A look ahead to the Chorley Flower Show

The busy Grand Marquee last year

The busy Grand Marquee last year - Credit: Archant

Joe Swift and Lancashire’s Carol Klein to star as Chorley Flower Show returns after an amazing first year

The Evaders Garden

The Evaders Garden - Credit: Archant

TWO of the best-known names in the world of horticulture are set for Chorley after playing starring roles in the BBC’s coverage of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Thousands are expected to flock to the event, which burst on to the north west events calendar in 2015, landing a nomination in the prestigious Lancashire Tourism Awards.

Lancashire-born Carol Klein, one of the hosts of BBC TV’s Gardeners’ World, will join designer and fellow presenter Joe Swift carrying out demonstrations and taking part in a question and answer session. They hosted the BBC’s coverage of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and were selected for Chorley by popular demand after the council, which organises the event, asked people who they would like to see at this year’s show, which takes place on July 30 and 31 in Astley Park.

‘We’re delighted to have two prestigious names taking part in the show and it will be an opportunity for people to meet them both,’ said Alistair Bradley, the leader of Chorley Council.

John Everiss with his award-winning garden

John Everiss with his award-winning garden - Credit: Archant

‘The celebrities were a big draw last year so we took the opportunity to see who people would like to see. Both Carol and Joe were the most popular and I’m delighted they’re both able to attend.

‘People are still talking about how much they enjoyed last year’s show so there is a real anticipation to see how we build on that success. Not only have we got Joe and Carol but a dozen of the exhibitors who won top awards at Chelsea so it is a quality line-up.’ Joe will be attending the show on the Saturday and Carol will be there on the Sunday.

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New features for this year will be show gardens to complement the council’s silver-gilt winning RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden, which remains in Astley Park, and a new Victorian Glasshouse, which will replicate what would have been in existence when the historic Astley Hall, which dates back to Tudor times, was occupied.

The Glasshouse will grow exotic fruits as well as herbs and spices and will be a fantastic addition to the show.

Artists impression of the Victorian-style greenhouse

Artists impression of the Victorian-style greenhouse - Credit: Archant

‘We’ve put a lot of investment into improving Astley Park and we are now starting to see visitors from right across the region paying us a visit and we are getting plenty of rave reviews,’ said Alistair.

‘The Glasshouse will be officially unveiled at the flower show and will be well worth a visit. It is helping us make sure all the attractions are floral-related as our aim is to make this a true flower show – the only one of its kind in the north west.’

The two-day event will also include:

• A professional exhibitors’ marquee featuring gold-medal winning entrants from some of the country’s biggest shows

• Horticultural trade stands offering the best quality in garden products

• An amateur marquee incorporating flower and pot plant classes and floral art

• The chance to take a tour of the historic Astley Hall, which will be decked out with floral decorations

• Family entertainment, including art and craft activities and an animal farm

• A chance to relax and enjoy a wide range of food and drink and afternoon tea in the showground

There will also be a section of the show for children and a chance to meet farmyard animals and ticket prices have been kept to a low level, especially if bought on line. Advance tickets are £5 (£7 on the gate) and a family ticket is £12 (or £15 on the day). There are several other offers on tickets and parking is free.

For more information go to chorley.gov.uk, where you can buy your tickets, or contact the council on 01257 515151.