New president aims to build on the popularity of garden shows

THE new president of the North of England Horticultural Society has pledged to build on the blossoming popularity of some of the country’s leading flower shows when she assumes her new role this month.

Lucinda Compton, who lives with her husband Richard at Newby Hall, near Ripon, was named yesterday as the new president of the leading gardening charity which was set up 102 years ago. The organisation runs the twice-yearly Harrogate Flower Shows, and the profits are returned to the charity to support nearly 100 other gardening organisations and community groups.

Mrs Compton said: “I am honoured to become president of the North of England Horticultural Society, which does such a fantastic job in organising two of the best gardening events in the country, and in supporting horticulture across the North. The shows continue to grow from strength to strength with new developments every year. I am particularly looking forward to seeing the 2013 show gardens, which have more than doubled in number since they were first introduced two years ago.”

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She succeeds the Duchess of Northumberland and will begin her two-year appointment at the forthcoming Harrogate Spring Flower Show, which runs from April 25 to 28 at the Great Yorkshire Showground.

Married with three children, Mrs Compton is the third member of her family to become the society’s president. Edward Compton served in 1975-76 and Robin Compton in 1984-86. With a background in professional furniture restoration, she is the curator of both Newby Hall’s award-winning gardens and the stately home itself. The gardens hold the national collection of cornus and new developments include the regeneration of the hall’s famous herbaceous border.

The Harrogate Spring Flower Show was voted as the best gardening event in the UK by readers of Which? Gardening, with the autumn event ranked third nationally.