New lease of life for Longburton Flower and Produce Show

After more than a decade, members of the Longburton Garden Club successfully revived their village Flower and Produce Show, thanks to the GCA award-winning Flower Show Forum, an initiative launched by The Gardens Group in 2016 with the aim of helping the traditional flower show to survive and thrive.

Longburton Garden Club chairwoman Christine Squires said: “The Flower Show Forum at Castle Gardens gave us the tools we needed to run a successful show once again. What’s more, knowing that there is a community of knowledgeable individuals out there, including the Royal Horticultural Society’s Affiliated Societies, all willing to offer support and advice along the way, gave us real confidence when relaunching the show after 10 years. The day was a huge success and we are delighted to say that the show will be returning on Saturday August 19 2017.”

Dennis Hewitson from the Dorset Judges Guild and National Vegetable Society, who was on the panel at the first Flower Show Forum, added: “It gave me great pleasure to see Longburton Flower and Produce Show revived following the Flower Show Forum. I judged the exhibits and found that for a new show, with few or any of the exhibitors having any previous experience of showing, that it was a good attempt, and hopefully to be repeated.”

The Gardens Group managing director and Flower Show Forum founder Mike Burks commented: “The whole idea of the Flower Show Forum is to identify ways to inspire more people to take an interest in gardening and keep the traditional flower show alive, so I was delighted to discover that the forum helped Longburton Garden Club get its show back on track.

“One of the key findings at the Flower Show Forum was the need to entice younger people and less experienced gardeners in with alternative categories, and this is exactly what Christine and her team did. By involving local art and craft groups, the organisers made the event inclusive and accessible for the whole community.”

The next Flower Show Forum will be held at Castle Gardens in Sherborne, Dorset on Thursday March 30 from 6.30pm. This third forum, which is free to attend, will look to initiate a new relationship between schools and their local gardening clubs with the announcement of a new free pot scheme for local schools.