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Flower show turns problem gardens into prized plots

From boggy blank sheet to super showstopper, Harrogate Flower Shows will be helping Yorkshire homeowners to turn their garden troubles into treasured plots this spring.

A new Designed to Last attraction at the 2018 spring flower show will feature three designs based on real gardens from across the region. Each one has a different set of growing conditions but they all have one thing in common, a big headache for the owner!

Show organisers have challenged Harrogate-based landscaper, Nicholas Fryer, to come up with show garden solutions for three common problems – dark watery bogs, heavy clay soil and an exposed or dry aspect in the plots.

Three local homeowners Susan Hibbert, from Scarcroft, near Leeds, Judy Preston, from Harrogate, and Helen Plowman, whose problem plot is in Filey, have agreed to act as ‘clients’ for the challenge and are now eagerly awaiting the final reveal when the show opens on 26 April.

Judy moved to a new build a few months ago and was excitedly planning her garden until she discovered the soil was very heavy clay. Susan uncovered what she now affectionately calls ‘Dingley Dell’ during a big tidy up at the bottom of her garden, and Helen’s sea front holiday home must withstand the full force of the ferocious North Sea winds.

Nick Smith, show director, said: “Show gardens are an incredibly popular feature, but they are often designed for perfect growing conditions. As we know, there are very few gardens with perfect soil, perfect drainage and a perfect aspect, so we wanted to showcase practical solutions with gardens that are designed to stand the test of time.”

Each of the homeowners taking part will receive £300 worth of plants to help them get started on their new garden designs after the spring flower show, which runs from 26 – 29 April at the Great Yorkshire Showground.

Tickets: Thurs, Fri, Sat *£18.50 when booked before Tuesday 17 April 2017, £21.00 on the gate; Sun *£16.50 in advance, £19.00 on the gate. Parking is FREE. Under 16s go FREE when accompanied by an adult.  *A single £1 booking fee applies per order.

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