Grey skies did not dull the Southport Flower Show 2023

Somewhat unkindly the one day I could get to the Southport Flower Show was the day that had the worst forecast.  I kept a check all week on how the day might be and it was not looking good.  It was not dreadful as it was not going to be cold, but I did consider whether wellies might be needed at one point.

On the day it was still forecast rain, but did not look too bad - whatever it was going to be I was going to go anyway, I had enjoyed the show so much last year it was now vey much on my 'must visit' list.  I picked up my daughter on the way and we set off brollies and raincoats at the ready.  We drove through quite a bit of rain but the further north we got the more it cleared up and we arrived at a greyish, but warm enough, pleasant Southport.  
Whilst it is a cliche to say that the show has something for everyone, I think it does.  There is so much going on.  There are lots of stall selling all sorts of things.  Not all stalls are what I would call totally gardening related, but it is hard to walk past with looking and you never know what will catch your eye.  Having been there last year we were more familiar with the layout of the show this year.  It is not the biggest flower show you can find, but it is bigger than you might expect and big enough that you have to make sure you have seen all of it.

I do enjoy the gardens at the show.  The colourful one above is from the Schools Design a Garden Competition: Winner Rosie Buckley St Peters C of E School Farnworth, Bolton.  I love the use of colour and even on this grey day the bees were enjoying the sunflowers.
This garden is part of the same competition: winner Matilda Roche, SS Peter and Paul Catholic Primary Mawdesley, Lancashire.  I particularly liked the fan-shaped bench at the top of the garden.
This is part of the Grow Your Own Project Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Trustand was laid out as 'rooms', connecting what are indoor structures with the outdoors.
There were some really nice touches.
and this is Nature's Sympathy Garden made by 'Absolutely Splashing', which might have been my favourite at the show.
We continued our wanderings and made sure we visited the Grand Floral Tent.  I had to pause to say hello to this marvellous seagull.
and I half expected this fabulous ram to start talking, or better still, singing.
We looked at the exhibits in the Amateur Growers tent.  There were so many different classes of competitons.  This is the 'dahlia floating in a bowl' class (it really is).
I loved this little bowl of sweetpeas.
and how could you not love these animals made from melons.

We spent some time at the arena.  We saw part of a BMX display that involved a biker doing tricks whilst people threw balls at him.  We also made sure we saw the Birds of Prey display as we had enjoyed it last year.  It is a good mix of being interesting and educational.  We also dropped in to see the Drag Queen Gardener, Daisy Desire doing a Q&A.  It was good to see a mix of younger and older people in the audience, Daisy says she wants to promote gardening for all and certainly seems to be doing a good job at it.

and were purchases made?

well of course they were.  I bought: Solenostemon 'Pink Chaos', or Coleus as I would call it.  A Begonia 'Little Brother Montgomery', Fuchsia 'Thalia' and the very wonderful Fuchsia 'Walz Jubelleen'.
It is really pretty.
I also bought these large windchimes, they have the most wonderful mellow tone.  I place them as far away from my neighbours as I can as I know not everyone likes the sound, they are also in a sheltered place so they are not making constant noise.

We had a fabulous day.  There was a sprinkle of rain when we were watching the birds of prey, but nothing serious.  We felt we had escaped lightly.

Now I am looking forward to next year already which is going to be its centenery year: count me in!

Take care and be kind.

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