This editorial will mark our first report on the Hyde Hall Flower Show, held at the RHS’ garden in Essex. Here various medal winners and competitors from the major London shows i.e. Chelsea and Hampton Court are given a chance to test their products and share their knowledge on a smaller scale having been proven in the big leagues. However, Hyde Hall should not be mistaken for a small scale Chelsea – on the contrary it hosts one of the largest horticultural estates in the country, clocking in at over 360 acres, and this area doesn’t even include the show itself!
Despite the scale of this project, it is still rooted in the personality and the heritage of Essex without becoming exclusive to those visiting from further afield. While Hyde Hall includes all the staple additions of any RHS show (exhibitions, commercial stands and seminars), its individuality stems from its respect for the surrounding community.
For example, the show has arranged the attendance of Essex radio show host Ken Crowther for an informal Q&A between gardeners and gardening enthusiasts. Ken will also be aided by a patron of Essex University, Tom Cole, and by Geoff Hodge – a freelance authority on all things horticultural. These sessions will go on throughout the day today.
Now as with every Flower Show there are certain perks available to members of the society, among these at Hyde Hall there is the option of a ‘Flower Show Preview Breakfast’ whose ticket tastes and smells like a lot of the normal early access ticket, however this one includes a guided tour of the gardens outside the show as well as the premium parking, full English breakfast and early entry of the non-members ticket and all at two pounds cheaper!
Among the copious number of stands and exhibitors are a fair cross section of medalists from some of the larger shows, including nurseries such as Devine Nurseries, Bentley Plants, Oska Copperfield Nursery Ltd and Jacques Amand International, and trade stands representing companies like Darlac Ltd, Hutchinsons landscapes, The New Eden Ltd and The Green Trading Company.
These companies will of course be paying and displaying for the entirety of the show which itself is running from 3rd – 5th August and also includes a prize draw for those interested in the more philanthropic functions of the RHS, with potential rewards to include £50 worth of RHS vouchers -apply at the RHS stand within the show.
These attractions aside, there is of course the added benefit of escaping the Olympic frenzy of the city centre for a couple of days not to mention the fact that, like the majority of RHS flower shows, children under 16 are granted free admission. So whether it’s for the family’s sake or for your own, take advantage of Hyde Hall Flower Show while it’s here.
By Josh Ellison