2016 Southport Flower Show - photo special
- Credit: Pics; John Cocks
Gardeners from far and wife reaped rewards for fantastic flora at this year’s Southport Flower Show.
It HAS won the hearts of countless Lancastrians over the years and quite a few celebrities. Renowned gardener Carol Klein first visited the Southport Flower Show with her grandma when she was a little girl, and the Walkden-born Gardeners’ World presenter has been coming ever since.
‘It’s a special treat to come here,’ said Carol, who also gave a masterclass at the Garden Roadshow in the Grand Floral Marquee. ‘It’s a huge pleasure to return each year, especially as I used to exhibit and have won a few medals too! The show is expansive, and I don’t just mean in size, but in quality. It’s brilliant.’
Carol’s admiration for the show, which this year had the theme of the Mediterranean, was echoed by first-time visitor, Ainsley Harriott. The TV chef spoke in between congratulating medal and trophy winners about how he felt inspired by all the show gardens on display in Victoria Park.
‘There’s just so much going on. When I first arrived I thought how on earth do 50,000 visitors fit in here? It’s been wonderful to present awards and see some beautiful gardens - it makes you want to go home and get stuck in yourself. Especially when you see young people getting involved like Glen Francis.’
For 21-year-old Glen, scooping a gold medal for his first solo project was the icing on the cake. He was responsible for project managing, constructing and planting one of the Southport Flower Show Schools Design-a-Garden competition winners, a design from year three Merchant Taylors Boys’ pupil, Shamal Harave.
‘I’m just over the moon,’ said Glen, who is a level three landscape apprentice at Myerscough College. He is currently undertaking his apprenticeship at Alan Francis Landscapes, which is run by his father. ‘It all just came together nicely. I’ve been inspired by gardening from a young age because of my dad, who’s been self-employed for 30 years, and I’ve been working with him for the past three years. It was definitely daunting to do it alone but it worked out great.’
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Another first time entry that wowed the judges was C&W Berry Ltd, with their show stopping garden, Una veduta dell’albero d’ulivo (A view of the olive tree). The Leyland based independent builders merchant wanted to showcase what could be achieved using materials available from themselves, and along with a design from Kirman Design, produced a stunning Mediterranean space featuring an olive tree.
The show garden was awarded a large gold, alongside the Brockhouse Gold Challenge trophy for best exhibit in the show, the Lady Pilkington for exhibit that best depicts the theme of the show, the Southport Corporation trophy for class 1 (large) outside gardens and the Pontins trophy, awarded for the best outside garden.
Sandy McDonald of C&W Berry Ltd said: ‘We’ve worked alongside some fantastic people on this project, including Andy and Richard at Kirman Design – without them we wouldn’t have won.’
Familiar faces to the Southport Flower Show, Muddy Boots, were awarded a large gold for their Provence inspired large show garden, Ete en Provence. Complete with functioning swimming pool, which was showcased by the current Miss England and Miss Preston, Elizabeth Grant, the stylish garden is realistically set in its region, with plants designed for dry weather and strong winds.