Suffolk Show Countdown: Massive house and garden marquee ‘will be lifestyle focal point at show’
The house and garden experience at the Suffolk Show is set to be transformed this year.
Show organiser the Suffolk Agricultural Association (SAA) has decided to ‘marry’ the two elements, which have previously been displayed in separate areas, to provide a seamless experience showing off the best the region has to offer in house and garden design.
Stephen Miles, senior steward at the Flower and Garden Experience, expressed delight at the change. The house and garden area will be housed in a “massive” 115m by 30m steel-framed marquee which will form a focal point for event, he said.
“I have been doing the flower show for a few years, and to have the lifestyle pavilion attached to the flower show marquee is going to be fantastic,” he said.
The two elements will be in interconnecting areas, and it will mean that show-goers can wander through, stop for strawberries and prosecco or light refreshments in the flower show’s tea garden, and enjoy a lifestyle journey from inside to outside the home.
Just outside the entrance will be Alitex bespoke Victorian greenhouses and conservatories, and inside will be a garden designer section where visitors can meet and discuss garden design, and what their own requirements might be. Meanwhile, garden sculptor Nigel Kaines of Designs on Metal, will be displaying some of his work.
Easton and Otley College will be showing the courses on offer there, including in horticulture, garden design and arboriculture, and Leiston florist, Karen Lear will be explaining flower arranging to youngsters.
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“We are covering all aspects really,” said Stephen. “This will be the beginning of a work in progress. It will hopefully encourage people to come and want to be part of it.”
Within the flower show itself, there will be a wide selection of local nurseries, including Wootton of Wenhaston. Mickfield Hostas and Potash Nursery of Bacton, and the Allotment Association will be explaining the benefits of holding an allotment. Herb grower Trimley Herbs, a newcomer to the show last year, will be making a second appearance following a very successful debut.
“The exhibits we have inside some will come from Chelsea (Flower Show). It’s a very high standard of exhibits,” said Stephen. “It’s like our mini-Chelsea really.”
Putting together the house and garden element of the show is a huge undertaking, and carpenters will be working on the staging for a week to 10 days in advance of the show putting it together, he explained.
The changes which the SAA has put into place will draw more visitors, he believes.
“I think it will make quite a lot of difference to everybody. We get a lot of people through the marquee anyway, but we’ll get a lot more,” he said.
“Gardening has become so much an extension of the home and I think that’s what people are interested in. It’s just going to marry the whole thing together. I hope we can develop it further.”
The Suffolk Show takes place on May 27 and 28. For the latest news and to buy discounted tickets, visit www.suffolkshow.co.uk.