Gem of a flower marks 40th anniversary

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It is a fitting tribute to a flower show that has been welcoming visitors for forty years.

When organisers of the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show were looking for ways to mark its 40th anniversary they called upon breeders Matthewman’s Sweet Peas to create a gem of a flower. The scarlet new variety of sweet pea, bred to celebrate the show’s ruby anniversary, has been named Harrogate Gem, in honour of the show.

David Matthewman from Otley with Harrogate Gem, a new sweet pea he  has grown celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show. Picture by Tony Johnson

David Matthewman from Otley with Harrogate Gem, a new sweet pea he has grown celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show. Picture by Tony Johnson

A spokeswoman for the show, which takes places at the Great Yorkshire Showground, in Harrogate, until Sunday said: “A display of the dazzling Harrogate Gem can be seen in the Gardening Hall where seeds can be purchased.”

This year visitors to the event will once again come face to face with some monster vegetables. Tables will be groaning with monster specimens in 13 classes, including the heaviest pumpkin, marrow, cabbage, parsnip, carrot and leek and the longest runner bean and cucumber.

There is also be a new National Championship for Gigantomo beefsteak tomatoes.

Nick Smith, show director said: “Showcasing the best in horticulture from around the country, this year’s event sees a range of exciting new features added to regular favourites, plus a new layout for the show.”

The show’s ruby anniversary is the theme for members of the North East Area of the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS) who have created a large display in the Floral Pavilion. There will be a wide variety of displays and also a programme of displays in the Floral Pavilion’s theatre.

This year the show’s Inspiration Street will return offering visitors ideas for making the most of tricky small gardens.

Over 5,000 autumn blooms will be on display, with nearly 80 nurseries displaying colourful arrangements of plants and flowers. Demonstrations will also be held in the show’s cookery theatre.

More information is available at www.flowershow.org.uk

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