IN PICTURES: Sun shines for day two of Shrewsbury Flower Show

​Queues formed as show-goers waited for the gates to open on the second day of the Shrewsbury Flower Show.

IN PICTURES: Sun shines for day two of Shrewsbury Flower Show

Shrewsbury Flower Show

After Friday's torrential downpours, the weather stayed bright and sunny and, despite the occasional rain cloud, the forecasters were proved right with their predictions of a dry day.

Thousands of families, couples and friends turned out for the 128th Shrewsbury Flower Show and as gates opened at 10am the crowds flooded in.

Show-goers, stall holders and exhibitors were all universal in their praise of the event.

Cover teacher Emma Nixon, 44 from Bomere Heath, near Shrewsbury was attending the show with her sons Alex,12 and Sebby, nine along with friend Laura Harris, 44 from Tern Hill.

Emma said: "It is a real family event. We haven't been for about 10 years but I have always known it to be a great day out. There really is something for everyone. I know that Alex is looking forward to the stunt bikes later on although I am hoping they don't give Sebby any ideas as he has a quad bike."

Greeting people at the entrance to the show were Gilbert and Norbert, The Greenfinger Folk from The Bread and Butter Theatre Company in Cumbria. They said: "We have been to Tatton Park and also to Hampton Court Flower Show and this is like a little hidden jewel. 

"It is a great show as it has a good mixture of entertainment alongside the flowers and plants. The setting alongside The Dingle is amazing and it really lends itself to the whole atmosphere. We are back for a second year and when we were asked to return we jumped at the chance."

Retired teacher Sue Pugh, 72 from Castlefields, Shrewsbury was attending the event with her lawyer husband Richard, 65. 

She said: "I have been to flower and gardening shows all over the country and I have to say, this is my favourite. It is so friendly and everyone seems to be having a good time. I can have a good look around the marquees and my husband can go off and wander around the trade stalls and have a look at what's going on in the arena. It is brilliant."

Amongst the attractions on offer was the show gardens. winner of a Silver Gilt was Shrewsbury-based homeless charity The Ark. The garden featured worn paths, a dead tree and a pile of plastic bottles and coffee cups. It was based on the theme of climate change and Ark volunteer Margaret Bowman said: "The path represents the path of life. 

"In the corners of the garden are beautiful flower beds but as time passes and life gets harder the paths become worn until ultimately life is unsustainable without care and attention. That is the effect that climate change is having on the planet. The clients at The Ark helped to build the garden and they really enjoyed it. We were delighted to get a Silver Gilt."

Shropshire Mind, a charity providing mental health support in the county, teamed up with award winning garden designer, Carolyn Hardern, in an attempt to win the top prize at this year’s show.

And their hard work paid off when they were awarded with a gold medal and also with the Mike Hough Memorial Trophy.

The garden, which was entitled “A Pathway to Independence”, is being donated after the show to a Shropshire Care home provider in Wellington, near Telford.

Carolyn was very pleased with her win and said: "It took four months to plan and four days to build the garden.The garden is not so much about climate change in the traditional sense but more about how people's attitudes towards mental health can change. I have incorporated the colours of Mind and also the logo in a steel structure. The careful planting and attention to detail, such as the pathway which starts off widely spaced and then gets closer together is to represent the journey someone with mental health issues has to take.

"This is my first time at the Shrewsbury Flower Show although I have previously shown at RHS Tatton Park. I am delighted to have won two awards."

Another winner was Pennard Plants from Somerset who picked up a Silver Gilt. The company, which specialises in heritage and heirloom seeds takes part in flower shows across the country.

Chris Smith said: "It is always nice to come to the Shrewsbury Flower Show. We do all the shows including Chelsea and Cardiff and this show is so friendly and that is what we like about it so much. The weather wasn't great on Friday but it certainly picked up and we have been very busy."

Winner of the second finest display in the show and a large gold was Every Picture tells a Story, a company that concentrates on the Bromeliad family of plants and which is based in Liverpool.

Lucy Knight from the company said: "I am delighted that we won. Our designer Don Billington came along last week with no real idea what he was going to do and the inspiration took over. It is fabulous to pick up such an award at such a prestigious show.

"Like so many of the other companies here we do all the shows from Malvern to Hampton Court and Chelsea and this does mean a lot to us.

"I last came to the Shrewsbury Flower Show 40 years ago and I have to say I have been very impressed by how nice and friendly it is. It is so relaxed. Some of the other shows are manic."​
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