Garden ideas from the Ascot Garden Show
I’ve just been to the Ascot Garden Show, England’s newest garden show (held 13th-15th April).
It can’t be easy to start a garden show from scratch, but the Ascot Garden Show has done it very well. Most big new horticultural shows are organised by the RHS. But this one is a partnership between Ascot Racecourse, The Savill Garden and The Valley Gardens at Windsor Great Park.
Stephen Bennett, former shows director at the RHS, is at the helm, so his expertise is evident. But it’s quite a different venture for a racecourse to take on. A new RHS show can rely on the reputation and customers of the RHS, but as Ascot Racecourse says ‘it’s sporting different colours’ to do a garden show.
What I liked about it
With 30+ specialist plant stalls, 6 show gardens and 6 ‘young gardener’ gardens, plus other stalls, it’s big enough for a day out. But it’s also small enough to get round. You can probably see everything.
There was also a full programme of talks from horticultural experts and celebrities, such as Pippa Greenwood, David Domoney and more.
And, above all, there are lots of places to sit down or eat and drink. I’ve often left a garden show earlier than I intended to because I was exhausted. It’s great to have a food court, but you need places to rest between food courts if your show is big.
The Show Gardens
The quality of the six show gardens was excellent. They were all relatable and had ideas that would adapt to a garden of any size.
The Young Gardener of the Year competition
There were six student gardens from Capel Manor College, Pershore College, Shuttleworth College, Writtle University College, Myerscough College and Reaseheath College.
See more of Ascot Garden Show in this video
It’s easy to get to. You can walk to Ascot Racecourse in just seven minutes from Ascot station. And there’s free parking in the racecourse car parks.
The Ascot Garden Show is definitely a high quality show, but it’s also relaxed. I hope it stays small enough to keep those qualities. But even if it grows, the venue is used to handling crowds, so it has great potential to become part of the horticultural calendar.
I’ll be visiting other garden shows throughout the year. You can see them on the Middlesized Garden YouTube channel and the Middlesized Garden blog. So do join me by subscribing – just enter your email in the box on the top right, or go to the YouTube channel and click on ‘subscribe’. Thank you!