Seabrook on ... improving shows

There were plenty of RHS members at the October London Show unhappy about further reductions in what were fortnightly events and are to become quarterly, plus the weekend Orchid Show.

At the press briefing about the reduction there were just five non-RHS gardening journalists - HW, the Sun, Times Online, a freelancer and me. Where were the rest? RHS fortnightlies used to be a routine meeting point for at least a dozen media people.

RHS show staff are coming up with good promotional ideas, such as balcony gardens at Inner Temple and vegetables in unusual containers for the October fruit and vegetables show. However, good ideas need to be followed through to attract exhibitors.

Three of the six balcony gardens were not good enough to give this idea a flying start and there were even fewer entries of vegetables in unusual containers. I counted 40 judges and around 20 exhibits at the October show; why were judges not asked to bring a vegetable grown in an unusual container? This would have given a good class to judge - and a few carrots grown with annual flax, for example, would be light enough to carry into London.

Christine Walkden is the new powerhouse of TV gardening, with her regular appearances on BBC1's The One Show at 7pm on weekdays. This gets to the potential new gardeners everyone is trying to reach, so why was her programme not invited to the RHS show?

Fruits of strawberry Christine are, I would bet, all it would have taken to get the two Christines from the show involved. BBC1 cameras at Vincent Square on the Monday evening would have given the world-class Wisley fruit exhibit the publicity it deserved and attracted visitors.

Attendance at the Inner Temple show was 14,500, far more than for Vincent Square shows, so why has the RHS not booked a repeat for 2009? If it was made into the Chrysanthemum and Dahlia show and organisers put in large, colourful beds of autumn chrysanthemums, it would build the spectacle.

Peter Seabrook is a gardening writer and broadcaster.

- Comment at

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Can UK fresh produce come out of Brexit ahead?

Can UK fresh produce come out of Brexit ahead?

UK production horticulture can become more profitable under one possible Brexit scenario, while other more drastic scenarios will lead to only minor losses in profitability, in contrast to other farming sectors, according to a new report by levy body AHDB with Agra CEAS Consulting.

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

How should agri-tech research for fresh produce function in a post-Brexit UK?

How should agri-tech research for fresh produce function in a post-Brexit UK?

One area affected by the uncertainty around Brexit will be the ongoing development of agricultural technology, seen by many as essential to retain Britain's productivity and competitiveness in fresh produce along with other farming sectors.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon