Gardening shows begin to scale back

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Gardening shows are seeing cutbacks after a rainy 2012 resulted in lower attendances at many events across the UK.

Two gardening shows have been cancelled already this year while the RHS has cut Tatton Park by one day.

Hatfield House in Hertfordshire has ended its annual show after seven years because it is "financially unviable" and the Royal Bath & West of England Society will not stage its National Gardening Show in 2013.

The RHS Flower Show Tatton Park in Cheshire will run from 25-28 July, running for one day fewer than in previous years. The RHS is looking to reinvigorate the annual bedding competition.

Meanwhile, the RHS is finalising new ideas for this year’s Tatton Park show that will involve helping visitors to "take away ideas". An RHS representative said discussions are still taking place regarding the new initiative and more details should be revealed next month.

Poor weather and economic conditions led to a 13 per cent drop in visitor numbers at BBC Gardeners’ World Live in June 2012, with around 95,000 visitors against 109,000 in 2011.

Other shows had a better year. Harrogate flower shows director Martin Fish said: "The wet April did affect the spring show. The good news is the weather didn’t put exhibitors off because we are already fully booked for spring 2013. All we need now is good weather."

So let’s all keep our fingers crossed for the good weather we all need to get out in our gardens and to as many events as we can.

Author: Robert Smith

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