Enjoy a beautiful show of colour as I pick out some of the highlights from the Floral Marquee at this year’s RHS Flower Show Cardiff.
The first big event on the gardening calendar is the RHS Flower Show in Cardiff. It’s held in Bute Park, right next to Cardiff Castle, and has a definitely Spring-like feel to it.
This was my first visit to the Cardiff Flower Show. And once I’d looked around the Show Gardens, my next port of call was the Floral Marquee.
Most gardening shows that I have been to have a single Floral Marquee. But there were two marquees at RHS Cardiff, and I think that it helped to make the area feel less crowded.
There were certainly plenty of people milling around, looking at the displays and stocking up on plants and bulbs for their gardens.
As you might expect, there were beautiful displays of immaculate flower at every turn. I’ve picked out some of my favourite exhibits for you in this post.
Of course, you couldn’t come to Cardiff in Springtime without mentioning daffodils, and the Scamps Daffodils stand had a vast array of the Welsh national flower on display.
It’s no surprise that this stand won a Gold medal from the RHS judges.
Scamps sell a wide range of modern and historical daffodils, but I really had no idea that daffodils come in some many different sizes and colours!
Mark and I were both quite taken by Little Flik, which is definitely the tiniest daffodil that I’ve ever seen.
There were some great offers running for orders placed at the show, and Mark is definitely planning to try growing this beautiful little flower.
The Pheasant Acre Plants stand also looked very springlike, with a wide range of seasonal blooms on display.
Their display of narcissus, tulips and more won a Silver-Gilt medal from the judges.
I really loved this Narcissus Reggae on their stand, I think the delicate colouring is quite unusual.
When you go to a lot of flower shows, you do start to recognise some of the sellers who attend regularly. So I was very happy to see Primrose Hall Nursery at the RHS Flower Show Cardiff.
They are always one of the stands that I love to see, because they produce such beautiful fragrant peonies.
This stand wasn’t quite as big and impressive as some they have done, like the massive birthday cake they produced for the 50th Anniversary of Gardener’s World. And unfortunately some of the flowers didn’t look at their best.
The judging criteria for RHS awards is very strict, so it wasn’t a total surprise to see that they only won a Silver medal on this occasion. I’m sure they’ll be back on form later on in the year!
This pretty camellia was from the Strete Gate Camellias stand, and I absolutely love how delicate it looks.
It takes about three hours to drive from my home in Shropshire to Cardiff. But during my visit to the show, a familiar name caught my eye…
These Auriculas were on the Hillview Hardy Plants stand, who are based just down the road from me in Bridgnorth!
They brought along a traditional Auricula theatre, but also displayed some of their plants in this more modern stand. They were awarded a Silver-Gilt medal for their display.
But if you needed a reminder of where this show was taking place, this impressive display of alpines was right at hand.
The bright hue of the Saxifraga Pixi Pan Red certainly caught the eye, and it definitely had people talking.
This gorgeous display of lilies from Cheshire-based Harts Nursery was also attracting a lot of interest.
Harts Nursery are another one of my favourite growers, and I’ve often bought bulbs from their stands at shows.
As with the peonies above, this display was smaller than some I’ve seen, such as their stand at Gardener’s World 2016.
But the blooms looked pretty much immaculate to me, and I was surprised that this stand only won a Silver-Gilt medal. As I said before, the judges at a RHS Flower Show are very strict!
W & S Lockyer also won a Silver-Gilt award, for their colourful display of seasonal bulbs and perennials. I absolutely love their bright blousey amaryllis, and these tulips are just so colourful.
I particularly like the Tulip ‘New Santa’ with its frilly edges!
And if you’ve ever wondered how to get the most out of the flowers from your garden, this was all covered at RHS Cardiff as well.
The Floristry Bench hosted a series of talks and demonstrations from top florists including Jonathan Moseley (pictured above). He had some fantastic tips on how to arrange flowers for the most impact.
But sometimes the flowers provide all the impact themselves…
Just look at these gorgeous colourful Dianthus ‘Bright Purple’ on the Calamazag Nursery stand.
I can’t believe how vivid that colour is – this flower certainly deserves its name!
Calamazag Plant Nursery first caught my eye at last year’s Gardeners’ World Live. And I love the playful way that they present their blooms to look like cupcakes.
They were awarded a Silver-Gilt medal for this display, and I get the feeling that it’s only a matter of time before they reach Gold medal standard.
Another familiar sight next, from someone who definitely knows what it takes to win a Gold Medal.
Mendip Bonsai Studio consistently turn out a stunning display of the art of bonsai, and this was no exception.
This is a particular favourite of mine. This Chinese Juniper is beautifully presented, and I love the use of the Jin deadwood technique to mimic the effect of age on the tree.
Unsurprisingly, Mendip Bonsai won another RHS Gold medal for their stand at this show.
And finally, this beautiful display of Strepocarpus and other houseplants was presented by Dibleys Nurseries.
Dibleys Nurseries were also honoured as the RHS Master Grower for Cardiff 2018. This is an award which recognises one specialist nursery at each of five RHS shows. They are singled out for special attention, celebrating their ethical and sustainable business practices.
Dibleys Nurseries are a family-run business who specialise in streptocarpus, and who won their first RHS Gold medal in 1988.
They are so enthusiastic and knowledgeable about their plants, and have bred and introduced more than 90 new Streptocarpus since 1979. You can find out more about the RHS Flower Show Cardiff Master Grower in this video.
I really enjoyed my first visit to the RHS Flower Show Cardiff, and look forward to returning next year.