You know, you could hardly find a better place to be a keen horticulturalist
than Cheshire and Shropshire.
That's been true for a long time; in Shrewsbury,
for example, for a century and a quarter. This year's Shrewsbury Flower Show is
on August 10 and 11, and that means that the show has been held in the same
location - Quarry
Park - for 125 years,
making it the best established show in the world.
The roots (as it were) of the
show actually date back rather further - to 1836 - when a carnation and
gooseberry Show was staged in the Frankwell area of the town. Then, in 1857,
the Shropshire Horticultural Society staged a flower show in a large marquee in
the town. It was held again in 1874 and made the startling profit of one
shilling and ten pence.
Nowadays it's one of the most respected shows in the
country, and one of the largest (in 2004 there was all of 589 different types
of potato on show, which is a lot of chips in anyone's book).
live music at the Show too: Visitors can enjoy performances on both evenings
from The Oyster Band, whose recent album with June Tabor, Ragged Kingdom, was named Folk Album of the Year in Mojo Magazine and nominated for three
awards in BBC's Radio 2 Folk Awards.
It's an easy drive down the A49 to Shrewsbury from
Combermere Abbey, and nothing could be better than getting away from the bustle
than booking self-catering accommodation in one of the luxurious cottages at
the Abbey. After a long day at the Show you can relax and admire your
purchases, and of course day-dream about how fabulous your own garden is going
to look next summer. And if you're still lacking inspiration you can wander
round Combermere's delightful walled garden, with its unique fruit tree maze.
Click here for details and prices on the Combermere
cottages, and click here for more info on the show.