Top gardening advice at Ardingly spring show

Plenty of advice available.
Plenty of advice available.

Top garden experts will be on hand to advise people on how to repair their gardens after the wettest winter on record at the Spring Garden & Leisure Show on Sunday 4th and Bank Holiday Monday 5th May at the South of England Showground, Ardingly.

BBC gardening expert Jean Griffin and head gardeners from some of the most exquisite and popular gardens in the South are part of an exciting programme of Q&A sessions, talks and demonstrations to answer all your gardening and horticultural questions and help put gardens back on track.

Head Gardener at the Salutation Gardens in Kent, Steve Edney will explain how he is bringing the famous gardens back into bloom after spending much of this winter under 20ft of water.

Martin Duncan, Head Gardener at Arundel Castle; Tom Brown, Head Gardener at Parham House; and Peter Holman, Chairman of South and South East and London in Bloom will also join Jean on the panel of experts.

Green-fingered fans will be inspired with thousands of seasonal plants, shrubs and garden features on display and for sale and the latest retro-fashion in gardens, a Victorian-style ‘Stumpery’, will be the horticultural centrepiece of the show.

Made from uprooted tree trunks and planted with flowers, stumperies are making a come back and Martin Duncan will be discussing how useful they can be in any garden, especially this year.

The Arboricultural Association, who will be celebrating its 50th anniversary, will also be offering expert advice on all aspects of trees and forestry, including Ash Die Back.

Clare Hastings, Chairman of the Spring Garden & Leisure Show Committee said: “We are incredibly lucky to have such a fantastic panel of experts at the show this year and the theatre is always overflowing and buzzing with questions. Families also love this show, because there’s something for everyone here and it’s a great way to shake off the winter blues and get excited about life in the countryside and all its splendour.”

For all dog lovers, the region’s top breeders and over 700 dogs will compete to qualify for Crufts in the ever popular South of England Open Dog Show which forms an integral part of the weekend and has received commendation from The Kennel Club, in particular, for the way it offers help and advice to members of the general public. 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 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 fluffy duck 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 operational from the showground during the weekend and whilst on the ground it will offer a very special insight into how the crew works and a 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 and further information visit www.seas.org.uk or telephone 01444 892700.