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Posted:  Friday 02 November 2018

North West Associates
at the Harrogate Flower Show

- Friday 14th September –

On this cool, damp Friday - what a contrast to the beautiful weather experienced during the summer!! – seventy-two North West Associates boarded coaches from various pickup points across the region to rendezvous at the Swan Hotel, Harrogate, for lunch before attending the Harrogate Flower Show.

Lovely to once again see and catch up, with Associates and friends from across the region.  We enjoyed a two-course lunch, with tea or coffee to complete the meal.  After which we once again boarded the coaches for the final lap – to the flower show.

On leaving the coaches, no surprises, it started to rain but it didn’t dampen our spirits as we made our way to the huge show-ground.

Once inside we passed numerous vendors selling anything and everything for the garden, whether it be a window box, a small postage-stamp size or huge garden, there was something there to brighten it up.
Sparkling butterflies, bird feeders in all shapes and sizes.  Every description of bulbs, tubers, and seeds promising a beautiful floral display the following year, including ‘blue’ daffodils.

Garden furniture to enhance the Al Fresco dining, which we were assured, would withstand the British weather in all its entirety, also garden furniture just to sit and relax, sun loungers, steamer chairs, swinging hammocks, and if the British weather was its usual self, structures of various shapes, sizes and dimensions to escape sit in while still enjoying the outdoors, perhaps with a glass of wine or beer, but under cover.

We then made our way to one of the two very large exhibition halls.

Here we were met with the special aroma from the many beautiful individual flowers, and the fabulous floral displays, a wonderful reminder of spring and summer.

The flowers, whether individual blooms or displays were beautiful and so breathtakingly colourful - why can’t flowers at home look as good as those on display, instead of looking as though they have been dropped form a great height, and just landed into the vases?

There was also a vast array of plants, those needing very little water, carnivorous plants - do they really catch and eat flies?? - cacti of many shapes and sizes, plus a display of the biggest bonsai trees ever - our bonsai trees never grew that big!!

From the floral display-halls we meandered to the other exhibition hall which had amazing displays of fruit and vegetables, all sizes from small to gigantic proportions.
Onions the size of a football, certainly make your eyes water peeling and preparing them, tissues at the ready.
Leeks, with the addition of potatoes, large enough to make leek & potato soup to feed a family for a week or more.
Carrots, cabbages, cauliflowers all gigantic proportions.

Even the small vine tomatoes were larger than those found in your local supermarket!!  Again. the special aroma of fresh fruit and veg was very noticeable.

However, one section in the area that received a lot of attention - the pumpkins and if they were not to be used for pies, soups etc., could certainly be used to transport Cinderella to the ball, with some help from the fairy godmother of course.

Sadly our time at the flower show passed all too quickly, and we had board our coaches for the journey across from North Yorkshire on the M62 to our various destinations in Cheshire and Lancashire.  However, we all agreed we had really enjoyed the whole day, had some ideas re. flower arranging, dreaming of growing super-sized vegetables.

The only downside, if it can be called that - there wasn’t a wonky vegetable to be found.

Enid Taylor

(jh 02/11/2018)

(ph 02/11/2018)

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