Fall in love with flowers

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Things are hotting up at the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show, which takes place this month and offers some of the finest things to be found in the world of horticulture.

New for 2013 is ChilliFest, with hundreds of different plants, lots of hot tips for growing your own chillies and great ideas for what to do with them.

But if that doesn’t grab you, the event offers many more gardening and garden-linked attractions, particularly the giant vegetable competition, which this year has six new classes weighing in for the latest battle with a bulge, including colossal carrots, very large leeks and prodigious pumpkins.

And can the show make it three years in a row for a heavy onion world record? Newark giant veg grower Peter Glazebrook broke the record at the show in 2011 and 2012.

Two years ago Peter smashed the previous record with a whopping 17lb 15.5oz onion. In 2012 he broke his own record with a monster weighing in at 18lb 1oz (8.195kg).

The North of England Horticultural Society Heavy Onion contest is one of the highlights of the show, attracting entries from all over the country. The weigh-in takes place at noon on Friday, September 13.

You will also be amazed by the sheer spectacle of Britain’s biggest exhibition by specialist gardening groups. Lose yourself in a sea of more than 5,000 fabulous autumn blooms where colours and aromas combine to create an unforgettable experience for show-goers.

Fuchsias, dahlias, gladioli, chrysanthemums, carnations, delphiniums and pelargoniums are among the host of flowers on display.

And for lovers of floral art there will be more than more than 100 painstakingly prepared individual works on show, depicting a wide variety of fascinating topics. Flower arranging and floristry themes this year range from the silver screen and an autumn symphony, to the circus and a holiday getaway.

The annual fruit show includes a new class for grapes and will also feature stunning displays produced by professional gardeners at private estates and stately homes across the region.

The 2013 Harrogate Autumn Flower Show takes place from September 13-15 at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate, HG2 8PW. www.flowershow.org.uk