Spring is just around the corner at the South of England Showground in Ardingly where horticulture will be at the heart of the Spring Garden & Leisure Show on Sunday 4th and Bank Holiday Monday 5th May.
Introducing the latest retro-fashion in gardening, a Victorian-style ‘Stumpery’ will be the horticultural centrepiece of the show, made from uprooted tree trunks planted with flowers; expert advice on all aspects of trees and forestry, including Ash Die Back, from the Arboricultural Association, who will be celebrating its 50th anniversary, will be on offer; and Jean Griffin, BBC Sussex, Surrey and Kent resident gardening expert, will lead an exciting programme of Q&A sessions with gardening experts and floristry displays in the Gardening Theatre.
Coronation Meadows: H.R.H The Prince of Wales initiated a nationwide project in 2013 to create 60 species rich wildflower meadows each to be in a different county to mark 60 years since The Queen’s Coronation. The Society is delighted to host some of the partners involved in this important project at the show to talk about the meadows, wild flowers and wildlife. Wildflower exhibits and the small wildflower combine harvester will be on view.
Green-fingered fans will be inspired with thousands of seasonal plants, shrubs and garden features on display, but for dog lovers visit the South of England Open Dog Show and watch over 700 dogs compete for Best in Show at this year’s Crufts qualifying event. Water-loving dogs can also enjoy the Paws in the Park ‘K9 Aqua Zone’ feature where visitor’s dogs can compete in a fun race against time.
Get back in touch with all that’s great about the British countryside in the ‘Access the Countryside’ exhibition, which will feature cattle, sheep and pig workshops. Take a pit stop and be entertained by the ever popular ‘Mini Sheep Show’ or visit the extensive chicken, duck and poultry exhibit where backyard enthusiasts can learn from live talks on caring for poultry.
Dozens of alpacas will compete for the coveted first prize in the South East Regional Alpaca Show and the heat will be on in the rabbit marquee as hundreds of breeds are judged on who will be crowned best in show.
Younger visitors can work up an appetite by following a special trail created to take them on a journey all round the show and the new showground caterers will be delivering tempting and delicious food that can be enjoyed on the grassy banks and picnic areas, with musical entertainment provided by the steel band as well as young vocalists and live bands on stage from Rok Skool.
The Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance crew will be offering a very special insight into how they work and the rare opportunity to look over a fully operational helicopter.
Visitors can choose mouth-watering treats to take home from the tempting food hall and enjoy shopping from a diverse array of goods and crafts, from country clothing, gifts and DIY to home wares, wellies and handbags!
Admission: Adults £10, children £5 and senior citizens and students £8. Save money with a family ticket (2 adults + 2 children) for just £23 or for advance ticket discounts visit www.seas.org.uk or telephone 01444 892700.