Petals after the pedals

July isn’t all about the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire, despite what many people would have you believe. After the event, when the roads are reopened, a great Yorkshire institution comes to the fore – for the 156th time in its remarkable history. Yes, this is the real Yorkshire, not one paying short-term homage to the Gallic love of bicycling; this is the Great Yorkshire Show.

Jenny Hirst of the Delphinium Society.
Jenny Hirst of the Delphinium Society.

Visitors to next month’s GYS, which runs from July 8 to 10, will probably be more than happy to return to normality and enjoy the ever-popular garden show, which is now widely recognised as a leading horticultural show in its own right, attracting thousands of green-fingered visitors throughout the three days of the event.

And for the first time, visitors are being offered the chance to take part in flower-arranging classes organised by the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies. Visitors will be given flowers, a bowl and oasis, and offered tips and advice on how to create a stunning floral display. They will then be able to take their arrangement home with them. And the finished articles don’t have to be yellow…

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Once again, the finalists of the popular Children’s Vegetable Garden competition have been invited to display the fruits of their labours. They have been growing fruit and vegetables and keeping diaries detailing their work. The top 15, and all the diaries, will be displayed.

Dozens of exhibitors have signed up to take part in the three-day show – this year amongst the stunning displays will be exhibits from the National Dahlia Society, West Yorkshire Fuchsia Society, Garside Cacti and Derbyshire Bonsai. All will be battling it out for the Garden Show’s awards and prizes, including the prestigious Doncaster Cup.

More than 135,000 visitors are expected to visit the 250-acre showground on the edge of Harrogate. Not all will be going along for the gardening; many will be there to see thousands of animals competing for the coveted championship rosettes, exciting ring displays, demonstrations of country skills, fashion and food shows and hundreds of stands selling everything from designer clothing to combine harvesters.

Tickets for the Great Yorkshire Show are available on line at or call 01423 541222 or in person from the Show’s office at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate.