Local Garden Shows
It's a quintessential English summer scene; the local gardening club take over the village green for the day to present their annual show, with a wonderful - and traditional - selection of oversized fruit and vegetables, carefully arranged flowers and delicious home baked cakes, writes horticulturist Martin Fiddes.
With the home and garden market in general currently on a graph breaking upward surge, it's likely that more and more people will visit their local show this summer - with interest no doubt boosted by mainstream TV series such as the BBC's The Great British Village Show.
I've recently received a letter from the Capel St Mary Allotments Association who are holding their 30th (told you it was a tradition!) Flower and Produce Show in early September. The event has over 120 show classes including fruit and vegetables, cookery, photography and handicrafts, and there's even some special sections for children. All the old show favourites are there, including the biggest vegetable and longest runner bean, and all classes are open to non-members.
Capel St Mary is located around 6 miles south west of Ipswich on the A12 in Suffolk - big gardening country, reflected in some of the show sponsors. Horticultural giants such as Suttons Seeds, Thompson and Morgan and even Harrod Horticultural are all mentioned in the comprehensive show handbook, and the best vegetable exhibit is awarded the Andrew Tokely Cup - Capel's favourite son!
The Flower and Produce Show is scheduled to be held over two days - Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd of September - and admission is free. The gates are open from 11am on both days so if you are in the area, get down there for the day. It's highly likely that there'll be a similar event held on your doorstep at some stage this summer, so get looking and pay a visit!