Vive les fleurs! Rated Britain's best gardening event by Which?Gardening, Harrogate Spring Flower Show will be celebrating pedals as well as petals in 2014. As excitement builds for the Yorkshire start of the tour, exhibitors at the UK's most prestigious independent flower show are preparing to add a little joie de vivre to their displays.
Staged at the Great Yorkshire Showground, 24 - 27 April, the spring flower show will feature fabulous exhibits from over 100 leading nurseries, offering a vast range of plants to suit every space and growing condition. This year's theme for the innovative displays is a tribute to the world's most famous cycling event - On your bike and pedal!
Beautiful show gardens are also being planned by talented designers across the country, who will offer ideas and inspiration for visitors. With such a major international sporting event right on our doorstep, don't be surprised to see a French flavour among the features. New for 2014 are community Pocket Gardens.
The flower show hosts Britain's biggest exhibition of floral art and this year class themes will pay tribute to the race. Among the 150 painstakingly prepared works of art will be flower arrangements themed On your bike and floristry celebrating Vive le velo. Members of Gardens Harrogate will also be showcasing a special guide called the Tour de Plants. The interactive map follows both of the Yorkshire routes for the cycling race, tracking more than 37 gardens, parks and public spaces along the way. Live entertainment at the show includes talks, tips and gardening chat in the Dig It Garden Theatre, plus expert growing advice from the Kitchen Garden Live team.
The Plot to Pot Cookery Theatre will also present a menu of delicious dishes. Children's activities include hands-on fun in Gardening with Nature, where budding gardeners can put their green fingers to work on wormeries, planting and crafts. Have a Go has been expanded this year to offer the opportunity try floristry techniques as part of the floral art demonstrations, as well as learning new gardening skills with students from Askham Bryan College Harrogate Centre.
Thousands of high-quality products make for great garden shopping, but there are also handmade crafts, gifts and specialist regional foods to browse.
Adult tickets: Thurs-Sat £14.50 when booked before noon 15 April; £17 on the gate.
Sun £12.50 in advance or £15 on the gate.
Under 16s go FREE when accompanied by an adult.
Students £8 on the gate, ID required.