Changes, following the RHS ceasing involvement, include: Exhibitors – revised rules give exhibitors the freedom to be creative and encourage new ways of displaying and retailing plants. Exhibitors are now able to sell relevant associated goods alongside plants, offering new revenue opportunities. Many exhibitors are taking advantage of the new stand options, with Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants and Cook’s Garden Centre leading the field.
New awards and increased prize money – new awards include the BBC Gardeners’ World Live Plant of the Year Award, the Geoff Hamilton Award; Best Display of Summer Plants; and the Best Retail Area in the Floral Marquee. A new Platinum Award has increased opportunities for exhibitors to attain monetary recognition for their displays and contribution to the Marquee.
New assessment panels – assessors are being selected from well-known and respected experts, horticultural writers and broadcasters with further details to follow soon.
Festival of Roses – working with Roses UK the Floral Marquee will feature a hub of rose expertise with displays, sales, talks and advice.
Rob Hardy from Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants said: "We’re looking forward to working with the new team with their new ideas for displays and selling areas to make a more successful show for the exhibitors."
Horticultural show manager Cliff Plowes says: "The new team, Stephen Bennett, Bob Sweet and myself, are making it our mission to deliver a successful show for floral exhibitors. We’re taking time to understand the issues and make alterations to the system - their success is our main concern."
Lawncare experts GreenThumb are confirmed as headline sponsor of the BBC Gardeners’ World Live Floral Marquee in 2016, sharing their expertise with visitors in clinics and one-to-one advice sessions.