This year we have been spreading our wings a bit and taking in more events than in past seasons in our continuing bid for world domination. One of the additions to our calendar was the Garden Show at Stansted, held in the splendid grounds of Stansted Park near Rowlands Castle. It’s a big event, spread over three days (7th to 9th June) with literally hundreds of exhibitors – not just nurseries, but all sorts of garden-related sundries, along with arts and crafts and a foodstuffs too. Despite a few thunderstorms rolling around on the first day and a pretty stiff breeze on all three days, thousands of visitors came through the gates and there was a real buzz about the whole event. Rather different to your average plant fair!
Average is not an epithet that can be applied to the event of the following weekend, the Unusual Plants Fair held at Gilbert White’s House in Selborne, now in its 21st year and something of a pioneer in the world of plant fairs. Held over two days, it’s always a well attended and interesting affair, with nurseries coming not just from Hampshire, but from Somerset, Hertfordshire, Kent and other far flung counties. And you really do find some pretty unusual plants there! An innovation this year was the award for best presented nursery stand: we were in the final shortlist of four but narrowly missed out on the final accolade, which deservedly went to Overbrooks. Still, it’s nice to be in the mix!
It’s that bank of trees visible in the background that we always remember from this event: it has an air of unreality about it, possibly because, as you see it from the leeward side, there is no visible movement among the leaves or branches.
Rob & Joanna – June 2013