Sunday, 19 April 2009

Royal Horticultural Society Cardiff Flower Show

Today's blog has been dedicated to the annual Royal Horticultural Society Cardiff Flower Show.  

This is my local show and I look forward to it every year!  Today was by no means a let down. The weather was absolutely fantastic.  Clear blue skies and temperatures hitting 19 degrees celsius (66 Fahrenheit)!  Quite nice it was too! 

The show is relatively small by RHS show standards but I think this just improves the feel of it.  You get plenty of time to indulge in the exhibitions and chat to sellers.  I found my self lost in the marquees, chatting to anyone who could spare a few seconds as the frantic crowds grapple to buy the "plant of the moment". It appears that the show has grown since last year with  more stands, more quality and most definitely a higher attendance!

Below is a picture of what greeted us as we walked through the gates.  This rugby player was planted with succulents, mainly Sempervivum.

This was probably my favourite entertainer.  "Venus" cycled her way around the show chasing a fly whilst her CD player boomed out Bananarama's Venus.  Amazing!  She had also stolen Alys Fowler's glasses I believe!

The fly being prayed upon!

The famous BBC 'Dig In' van!  I've got my seeds, have you?  The lady in the van was more than happy to pose!

This was the best in show garden titled: Law of motion. Designed by Lisa Madsen this was most definitely the best of the show gardens.  Not much emphasis is placed on the show gardens at Cardiff and it was a delight to see something of this standard at the show.

Another of the show gardens that I enjoyed.  I really like the driftwood fence surrounding the garden.

The show dedicates a large proportion of the grounds to the children's wheelbarrow competition.  The number of entries has increased threefold in just one year!  This year there must have been around 50 or more barrows.  Some of my favourites are below.

A dedication to Darwin.

The hungry caterpillar.  The caterpillar and the butterfly were knitted.

The Easter tree barrow.

There were two floral marquees, each filled to the rafters with flowers, plants and people. Generally the quality was high and there was very good representation by UK nurseries.  I could have spent days in the marquees, chatting, spending a lot of money and generally standing in awe, mouth open, lusting after some of the specimens on offer.

So many daffodils!  A new cultivar was on display, somewhere, named after the singer Duffy.  The cultivar was named the 'Duffydil', get it?

A great succulent stand.

Echinopsis pachanoi cristate.  This is quite possibly the strangest succulent I've ever seen.

The most exquisite selection of Bonsai were on show at Cardiff today.  Many mature specimens that illustrated Bonsai at it's finest.  A well deserved Gold medal.

An Acer over fifty years old.


Bulbs were well represented at this years show and proved to be my highlight.  Many bulb nurseries were at the show selling and competing.  The variety was excellent but it was just my luck that the Arisaema I wanted was out of stock!

A fantastic Tulip cultivar.

Another Tulip.

Gloriosa superba.  I love this plant but unfortunately I don't think that it would fit with the scheme in my garden, or withstand the frost.

Avon bulbs.  An excellent display and stand and very helpful staff.

The Arisaema that was out of stock.

And finally,  the star buy!  I have been looking for this tree for a few years now and this specimen was perfect.  This is my favourite tree and I am so happy that I finally have one.  I could dedicate a whole post to this plant alone.

Cercidiphyllum japonicum.

I can't wait for next years show!  Lets hope that this years success means a bigger, better and equally fantastic show!


  1. I love the flame lily - reminds me of my holiday in Zimbabwe. As you guessed, not very hardy! Some of those tulips look just as exotic though...

  2. Wow those succulents are really neat, and one of my favorite flowers the gloriosas. How can it be great weather at 19 degrees? is that not cold?
    or do you have a different term of temperatures?

  3. Ryan:
    I was to read that you found your elusive Cercidiphyllum japonica - and what a wonderful specimen. Make sure to plant is close to where you will be able to sit and take in the sugary scent that it possesses in late summer and early fall! Just when you think someone is eating cotton candy or it's maple syrup time..... surprise!
    I wish you lived closer. I worked for a nursery last year that had dozens of Arisaema sikokianum - regular and one with spectacularly frosted foliage known as A. sikokianum 'Silver Splendor.' A great post Ryan..... love any of the European flower shows, something we sadly lack here in Canada.

  4. Hi Ryan- that must have been a great show. I am itching to see some gardens in my state, up close and personal. I love the look of the terraced garden.

  5. Looks like a good event. Some over the top flowers. Thanks for the photos.

  6. Thanks for the comments.

    Outside In: We use Celsius here. I'm not sure whether you use Fahrenheit. 19 C is a very nice spring day indeed!

    Teza: The Cercidiphyllum is my favourite tree. We have a mature specimen in a park literally a minute from my house and in the Autumn it's amazing!

    Glad you all enjoy the blog. I didn't get to photograph half of what I liked but I prefer to enjoy a show rather than be constantly snapping! lol!

  7. Great pix Ryan, I really love that weird succulent- Nature has a strange way of ensuring survival of the fittest?

  8. The show looks like a lot of fun Ryan - thanks for the piccies. Love the cercidiphyllum!

  9. Very nice! What a fun show!! I have several Gloriosa superba. They do great for me...they are a fun little plant

  10. Looks fun I love the Gloriosa lily I struggle with mine and they have not started to grow yet this year I hope they did not get too cold in the lean to with all the snow.

  11. Hi Ryan, I couldn't make the show, but it looked good - love the arisaema. I really want a collection of them. Did Duffy put in an appearance?

  12. Very cool plants. I especially like the Arisaema. Your garden show almost has a fair atmosphere. Love the venus flytrap costume. Hmmmm....Cardiff. Isn't that where Doctor Who is filmed?

  13. Martyn Cox: I don't believe Duffy did put in an appearance but I may be wrong on that one. I couldn't even find the 'Duffydil'!

    Jill-O: I see where you're coming from with the fair atmosphere. There are lots of things to entertain the crowds and the barrow competition is quite nice. The horticulture side of things can be very serious!

    And yes, Doctor Who is filmed in Cardiff. I once walked on to a live set in Swansea after a night out. Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper were filming a scene in a snowed out victorian street. Was very cool!

  14. Looked like pinecones in the Law of Motion garden. Interesting.
    Great looking show!

  15. Love the succulents.
    Looks like a fun show. Thanks for the tour.

  16. I can see why you like that garden show so much, it seems like an absolute hoot! And three cheers for your enthusiasm. Happy blogging.

  17. That sounds like so much fun! Gardeners here in the US are always a bit too serious for me, Michael Pollan in his book Second Nature tells the story of the American Gardener who has the Compost Pile as the center of his garden...

    Why not a post on that tree? Tell me more...

  18. Thanks for the mini garden show/tour, looks like a great,fun day! Did you get your car? Your tree will be beautiful in the fall...Brian

  19. Just stumbled across your blog and I've had a great read, well done!

    I'll follow with interest.


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