The first Southport Flower Show was held in the 1920s, organised by local businessmen who wanted to celebrate the region’s horticulture.
And from that, it has grown into Britain’s largest independent flower show and one of the highlights of the North-West’s summer calendar. Southport attracts tens of thousands of visitors every August to view inspirational show gardens, spectacular floral displays and learn how to grow your own with advice from the Allotment Association.
To get tickets to the Southport Flower Show 2019 go to www.southportflowershow.co.uk
Here’s a round-up of the top 15 things you can do at the show:
Southport opens in flamboyant style when Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli officially launches the four-day event. Catch Bruno leading a rumba among the rhododendrons in the main marquee on Thursday 15th August.
To celebrate Southport’s 90th anniversary, you can journey into the past with actor Leon Ockenden on board the ‘Travel back in time bus’. Leon, who has appeared in ITV dramas Coronation Street and Mr Selfridge, will be the conductor and narrator on board our history bus, sponsored by Arriva. Using archive footage and specially commissioned video, the bus will take passengers back through the ninety years of the Southport Flower Show.
Justin’s back in the house
Children’s TV favourite Justin Fletcher returns to Southport with a brand new stage show for 2019. The star of CBeebies is known to millions of young fans for his hilarious characters including Mr Tumble. He will perform two shows for families on Sunday and said: “I am so thrilled to be coming back to Southport this summer and meeting all the lovely families.” Children under 16 are admitted free with an adult.
MineCraft from MineVention
The MineVention marquee is the place for young gamers to learn new tricks and show off their skills at Minecraft. Players can take part in Build Battle competitions and Scavenger Hunt tournaments all based around the hugely popular computer game. And there is also a chance to meet top YouTubers and gamers including MineVention’s ex-YouTube star Simon (SnakeDoctor).
Peculiar plants from Mr Plant Geek
Learn about some of the quirkier examples of plant life with Michael Perry, more popularly known as Mr Plant Geek. Michael loves to explore the unusual offshoots of the natural world and often shares his obsessions via selfies to thousands of followers on Instagram.
Visitors to Southport Flower Show love their dogs, that’s why last year organisers changed the rules to allow pet dogs into the show grounds for the first time. Families are welcome to bring their four-legged friends along once again in 2019 and animal lovers will also be treated to a show by the K92000 Dog Display Team. There is also the Dog and Duck Show which features dogs herding ducks in a hilarious and fascinating insight into dogs’ natural instincts.
Food Glorious Food
Southport Flower Show will host a bustling food marquee with over 50 independent stalls offering you and your family a host of tasty treats. From gourmet snacks to fresh produce, to sweet treats for the kids there is something for everybody in the food tent. There will also be a cookery theatre with some of the nation’s top chefs delivering tips while they cook live, including Dave Myers from the Hairy Bikers.
The Showground features a host of brilliant musical acts including the Batala Mersey Drum Group. For something a little more chilled the Piazza Stage hosts continuous easy listening near to the catering areas. Pull up a chair and relax as performers entertain you throughout the day.
Show Gardens and the Grand Floral Marquee
The key to Southport’s success down the decades have been the fabulous show gardens and Grand Floral Marquee. The show gardens feature designs inspired by the 2019 show’s Garden Party theme and are certain to inspire you to give your garden at home a makeover. Inside the Grand Floral Marquee, visitors can see and smell not only superior quality specimens, but also some of the more unusual plant varieties and, just as importantly, get on-the-spot advice from the people who actually grew the plants.
Kids go free
Southport has something for all the family and it’s also excellent value for money as kids are admitted free of charge. Children under the age of 16 are granted a free pass if they are accompanied by a paying adult and there is a packed programme of entertainment aimed at the little ones all around the show site.
Southport Flower Show features a pop-up shopping village with over 300 stalls offering everything from arts and crafts to items for the home and garden. Stallholders include luxury suppliers of fashion, jewellery, homeware and furniture.
TV Gardening Gurus
Broadcaster Adam Frost joins some of the nation’s leading gardening experts who will be on hand to share their knowledge with visitors. Adam is an award winning designer who presents Gardeners’ World on the BBC. Christine Walkden, resident gardening guru on The One Show, returns to Southport along with landscape designer and broadcaster Matthew Wilson.
Southport Flower Show has the largest Amateur Growers’ Competition in the country. The show prides itself not only on the very high standards and but also its friendliness. The Amateur Growers’ Competition also includes Honey, Baking and Preserves (Junior Classes as well) and Floral Art.
Bees and honey
Visitors to the Honey Marquee will find a buzzing live demonstration of honeybees performing an amazing ‘Waggle Dance’ as they go about their work. And after observing the curious hidden lives of these amazing creatures, you can treat yourself to their spoils. There is a selection of honey and beeswax on sale from local bee-keepers, and visitors are able to sample and take home the ones they like the best.