RHS shows look at growing food

The link between earth and plate will be explored at this year's RHS shows, with features that focus on growing good food.

Mediterranean, British and Asian cuisines inspire Michael Balston's Growing Tastes garden at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show on 8-13 July. The international food theme goes a step further with a cooking theatre manned by chefs and grow-your-own specialists giving demonstrations.

Running with the theme is the new Thai floating market, on Hampton Court's Long Water, where traditional boats offer stalls for food and spice sellers to peddle their wares. Sadie May Stowell's design for the Copella Garden will highlight the orchard and apple juice industry.

Other shows picking up on the increasing interest in the growing industry include the Malvern Spring Gardening Show on 8-11 May, which has an emphasis on food and farming. Locally produced food from Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire will form the Taste of the Shires exhibit, while the Cottage Herbery of Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire, has created a 3.7m by 3m garden trug filled with aromatic herbs for the show's flower marquee.

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show sees a courtyard garden entry from Dorset Cereals, based on the Edible Playground project, which provides schools with gardening equipment, seeds and information to help them establish a food-producing garden.

And BBC Gardeners' World Live joins forces with the BBC Good Food Show Summer again this year to offer a combination of celebrity chefs and gardeners, and a chance to shop for seasonal food.

BBC Haymarket Exhibitions managing director Laura Biggs said: "There is an enormous crossover of interest between food and gardening, and the success of last year's show proved this. We are planning to deliver even more interesting features this year to give visitors a chance to experience other areas key to their lifestyles."

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