At the final count, the number of exhibitors had reached 460 - smashing all recent records and giving the show another reason to celebrate in this, its 40th anniversary year. As part of plans to mark this important milestone, in this edition we carry an extended interview with show director Pat Coutts (pages 15-16) in addition to our preview.
Having run the show every year, bar a short break, since 1979, Coutts has overseen its evolution from an event predominantly concerned with the growing techniques, technologies and varieties being developed for the then burgeoning bedding sector to a show encompassing hardy plants and international stock that draws garden retail buyers and landscapers as well as growers. While that evolution has kept Four Oaks at the forefront of trade shows in the UK, there is little doubt that it is the unrivalled quality of customer care delivered by Coutts and her small team to exhibitors year in, year out, that has ensured its lasting success.
Horticulture Week is proud of its association with the show as official media partner and our team looks forward to welcoming you to our stand (E45). We also look forward to welcoming exhibitors to the Four Oaks Trade Show Awards hosted by HW on Tuesday 7 September immediately after the close of the day's business, when we will be celebrating the best from this year's show.
Fellowship for Sally Drury
Celebrations of another kind are taking place in HW's offices following the news that technical editor Sally Drury will next month become a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture. In her 28 years with HW and its forerunner Gardeners' Chronicle, she has developed an unrivalled understanding of the technologies being developed to resolve technical challenges faced by the industry - knowledge that she shares meticulously with readers each week. She is an inspiration to the HW team, past and present.