A Summer Fix of Scottish Flower Shows
The best flower shows in Scotland and where to find them.
Ahh flowers. That sweet smell that moves with the seasons: the daffodils in the spring to the hydrangeas in summer; the crocus blanket in the autumn to the cold weather bearing cyclamen, a year in flowers is simply put, fantastic. They brighten both a house (a little colour goes a long way) and a mood, and not to mention the fact that they give off oxygen during the night time – hello better sleep!
Flowers, in all their natural beauty, are for all occasions, from the celebration of a birthday to the apology of a missed date, flowers are used to make everything better. And depending on the severity of the misdemeanor, they usually do the job, for who can stay angry at a delightful bunch of lilies? They make us smile. The spring and summer months are the perfect time to enjoy flowers showing their best sides, and where to see the “best of the best” but a flower show? So here are some flower shows that you should include in your holiday time if you are holidaying in Scotland over the Spring and Summer.
Gardening Scotland 2019 (Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh) 31st May – 2nd June 2019
At the end of this month the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh will play host to Gardening Scotland, the National Gardening and Outdoor Living Show. This is the place to be to find the best plants, catch up with the latest gardening trends, chat to experts, discover tips to transform your own garden – pretty much everything from growing vegetables to keeping bees is covered at this show, so put the date in the diary, it is one that you won’t want to miss! The show has a fantastically varied programme, from The Scottish Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (SAFAS) once again demonstrating their flower arranging skills with a series of fantastic exhibits, to hands-on workshops at The RHS stand. Martin Fish, gardening expert and broadcaster, will be sharing his advice and top tips, and make sure you visit The Plant Village, made up of top nurseries selling hundreds of plants and flowers for you to take home. The Plant Village can be found in the outdoor area next to the Show Gardens, so make sure you pay it a visit.
Discover a world of beautiful plants in the Floral Pavilion, the centerpiece attraction at the Show filled with glorious displays and hundreds of thousands of beautiful flowers. Here, specialist nurseries from across the country will be selling an astonishing range of plants. And be sure to swing by one of the most popular attractions at the Show, The Pallet Garden Competition where school children are asked to design and create a small garden (1m squared) for installation at the event where it will be judged by a panel of experts. It’s definitely worth a pitstop! Delightfully, there is a wide selection of indoor and outdoor catering available – from teas, coffees and snacks, to sit down meals in the Garden Cafe and afternoon teas in the Upper Foyer. And a car is not necessary as Lothian Buses provide a dedicated bus service from Edinburgh city centre to and from Gardening Scotland, and Edinburgh’s main station Waverley, has well run services to the rest of Scotland. It is also a 15 minute walk from Edinburgh Airport, so check out the options for travel and make a plan!
The Ayr Flower Show 3rd – 4th August 2019
Set in the 31 acres of Rozelle Park close to Burns’ Birthplace in Alloway and taking place on the first weekend in August, The Ayr Flower Show is three days of fun. A family festival where gardening enthusiasts have an opportunity to admire and purchase plants and gardening items, there is no excuse not to fuel the gardening imagination, and also enjoy some good food! Since its creation in 1960, The Ayr Flower Show has taken place each year from that date, welcoming around 30,000 visitors from across the UK over the three days, with the entire event bringing in more than £1 million into the local economy. With a packed programme, from floral art demonstrations to cookery demonstrations and a host of regular forums for you to question gardening experts, there is something for everyone. Bring your wallets for there are a range of garden centres and nurseries who will be present over the three day event to sell their wares, as well as offering expert and specialist advice on all things gardening!
Over the course of the three days you can see the Ayr Bonsai Group, Scottish Begonia Society, Scottish Gardeners Forum and the Scottish Rock Garden Club among others, and the The Junior Marquee contains the largest Children’s Flower Show in Scotland with more than 850 young people submitting entries across the different junior categories. And cleverly, the weather can’t even rain on this parade as much of the show area is covered. There are roughly 150 different trade stands, ranging from craft to food stall-holders selling a variety of craft goods, whilst the food court sells everything from Scottish shortbread to venison to cheese and all that is in between! And make sure you pop to the Hospitality Marquee for a delicious traditional afternoon tea of sandwiches and scones, pastries and cakes with tea or coffee or a ploughman’s lunch and a craft beer. Also accessible without a car, there is a shuttle bus service running between Ayr Railway Station and Rozelle Park from 9.30 am with the last direct link service leaving Rozelle at 6.15 pm on Friday and on Saturday, and at 5.15 pm on Sunday. A fantastic day out for all ages and stages, come and celebrate the best of Ayrshire’s local cuisine and craftsmanship, not to mention its gardening glory!
Highland Garden Fest (Inverness) 2nd June 2019
A very new venture only in its second year, The Highland Garden Fest brought to you by Planit Scotland, and welcomes you to the Botanic Gardens in Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands. With the one day event in 2018 welcoming 1500 visitors, the event has become one of the must-haves in your gardening diary for the year! The festival celebrates everything to do with the garden and showcases lots of different hands on activities and informative talks, from nurturing flowers to growing your own fruit and veg, how to attract wildlife to your garden and information from landscape gardeners.
A quick chat to a horticulturist will show you how to make your garden more colourful, and take some time to browse all the fantastic stalls where are are ample products on offer, from natural skincare routines to garden accessories, and even some garden inspired art! A map on arrival will keep you on track whilst becoming immersed in some gardening fun. The Botanic Garden, within walking distance of the busy city centre, are an oasis of calm bursting with colour, fresh scents and texture whatever the season. In the hot and humid Tropical House there are popular houseplants that derive from rainforest regions of the world, which grow alongside important economic crops such as coffee. A cascading waterfall flows into a pond surrounded by showy tender plants such as bougainvillaea, bird of paradise plants and orchids, whilst the friendly Koi carp swim lazily in the shallows. And the Cactus House has hundreds of species of cacti planted among 75 tonnes of rock! It is a magical place, and full of interesting flora for children to marvel at. All of this, plus lots of activities and garden games to be enjoyed by the kids makes The Highland Garden Fest a truly great family day out for all.
Queens Park Flower Show (Glasgow) 1st June 2019
Being championed as a “refreshing alternative to a traditional flower show” and taking place on the south side of Scotland’s biggest city Glasgow, the Queens Park Flower Show is the first community-focused horticultural event with a spotlight on amateur (and enthusiastic) gardening based in Queens Park Arena. In its first year, the event will take place on the 1st June from 12 noon until 5pm, and is a free family friendly event aiming to support the increasing interest in community & urban gardening in the local area by bringing people together from across the city to enjoy an afternoon of information and fun.
You can look forward to live entertainment over the day and a variety of fantastic activities such as displays of the best houseplants, floral photography and flower arranging. Loosen the purse strings to the wonderful wares on offer from the specialist market traders selling plants, flowers, crafts and gardening tools at the flower market. There will also be a variety of educational workshops and information on planting and indoor growing. This event was created to encourage and champion the use of green spaces within urban areas for members of the public, highlight the importance of sustainability and educate on environmental responsibility through a range of practical, fun and thought-provoking activities. The organisers of this event, Inhouse CIC, are looking forward to the launch of the Queens Park Flower show and are hoping that it will become a unique annual event for new and established organisations to be a part of. So go down and show your support!
So there you have it, some exciting colourful events to log in your diary and learn new things about the plant and gardening world. If you are interested in planning your holiday around one of these flower shows we have plenty of self-catering holiday accommodation for you to pick from so just pop over to our website and discover them all today.