'Foodie' additions and high prices worry show exhibitors

The traditional gardening show is being swallowed by "foodie" additions that are putting off keen garden visitors, according to Horticultural Exhibitors Association chairman Cath Sanderson.

Following the RHS Malvern Spring Festival, Cath's Garden Plants owner Sanderson said: "Exhibitors growing their plants and sundries exhibitors are concerned about shows becoming more general and about ticket prices getting too high. It might keep visitor numbers up but people who have been exhibiting for years have seen sales fall. They pay for their ticket and food and then say £5 is too much for a two-year-old plant, but they might pay £3.50 for a Costa coffee and cake. Shows might be better to reduce size."

Toby Buckland won plaudits for his back-to-basics gardening show in Devon last month. Sanderson added: "People have told me Toby Buckland's show was the best they've done because it was £5 to get in and there were keen horticulturist speakers.

"In a way, some of us want shows to go that way. Organisers say shows need to get bigger to pay the overheads but if they reduced and were more gardening-focused it might be better. Some exhibitors are not selling unusual plants and visitors don't want to pay to go to shows and see what they can buy in the garden centre. Some shows need to rethink."

In response, the RHS said ticket sales for Malvern were up and disagreed that it is too expensive to get in to shows.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Trees and Shrubs - Planting benefits

Trees and Shrubs - Planting benefits

The message that health, the environment and business all benefit from trees is finally getting through, but are nurseries seeing an upturn? Sally Drury reports.

Arbutus

Arbutus

These evergreen trees and shrubs have decorative bark and can flower and fruit simultaneously, says Miranda Kimberley.

Four Oaks Trade Show 2018 - Product Solutions

Four Oaks Trade Show 2018 - Product Solutions

The latest products have all been designed to make growing more productive and to help sell more plants, says Sally Drury.


Opinion... Democracy is a hindrance to good place making

Opinion... Democracy is a hindrance to good place making

A farmer close by the small village of Green Hammerton in North Yorkshire is promoting his farm as a site for 3,000 new homes. It is slap-bang in the middle of the countryside at the mid-point between York and Harrogate.

Opinion... How to increase UK plant supply

Opinion... How to increase UK plant supply

Why don't UK growers produce more of the plants that the UK market demands?

Opinion... Co-operation is industry's best card

Opinion... Co-operation is industry's best card

What a great trade this is when one of us needs help. "The Container Revolution" co-operative exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is a good example.


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

Horticulture Week Top 60 Ornamentals nurseries

See our exclusive RANKING of ornamentals nurseries by annual turnover plus the FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production
 

Read Tim Edwards

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

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles