Harrogate Autumn Flower Show pays tribute to plant hunters

Flower show

1:55pm 30th August 2017
(Updated 3:54pm 30th August 2017)

Harrogate Autumn Flower Show has a new travel-based theme this year.

It's paying tribute to a band of brave hunters, who's stories would put Indiana Jones to shame.

The theme is Postcards from the Hedge, inviting visitors to travel the world in their garden by tracing the global ancestry of our most popular plants.

One explorer to feature in the show's new exhibition is Reginald Farrer.

He travelled from his home in Clapham, North Yorkshire, to Asia in search of new species.

Known as the 'father' of the British rock garden, Farrer was renowned for his habit of using a shotgun to spread seed on rock cliffs to achieve a natural effect.

It is said that whilst travelling, he was just hours ahead of a notorious bandit army, who would almost certainly have killed him had he been discovered

Farrer Flower show

This is the 'shotgun garden' recreated ahead of this year's show.

Ernest 'Chinese' Wilson was another plant hunter.

He brought back over 300 different species from China, including one of the most popular flowers of all time, Lilium regale or the regal lily.

Nick Smith, Harrogate Show Director, doesn't want us to forget that most of our well-known plants have roots: "You can come along to the autumn show and you'll see all these beautiful displays of plants and flowers, but did you know how they were brought across?

"Everything from the popularisation of tea - we drink a cup of tea everyday - but how was it popularised? That's part of the story.

"Rubber for your tyres, where did that come from? That's actually from a plant that was brought across for this country, so it's a bit light hearted but it's also got a serious theme behind it as well.

"At the show itself we'll be covering a number of different plant hunters and all their stories."

The show is from the 15th - 17th September.

Visit www.flowershow.org.uk or call 01423 546157 for tickets.

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