http://www.daviddomoney.
com/about-me/)

 
   (Image Source: https://www.hortweek.com/windsor-
appoints-new-keeper-gardens)

Click here for a more detailed schedule of the secrets to be unveiled by these celebrity gardeners, not only planting tips but also some behind the scenes information on the Chelsea Flower Show!

But, if you are eager to start getting your garden prepared for Spring, we have a number of top tips that will ensure your garden is ready for the new season- it's time to get seed-sowing, hunting those pests and planting the summer flowering bulbs!

1. Perhaps the most basic yet important tip, as voiced by John Anderson who will be making an appearance at this year's garden show, is to ensure that your pots are cleaned and dried thoroughly prior to planting. Anderson also advises that new pots are soaked for a good 24 hours before using. This is crucial because otherwise you'll find that the clay pot absorbs all the moisture, rather than the soil.

2. The best time to prune is Springtime!- if you're looking to train your plants on a wall or trellis, Anderson suggests that you make sure there is a knot first on the trellis or wire before you pull the stem in of the climber you want. 

3. The third and final key tip, is that when you purchase a plant from a garden centre or nursery to ensure that you check the routing system of the plant if it is pot bound. If the routes appear to be bulging the plant is probably hungry- make sure you keep a look out for those healthy plants!

At this boutique garden event you can be expected to be presented with 12 spectacular garden shows, six of which will be curated by Andrew Fisher Tomlin who was awarded winner of the ‘Best in Show Summer Garden’ at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2016. Each of these shows will be designed by six established designers, whilst a town and country theme underlies each. 

As landscape gardener and teacher of construction at the London College of Garden Design, Joe Perkins highlights, 'the show gardens will demonstrate the great potential early spring holds and provide inspiration for the coming year in the garden.'

Below you can see Perkins' garden design which will be exhibited at the Ascot's Spring Garden Show, titled The Courtyard. For more information on what you can expect from Pip Probert's, Tom Hill's, Kate Gould's and Catherine Macdonald's show garden, click here.  



Alongside this, six horticultural colleges will exhibit their very own show gardens which have been built by the young and budding garden enthusiasts from each college who have entered the 'Young Gardeners of the Year' competition; it really is an event that appeals to all. 

There is nothing more quintessentially British than a spot of afternoon tea within the surroundings of an English country garden. With a selection of utterly delectable sandwiches, scones and macarons, the Spring Garden Show offers the perfect pit stop from which to admire the blooms. This botanical themed tea can be enjoyed between 1-3pm each day of the event and booking is strongly advised. 


Afternoon Tea with a glass of Champagne: £45pp
Afternoon Tea with a glass of Prosecco: £35pp

If you have a passion for all things flora and are looking to 'be a part of something new this spring', the Ascot Spring Garden Show which could prove quite the rival for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, should almost definitely be on your 'places to visit' list this April. 

Ticket Pricing:

Advanced Ticket: £20
Advanced Group Ticket (Group of 10+): £18 
On the day: £24
Under 18s: FREE

Event Times:

Friday 13th: 10am-6pm
Saturday 14th: 10am-5.30pm
Sunday 15th: 10am-5.30pm



Written by Abbie Coombes.