A Gardening Theatre is just one of the new highlights of this year’s Spring Garden & Leisure Show, which takes place at the South of England Centre at Ardingly, near Haywards Heath, West Sussex on 6 & 7 May.
Visitors will be able to put their questions to a panel of horticultural gurus at “Ask the Garden Experts” in the newly created Gardening Theatre. Chaired by the BBC’s Jean Griffin and featuring some of the region’s top gardening professionals, this attraction is sure to be a winner with green-fingered enthusiasts whether they want tips on growing better flowers, greener lawns or bigger vegetables.
The Spring Garden & Leisure Show is organised by the South of England Agricultural Society, a charity working on behalf of farmers, growers and all lovers of the countryside throughout the region. The Society’s Spring show is the first of four shows it organises in the year with the help of dozens of volunteers as well as a dedicated team of staff based at the South of England Showground. Clare Hastings, Chairman of the Spring Show Committee said: “The Spring Garden & Leisure Show is our first big show of the year and it’s a welcome opportunity to enjoy the Sussex countryside and blow away the cobwebs after the winter.
“This year we are introducing a lot of new attractions to make what we hope will be two wonderful days in the great outdoors. There’s entertainment and fun for all, while also learning about the countryside - all the animals and people that live and work in it and on which we all depend. We hope people will support us and come along to see what’s new this year.”
As well as the Gardening Theatre, there will be displays by expert horticulturalists, garden designers and flower arrangers, as well as trade stands selling Spring bedding plants and showcasing the latest garden furniture, barbecues, innovative gadgets, hands-on tools and a variety of clothing from shoes and coats to hats and fleeces.
For those who love ‘man’s best friend’, there will be hundreds of dogs of all breeds taking part in the huge South of England Open Dog Show. The Dog Show, which is always an integral part of the Spring Garden & Leisure Show, is a qualifier for Crufts and attracts top breeders and dogs from across the region.
Four-legged attractions continue with the Alpaca Show – one of the largest of its kind in Europe. The fascinating long-haired camelids from South America are always a hit with children while parents can watch their wonderful ‘fibre’ being woven into hats, scarves and ponchos in the nearby Spinners and Weavers Marquee.
If alpacas are not your cup of tea then perhaps sheep will tickle your fancy when the Mini Sheep Show takes to the stage. For the first time, the South of England Agricultural Society is bringing this smaller version of the Sheep Show, which is a perennial hit at the South of England Show every June, to the Spring Garden & Leisure Show, coinciding with a time of year when newly-born lambs are all around us. The deeper mysteries of the sheep psyche and how to shear one will be revealed. Performances start each day at 11am and continue at 12.30pm, 2pm and 3pm.
With much more on offer at the show, this is a great opportunity to get the family out and enjoy a day together, with food and drink in plentiful supply alongside daylong entertainment and shopping opportunities. See you there for plenty of sounds and sights of springtime!
Published 3rd May 2012
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