It’s that time of year again

Abbots Hall
Abbots Hall

It’s Show Time... Gardening Shows and Open Gardens abound at this time of year. I try to go to at least one major show each year to keep up-to-date on latest introductions, and generally have a busman’s holiday!

So last week we took a group of students up to the BBC Gardeners’ World Show in Birmingham.

I like that show. All the major nurseries and trade stands are there, the show gardens are realistic – and there is room to move around!

One of the great things about the horticultural events is the eclectic mix of ‘attendees’.

Gardening traverses all cultures and ages; surely more than any other hobby on earth. (Yes, even football).

So why do we see so little of it on the “box”. Maybe the powers-that-be assume we are all outside in our gardens?

This coming weekend (Friday to Sunday) hails a major local show which I can thoroughly recommend: Abbots Ripton Hall Garden Show, near Huntingdon.

This show is held in the beautiful private gardens of Lord and Lady De Ramsey, who open their gates and gardens to us just once every two years.

The show is 100 per cent in aid of local charities, including Dreamdrops Children’s Charity, British Red Cross Cambridgeshire branch, Ormiston Children’s and Families Trust, amongst others.

So, what will be there?

Well, the gardens alone are worth the £7 admission (free entry for children under the age of 15), as they are rated amongst the best private gardens in East Anglia.

But there will also be show gardens, ‘Grub in a Tub’ competitions for schools and youth groups, container competitions for other gardening groups and individuals, as well as a plant finders’ fair with a range of specialist nurseries offering their wares.

The main marquee is the venue for gardening talks throughout the weekend, with a range of speakers including Steve Brookes, and George Carter and Marney Hall – Chelsea Gold Medal winners.

Vintage and classic cars, vintage bicycles, a silent auction, floral art and cookery demonstrations, brass bands, tea gardens and hog roasts.

Something for everyone!

Manea School of Gardening will be there – selling plants and offering garden advice, so do drop by and have a chat. For more information, visit

Happy Gardening!

Manea School of Gardening ( is an Approved RHS centre offering courses at all levels. See us at Abbots Ripton Show this weekend.

For more information visit