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Best Gardening Events UK 2022

It is widely accepted we are a nation of garden lovers. No other society seems to place as much stock in gardening, whether it is as a hobby, reason to visit somewhere, or means to socialise.

Our national obsession is thought to have been set in motion by a couple of factors. Firstly, our conditions are particularly well suited to it; a mild climate with rainfall distributed throughout the year mean that the growing season is long, and a wide range of plants can be grown. Secondly, several centuries of imperial power involved plant hunters bringing back a wide array of flora from different parts of the world. These treasures were often taken somewhere such as Kew Gardens then, if plants were found to be well suited to our climate and growing conditions, they would then be propagated and shared among the upper classes. Of course, the beauty of gardening meant these new introductions could then be propagated again and again, finding their way into the gardens of middle then working-class people relatively quickly.

Soon enough, the nation was hooked. Since then, gardens and gardening have become an integral part of our national psyche. Such is our thirst for knowledge, inspiration and engagement on the subject, there are now a vast number of events taking place all over the country throughout the year.

True to the nature of gardening, there is something for everyone. Whether you crave the social buzz of a large flower show, a quiet few hours spent rifling through offerings at a plant fair, or the chance to soak up expert knowledge at a lecture - we have put together a handy list of opportunities for you to do all this, and more, in 2022…


Flower & Garden Shows


If it is the razzamatazz of a bustling, lively and colourful flower show you hanker after, the series of RHS events taking place throughout the year will most definitely fit the bill. The first is in spring with Malvern (5-8th May), followed by the world-renowned Chelsea (24-28th May), Hampton Court (4-9th July) and finally Tatton Park (20-24th July). These shows, whilst varied and unique in their own way, tend to share core elements of design inspiration, floral displays, shopping opportunities and family fun.

Look out for Hayloft at Malvern (this is on home turf for us!), Hampton Court and Tatton - shows at which we often exhibit a selection of our rare and unusual plants.


Television Comes to Life


With all the fixtures of a flower and garden show, Gardeners World Live has an added attraction of the chance to see your favourite presenters in the flesh. A large-scale, roadshow-style event taking place at Birmingham NEC, 16-19th June.


Harness Curiosity for Good


An ingenious and uniquely British concept, open garden schemes offer those with impressive gardens a chance to show them off, and those with an interest in gardens to have a polite nosy around. This symbiotic arrangement is made wholly in the name of charity; visitors pay a modest entry free, the proceeds of which are distributed among several charities. Occurring across the country and throughout the year, check websites (England, Wales and Northern Ireland; Scotland) to find out which gardens will be opening near you.


Channel Your Inner Plant Hunter


There are those for whom it is the quiet solitude of gardening that appeals most, those who find the prospect of a large, crowded events quite off-putting. If this is you, then perhaps a more low-key plant fair will be more to your taste? Often held in interesting and inspirational gardens, these events offer the chance to expand your plant collection and gain expert advice from growers in the process, but also an opportunity to explore a garden you may not otherwise have visited. The Rare Plant Fair is a well-established example of this, offering fourteen dates throughout the southern half of the country from spring until the end of summer. Those living in the rest of the country or looking for alternative options, search online for ‘plant fairs near me’.


Find Expert Teachers


If it is the endless opportunities for learning which attract you to gardening, you may wish to consider the many lectures, workshops and masterclasses on offer this year with some of the country’s leading experts. Garden Masterclass have a calendar bursting with opportunities to learn; some online, some taking place in gardens across the country. From big names like Noel Kingsbury (one of the organisers behind this venture), Dan Pearson and Tom Stuart-Smith to lesser known yet top-of-their-field professionals; those hungry to increase their knowledge will be spoilt for choice by the options. Often, independent gardens and plant nurseries will have a series of short courses and workshops. Special Plants in Wiltshire, Hardy’s Plants in Hampshire, Great Dixter in East Sussex and Scampston Hall in North Yorkshire are just a handful of examples. Some botanic gardens, including Oxford, Kew, Edinburgh and Bristol offer an annual programme of lectures, often open to all. Check the website of your local botanic garden for further information.


Sow the Seeds Early


On 14th August the wonderful Garden Museum in London (well worth a trip at any time of the year) will be providing a chance for parents to coax their children away from the screens and head outside, into an enchanted world of garden-focussed fun. Aimed at children from age 3 – 8, the Festival of Fairytales is a one day event of pop-up performers, crafts, storytelling, music and circus performances. In the gardens of the museum (a converted medieval church), performers will guide children through the secret world of the garden, encouraging a close look at wildlife.


Garden Moments


It would be impertinent to discuss events in the gardening calendar without ending on the greatest show of all – plants and gardens throughout the seasons. What greater spectacle can there be, than a carpet of snowdrops in winter, daffodils nodding in spring, roses bursting with life in summer, or an arboretum ablaze in full autumn glory? The links given here are just some examples of where you can enjoy such moments; countless other places all over the UK have teams of gardeners working extremely hard to provide similar experiences. How fortunate we are to live in a country which embraces gardening and all the opportunities it presents. So, Haylofters, seize some of these opportunities and participate in the wider gardening community either in your own locality or across the UK as a whole. Connecting with likeminded people can certainly be worth the occasional downing of tools and you never know what new plant, piece of advice or even friendship could be out there waiting for you…


Happy Gardening Haylofters...

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